(October 28, 2006)

Yesterday’s Living Room group was wonderful! I was so pleased with how it went that today I’m riding a high – quite a difference from where I was only two days ago.

We had six new people, making a total of ten around the table. After we had a chance to have a bite to eat and go over business stuff, we opened the meeting with prayer. Then we read Psalm 139, paying special attention to verses 7 – 12.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

In fact, I had typed copies for everyone so they could keep them handy when they need to be reminded of God’s constancy. Then everyone made a list of things they were grateful for. After a while we each discussed those things. After a break, we took turns telling what brought us to the group and how things have been going for us. We responded to each other’s stories.

The reason I’m going into such detail about what we do at meetings is because I very much hope that other churches will start such groups. I am seeing a real need for faith-based support groups for people struggling with anxiety, depression and bipolar disorders. After only about a month in existence, we have a list of 25 people who have shown an interest. Eleven people, plus myself and my co-facilitator have attended. Our pastor also likes to sit in on the devotional part of the meetings.

There are a lot of secular support groups. But there is a real difference when the spiritual aspect is part of it. Yesterday, the atmosphere was warm and comfortable. Everyone shared freely, feeling the supportive atmosphere. The co-facilitator closed the meeting with an uplifting piece of scripture and prayer for each individual there.

When I was ready for bed last night I did something I seldom do when I pray. I got down on my knees and thanked God. I didn’t know what else to say to Him. I just thanked Him over and over. I feel blessed to have this work and I’m learning to love my new acquaintances.