In late 2018, I was in the midst of an incredibly difficult period in my life. I had lost a long-term job I had held for many years, followed by the sudden and unexpected death of my mother. That was in addition to problems I was having personally and with other family members. It felt like everything was caving in on me, and I was in a place of despair I had never experienced before. I knew deep down I had to reach out to God for help, but I was struggling with how to go about that. My relationship with God had fallen by the wayside over the years, and I knew I needed to reconnect with Him and start working on my life from the inside out.
"Therefore, since we have been justified
by faith, we have peace with God through
our Lord Jesus Christ."
I searched online for help, found Fellowship Greenville's Stephen Ministry, and emailed them about what I was going through. I was promptly responded to and was put in touch with a ministry leader. We scheduled a visit at Fellowship Greenville and sat down for a talk in the front lobby area of the church. After the meeting, I was referred to Jim Mackey, who became my confidant and sponsor during the long and often painful process of confession, healing, and scriptural study that I needed. Jim and I met a few times per month and sometimes spoke on the phone, when necessary, for approximately six months. He helped me navigate Scripture as it applies to areas of my life where I struggled and pointed me to passages that would comfort me when I got anxious or fearful. Our meetings were always helpful as we had long talks about many tough issues one can encounter, but the experience reminded me that God has a plan for my life and to always rely on Him. Jim also arranged for me to be baptized for the first time and start my walk with God anew. That was very significant for me, and I will always be grateful to him. I remember being saddened and surprised one day when he told me we were having our last meeting. It had all passed in the blink of an eye for me, and I couldn't believe that six months had come and gone as swiftly as it did. We have maintained contact since then, checking in on one another and sharing our current life events. I will always appreciate his honesty, confidence, and friendship, and I know he is always there to lend an ear or prayer when needed.
The care of Stephen Ministry truly saved my life at a time when I was lost and hopeless with nowhere else to turn. I don't know what would have happened to me had I not had the courage to reach out to Fellowship Greenville at that critical time in my life and been paired up with such a sincere, faithful, and compassionate follower of Christ as Jim Mackey. Since my experience with the Stephen Ministry, I finally earned my college degree, landed a much better job doing what I enjoy, and look forward to continuing to experience what life offers. While I still struggle and fall occasionally, I know to return to the Word to keep myself focused on God's plans for me and give thanks for all He has done and continues to do in my life.