Resilient Joy” was the timely topic discussed at the August 22, 2020, women’s ministries event, and one of their first online presentations with speaker Heather Thompson-Day, interdenominational presenter and associate professor of communication for Colorado Christian University.
Jo Dubs, Georgia-Cumberland women’s ministries director, said that the pandemic has brought uncertainty, more stress, and a sense of loss for the way life used to be. She said, “We purposely chose the Resilient Joy theme so each one could begin changing their views on how life is in 2020 — to change your focus from how much better life was before 2020, to how does my relationship with Christ help me live a resilient life no matter the circumstances.” Dubs added that Thompson-Day provided the necessary tools to equip women to make that mental change.
Thompson-Day provided a thought-provoking and timely presentation, first helping everyone understand why they might need joy, and then sharing ideas and ways on how to cultivate a Bible-given, resilient joy.
Dana Mac Austin, who serves with the conference’s women’s ministries leadership team and is a member of the Marietta Church in Georgia, said, “This was excellent. Talking points were practical, real, and much needed.”
Data was shared during the Thompson-Day presentation that explained how Americans work more hours than people who live in other countries, they don’t take or get vacations, and that this reality hurts their productivity. Interestingly, those with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be engaged, have a higher quality of work, and a better well-being. They are even less likely to be injured.
On the other hand, if there is a negative atmosphere it will probably generate distrust that “undermines your brain’s ability to build empathy and cooperation,” said Thompson-Day. “The brain cannot distinguish between fantasy talk and reality when perceiving negative events. It always assumes real danger exists. Spending energy thinking on negative thoughts can disrupt your sleep, your appetite, and the way your brain even regulates happiness.”
The good news is there are more than 3,500 promises in the Bible. Thompson-Day said, “Studying Scripture isn’t about being ‘holy’; it’s about training your brain to respond to attacks by the devil with the promises of God. The brain can’t recall what we haven’t read.”
She asked everyone to write down a spiritual goal, saying, “Life will never give you time to spend with God.” It must be intentional. She added that if you feel you have nothing, “Give God your empty.”
Georgia Cumberland | November 2020