Dear First Pres,

   “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” Mark 5:34

   We are all in need of God’s healing, to sit at the feet of Jesus and receive the gift of abundant life. We are a people of resilience who continue to walk forward even though we have experienced great pain, confusion, frustration, anger and hurt. We have lived in a world full of tension and division seeking to respond to a global pandemic, economic crisis, racial injustices and political unrest. Not to mention our personal health problems or relational issues. We are rattled to our core and seek to see God’s shalom being realized in our lives, community, and country. 

   Yet here we remain. Here in the mess, God meets us. Here we grow deeper and wider to love others. Here we laugh and cry, hope and experience great loss. We are here, in the waiting. Jesus, Emmanuel, is with us in our waiting. The Holy Spirit is leading us to have courage, strength, vulnerability, laughter, resilience, hope and perseverance. These gifts are a part of God’s healing process in our lives whether physical, spiritual, mental, or communal. 

   Side Note: I would like to take a moment to acknowledge that there are times when healing does not come in the time frame we hoped or desired; when we have to say goodbye to those we love or continue walking through life impacted by illness or broken relationships. These experiences can often leave us confused and feeling like we didn’t have enough faith. May you hear today that God loves you and desires for us to be freed from our suffering, even if the timeline does not make sense to us.

   How have you experienced God’s healing recently? I have seen God restoring life-giving relationships between students, the Youth Leaders, and the Summer Staff as we are able to participate in Swim Studies, Summer Camp and Outreach events together. I have witnessed God’s healing in my own life through many years of therapy and more recently learning how to manage an autoimmune disease. I have watched God heal people from illness and physically restore their body. I have seen people love family members who blatantly disagree with them. 

   What are the stories of God’s healing in your life and those around you? May we be people of great faith who humbly receive Jesus’ gift of healing that changes our lives forever.

Pastor Meagan Bergem

Assistant Pastor of Children & Youth