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When church works in real life

Jen writes:

My heart is filled with thankfulness.

I returned to church last Sunday 24th April, after a ten week break. Break is the right description, as I truly had what is commonly called “a break down.” I have suffered from anxiety and depression over the years and at the beginning of this year, the dark cloud managed to engulf me. Usually I see it coming and manage to “sort myself out” before it’s too late, but not this time! I give myself too much credit actually; it’s usually my long suffering husband Andrew who helps me stay on track, so thank you Andrew!

During this time of anxiety and depression, I tried to hide and avoid everyone who I know, and who knows me and how the “normal me” is. It seems strange that at the time when I needed friends and family most I ran in the other direction from them, strangers were no problem to me as they didn’t have a clue about how I usually act and cope with things.

I said I tried to hide and avoid people, but I am glad to say, when I needed them most, my Wellfield church family didn’t give up on me. They gave me space and time to deal with the situation and kept informed of my progress through Andrew; they sent texts, emails, and cards to show their love and consideration. I received flowers and books and even children’s hand drawn pictures with little messages, and many invitations to meet up on a one to one for coffee and cake. These acts of love and kindness meant so much to me and have helped my gradual return to church family life and recovery in general.

So on return to Wellfield church I was greeted by hugs and welcome wishes, my heart was melted when little 2 year old Luke Whittaker came up to me unprompted with his arms outstretched for a cuddle, and then on leaving church after the service, little 4year old Jessica Marsh gave me a kiss and a cuddle good bye. The adults and the children all made me feel as if I had been truly missed and lovingly welcomed back, I admit that I did get a little emotional at times, but in a good way.

One of the songs we sang that just seemed perfect to me was:

“My Heart Is Filled with Thankfulness“

My heart is filled with thankfulness
To Him who bore my pain;
Who plumbed the depths of my disgrace
And gave me life again;
Who crushed my curse of sinfulness
And clothed me in His light
And wrote His law of righteousness
With power upon my heart.

My heart is filled with thankfulness
To Him who walks beside;
Who floods my weaknesses with strength
And causes fears to fly;
Whose every promise is enough
For every step I take,
Sustaining me with arms of love
And crowning me with grace.

My heart is filled with thankfulness
To him who reigns above,
Whose wisdom is my perfect peace,
Whose every thought is love.
For every day I have on earth
Is given by the King;
So I will give my life, my all,
To love and follow him.

“My Heart Is Filled with Thankfulness“
Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
Copyright © 2003 Thankyou Music

As I joined in singing this song with my church family and friends, I realised how much I had missed out on good gospel teaching, and felt reminded of God’s love and Jesus’ sacrifice for me! I admit that even though I had tried not to, I had lost sight of this and once again realise just how much I had and have to be thankful for!

So a big “thank you,” to all Wellfield church family, my brothers and sisters in Christ for putting words into action and reaching out to me.

2 Thessalonians 1:3 (NIV 20011)
We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.