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In 2009, my uncle and my grandmother died within six weeks of one another. After the funerals, I began having trouble concentrating, and realized that I needed some emotional and spiritual support. My mom encouraged me to contact the church and inquire about receiving a Stephen Minister. It was particularly important for me to seek out support as I had struggled with depression before and knew the importance of a support system. 

I met my Stephen Minister at church for our first meeting. I had not met her before but I immediately felt her compassion, care, and love for me. I quickly realized that she was a person whom I could share my thoughts and feelings with safely. I looked forward to our weekly meetings and always walked away feeling more peaceful. She was genuinely concerned about how I was doing and provided me with a warm, caring space where I could process my grief and emotions. 

Stephen Ministers truly are the hands and feet of Christ, loving you unconditionally, just as God loves you. I remember my caregiver encouraging me to pray, spend time with God, and take nature walks to commune with God. I felt God’s presence during each of our meetings. I always left my Stephen Minister feeling more hopeful. 

While we mutually agreed that I no longer needed a Stephen Minister many years ago, we have stayed in touch and have developed a friendship. My experience was a stepping stone to getting more plugged into the community at Chapelwood. It opened the door to a whole new world of fellowship, growth and serving. 

Stephen Ministers do a lot of listening and ask good questions that help guide you through your thoughts and emotions. They are the “after people” who step in after a crisis and walk alongside you for as long as you need it. I believe my Stephen Minister was an angel sent to me from God.