Laurie Engelhardt knew the importance of support. In her fight with metastatic breast cancer her friends-in-the faith became her life-support-system. So moved by the way God works through community in her own life Laurie set out to encourage others to do the same, even while battling cancer. The logo to the left was co-designed by Laurie to inspire women to connect in this manner. Laurie wore this proudly! The pink ribbon set on its side is symbolic of the fish emblem that makes the distinction of being faith-based support. The aqua color of life pereserver represents diversity, not only cancer but all trials: sickness, heart ache, and brokenness of any kind. It's about women coming together in support of each other for any type of hardship. Read Laurie's story Violation to Validation
Linda's Story of Surviving Chronic Illness
by Paula Masters
Endorsing ministries to women that fall under the category of faith-based support.
SOS desires to throw you a life line of spiritual encouragement and support. Living with pain (emotional or physical) is not easy. Connecting with others who understand the journey can prove both spiritually and therapeutically beneficial.
True Source Ministries a web support and encouragement for women facing emotional stress such as discouragement, insecurity, inferiority, worry, etc.
GriefShare (Find a group near you) It may be hard for you to feel optimistic about the future right now. If you’ve lost a spouse, child, family member or friend, you’ve probably found there are not many people who understand the deep hurt you feel.
DivorceCare (Find a group near you) Don't walk through divorce or separation alone.
It was many years ago, shortly before the whole Eron debacle, that I met Linda Alfieri. Determined to stop this giant Corporation from putting up a toxic energy plant blocks from our house I canvased the local neighborhoods with flyers. I saw a lovely short haired blonde woman sitting in the front of her yard with her husband and small children. She was vibrant, full of energy, and family oriented. Naturally, I thought they were the perfect candidates for my safety spiel. So, I parked my car and walked over. I was right, they were horrified at the thought of poisonous cloud fumes reaching their home, and showed up at the town meeting the following night.
That was the last I saw Linda for 18 years, although I had heard through the grapevine that she had fallen ill, very ill. Over the years I received bits and pieces of information about her condition. It was never good. She was near death multiple times, and at points completely debilitated on a breathing tube. She not only had MS but four other major disease (including cancer) collide into her beautiful life. She was the modern version of Job without losing her family.
Imagine my surprise to see her standing tall and beautiful at a friends gathering. Her back was to me but as she stood holding a book she had written--I could tell it was Linda. Micky, who was the hostess, had shared before the party that Linda had journaled her story. I couldn't wait for the festivities to wrap up so I could get my hands on her book and talk to her face to face. What a joy it was to see how God sustained her during many years of illness. Her eyes sparkled with hope as we chatted.
I took Linda's book home and read it form cover to cover the following week. It was riveting! I was captivated by her journey. It brought so much perspective, especially for anyone living with chronic illness. There are so many people who struggle with undiagnosed ailments. She describes the frustration and constant battle of trying to get help from doctors who are unable to think outside the box, as well as, their conflicting ideas of what was wrong. If you have ever struggled in this way reading her words brings an instant sense of kindredness. C. S. Lewis shares that we can always tell that a true connection is happening when someone says, "What! You too? I thought I was the only one."
Linda also incorporates childhood trauma which she explains exasberates the condition of poor health. But it is her faith which shines brightly in her autobiography. God became her lifeline and ultimate place of strength. Naturally, I knew I had to share her story on Sisterhood Of Support. Linda's experience exemplifies the importance of support, both giving and receiving. You will be inspired after reading Linda's book Beneath His Wings.
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