Hi, all. I hope you’re having a great morning. Today is a kind of a big deal in my world, and I’ve been waiting for ages to tell you all about it! If you’ve visited before, you know I’m a big fan of (in)courage and the opportunities they provide for women of all walks of life to connect and encourage each other in faith. So I have been jumping for joy and trying not to spill the beans since I was accepted to serve alongside three wonderful women in serving the (in)courage chronic illness and homebound community.
(Sign up on Facebook here.)
Rather than try to put it all into words myself, I’ll let Karen Knapp from Faith Family Fibro do the talking about this special announcement.
The (in)courage community groups exist to build safe, Christ-centered, welcoming, small groups for women through the (in)courage website and social media. With a variety of topics to choose from, the groups and your co-leaders are here to serve you, just as you are and where you are, in this season. We invite you to find a place that feels comfortable, where you can kick off your shoes, snuggle into the comfy couch and share your life with like-minded, Jesus-loving women around the world.
It’s a place where you can grow in your friendships with other women and be encouraged to deepen your relationship with God. (in)courage groups will be led by a team of women who have a heart for serving. They aren’t experts, but have a willingness to walk with others and (in)courage them along the way.
I was a leader of the Chronic Illness/Homebound group for the first session. I am so excited that for this session I will have three wonderful coleaders. Our group is for those with a chronic illness or for those of you that are homebound. We are a group of women wanting to encourage and pray for each other on a daily basis. You can read more about and join our group here.
Here’s a little more info on the other women who are serving this wonderful community:
Karen – I am first and foremost daughter to the King and wife for 12 years to my amazing husband Tony. I am mama to 11 year old Princess and 7 year old Superhero. As of last year I am also a homeschool mama. I was diagnose with fibromyalia in 2009 after suffering with debilitating pain for 3 years. My life has completely changed in the last 7 years and I am on a wonderful and blessed journey. I became a born again Christian right before my second child was born so I was almost 40 years old. My husband and I were baptized together about 5 years ago and the blessings just continue to pour in every day as we continue to turn our lives to God instead of the world. I want all women with a chronic illness to be encouraged and know that God has great plans for them and that He will continue to bless them every day even during their difficult circumstances. I want all women with chronic illness to have daily encouragement and support especially if they don’t have it in real life. That is why I started a blog and started leading this group!
Sallie – I am a wife of 21 years to my college sweetheart. I am a mother of four great children-18, 17, 13, & 11. I spent several years serving in youth and children’s ministry while my husband finished his Master’s in Nursing. We began our own “small group” ministry at home so about 13 years ago I began to be a stay-at-home Mother which has since been my main job. I have been on a journey discovering my Fibromyalgia diagnosis over the past several years. I am an avid reader about health and chronic pain. I am seeking wellness & joy in the midst of this pain. One thing that I have found for certain is that my relationship with Jesus makes all the difference in my outlook on this life (sometimes) filled will chronic pain. I have joined @faithfamilyfibr to help encourage women who find themselves in this chronic pain boat. It can be a lonely place to live with pain issues, and finding other women who can encourage & pray with you is always a lifter of one’s spirits.
Judi –I will be 54 this year. I have been a Christian since my early 20’s and love the fact that I will keep learning about Jesus for the rest of my life! I’ve worked as an educator for 16 years in a technical school. Currently, I’m on disability and am a stay at home wife and mom to 4 kids. Some of my hobbies are knitting, crocheting,rubber stamping/card making. I love working with plants. Our cats and dogs keep me company during the day. I feel as though God to a place to encourage,love on, and pray for women. We would love to have you join us if you suffer from any chronic illness or are homebound.
If you’re visiting for the first time, here’s a little bit about why I’m excited to be serving this group of amazing women…
I’m a newly married, newly in my 30’s New Yorker. In early 2008 I was diagnosed with three infectious diseases passed by a bug bite (gross, I know) after years of unexplained illness and lots and lots of inconclusive tests. It was something I never would have signed up for, but God used the next two years of serious treatment to draw me back to Him and completely change my life. Though the process was very painful and scary, I am in awe of a God who loves us so much and who never gave up on me even when I had wandered away from Him. I am “better” now in many ways, but I’m learning to accept that my body needs more TLC than others and that I just can’t do a second of life without God’s help. He has walked me through several more seasons of illness and continues to hold my hand through the long process of physical and emotional healing that follows years of pain. My dream and desire is to share that same love and the hope we have in Christ with others who are hurting from chronic illness and difficult life events, so that no one feels alone and no one feels hopeless. I’m so grateful to be a part of this community and to serve alongside Karen, Sallie, and Judi.
Of course not all of you relate to a group for women with chronic illness, and that’s where the long list of (in)courager groups come in. Click over here to find out more about the groups, including all the ones listed below.
Bible Study Gals
Moms of Teens
Special Needs Stories
Women in Ministry
Women over 50
Now get on over there and find a group of women to love on and be loved by!
[Update: Let’s make this easier and give you a link to the chronic illness and homebound group directly… To join, simply click over to our private group on Facebook and request to be added (upper right hand of the group page).]