Jo Holladay is one of our new Stephen Minister’s from our 2018 class. The following is the story of her journey to decide to become a Stephen Minister. You will enjoy reading about her journey. It is truly amazing to see how God works in our lives as we go through our journey of life. God places people in our path through the Holy Spirit and when we have time to reflect on that event, we realize that is was not a “mere coincidence”. In Jo’s life, Lucy Burr was an angel in the form of a Stephen Minister who came to Jo as the care giver for Jo’s parents. Lucy created such a positive impression upon Jo that it took ten years for Jo to say “Yes” in becoming a Stephen Minister for the reason of “giving back”. Take time to reflect upon people who have been placed in your life and realize God had a purpose for that “mere coincidence”. Pray to God and ask Him to show you what that purpose meant in your life.
My journey to Stephen Ministry
About ten years ago, we bought our next door neighbor’s house so that we could move my elderly parents here from Tennessee. My dad had Alzheimer’s disease and had become bedridden. My mom needed help to care for him. So with the help of sitters, we took care of him in their new home until his death. An amazing Stephen minister, Lucy Burr, visited my mom every week to help her deal with her grief and loss. She was dealing not only with her sadness over dad’s illness and death, but also a new city without friends, her loss of independence since she had stopped driving, and her own failing health. Stephen Ministry is an incredible program that provides caring and confidential visits to people who have experienced a bad diagnosis, job loss, a death in their family,etc. I was so thankful for Lucy’s ministry that I wanted to give back.
In the training classes I learned that we would not be “fixing” anyone. Only God can cure us. Our role is to be a dependable, confidential, caring listener who prays for and with our care receiver. One day when I walked next door, Lucy was holding my mom’s hand while they talked. I will always be thankful to Lucy and our church for the time she spent ministering to my mom.
During my own personal times of loss I always had someone who cared about me enough to listen. Divorce, the deaths of my parents, and several miscarriages were hard times but talking to a compassionate friend always eased my mind. And maybe those difficult situations were preparing me for Stephen Ministry.