You may have read My Story on here before…but if not, I pray you will take a moment to go back and read. God has truly brought me out of some catastrophic things throughout my life. And I’ll never stop giving Him all the glory, honor, and praise only HE deserves!
One ongoing thing He has been doing since 2015 is with this group, HOPE Depression Support Group. Never in my wildest dreams did I think, much less want, to ever lead a group, much less talk about depression! Depression is just not something you talk about, especially in the Christian community…it looks like you don’t have enough faith, you aren’t trusting God with your life, or you are a fraud! I argued with God that there had to be such group already in existence in our big town. I searched 40 different avenues to prove my point to Him, as if He didn’t already know right?!
Finally, after 4 months of arguing, complaining, and prayerfully submitting, HOPE Depression Support Group was birthed! It wasn’t easy at all, in fact it was quite near the most difficult thing I had done as I couldn’t even say the word “depression”, so I called it the “d” word!
At first, we had a good group attendance and regular participation. Then after about 6 months it began to dwindle in size, yet we continued to meet, faithfully every Thursday. Then it went to seldom anyone attending and to finally months of no one attending. What was I to do?
Should I quit just because no one was attending and participating?
No! I clearly knew that God had called me to something bigger than I was, and I certainly knew that there were so many that needed this group, even if they didn’t realize it themselves. So, I committed to continue to go each Thursday night as always, only I didn’t sit there waiting for someone to show. Rather I prayed for those that I knew needed this help. I prayed for those that had been in the group but no longer needed it. I prayed for those that were too scared to come to such a group. I prayed for those that didn’t even know this group existed, that they would find out about it, so they could learn these valuable tools God had given me over all these years. For months I continued alone in prayer with a heavy burden in my heart and soul for those that struggle with depression, discouragement, and anxiety.
God showed me how to begin using social media and online apps to spread the word about this group. More and more people began to feel comfortable reaching out online regarding help, hope and the group. And one by one God started bringing people into the group.
Then God began opening my eyes to something still bigger than this little small group, faithfully meeting every Thursday evening at 6:30pm. We needed childcare provisions so moms and dads in desperate need of this life-saving hope could take advantage of such a free group here in their city. So, God brought Kelley into the picture with a like-minded heart as heavy and burdened for these in search of hope as my heart was!!! And He also opened a door for a second weekly group meeting at the Ajax Senior Center which Kelley and I continue to do each Tuesday morning at 10:30am.
It only took about 4 months for God to begin to unfold what the future of this group would soon become. Kelley and I began praying diligently as we sought God’s purpose and plan, rather than our own in the comfortable once a week small group meetings we had grown accustomed. And what He was showing us was nothing like we would ever have imagined, much less dared to undertake.
What God did next was give us a “quick glimpse” at just how mighty and powerful and awesome He is…and how serious He is about the future for this group! He opened a door within one week’s time for us to begin meeting that had a playground for the kids and the most amazing meeting space always prepared prior to our gathering for group each week…and are you ready for this…the name of the building was the Hope Building at First Baptist Church downtown Clarksville! Yeah…we couldn’t believe it either! In fact, we were in awe so much of His generosity, amazing answer to our prayers for a meeting place that we took this picture!
Now we are in search of the next phase God has in store for HOPE…and He has revealed the new name to be Anchored HOPE, because of all He has made available to us through a saving faith in Him, we can truly be anchored in and through any storm this life may bring upon us!
We ask that you join us in praying for this next phase of HOPE for Clarksville, Tennessee…Anchored HOPE, that it may be used for all His glory, honor, and praise as He uses it to bring many that have no hope to His life-saving, transforming hope only He can provide! Be sure to stay tuned to how He unfolds His mighty plan!