Widows reminded to love ‘the God of all comfort’
FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Conference speakers reminded women of the presence of God through trials and encouraged them to rejoice despite circumstances during “Grace for the Journey,” Widows’ Might Conference 2010, May 15.
The conference was the first of its kind at Southwestern, with 31 women making the journey to Fort Worth from cities around Texas and from as far away as Memphis, Tenn. The women took this opportunity to share a light lunch, a musical guest, prayer time for the seminary and conversation over coffee during the morning and early afternoon sessions.
Speaker Carol Ann Draper, whose husband, Jimmy, is a former SBC president and retired president of LifeWay Christian Resources, gave the first talk of the conference. She reminded the women that the Bible is “God’s love letter to us,” thus stressing both the preciousness of it and the personal way that the Holy Spirit applies His Word to our hearts.
“Jimmy and I dated through the mail,” said Draper. “And every day, I got a letter when I came home from high school. I was a senior in high school, he was away at college, and we could send a letter back and forth for three cents. Some of you remember those days!” she said, to gentle laughter.
“Anyway, I got this letter, and I thought, ‘Oh, I’m so busy, maybe I’ll tuck it in my pocket, and I’ll read it later.’ Absolutely not! I ran in the bedroom, tore it open, and read it, and re-read it, and read it again. And why did I do that? Because I was in love with the author. Oh, ladies! Are you in love with the Author? He has a love letter to share with you every, every day.”
Dorothy Patterson, wife of Southwestern president Paige Patterson, echoed Draper’s convictions by declaring that the comfort that brings deliverance from anxiety is available to us, and that it is given so we can comfort others as we have been comforted by God (2 Cor. 1:3-11). Teaching from what she said is one of her favorite passages of Scripture, she reminded the ladies that God is the “Father of mercies and the God of all comfort” (v. 3).
Joyce Rogers, the final speaker for the conference, shared from her personal experience how she dealt with the years after her husband, pastor and former SBC president Adrian Rogers, passed away in 2005. She shared that in her journey, she found it was necessary to “look up” and keep a heavenly perspective; to “look in,” not in unhealthy introspection, but in trust that “God can make me better instead of bitter;” and to “look out” in service to others.
The Widows’ Might ministry at Southwestern exists to bring together widows of all ages, backgrounds and life circumstances, uniting them together for prayer and fellowship. The ministry offers bi-annual events on the Southwestern campus and is planning more conferences in the future.
For more information, contact Karen at (817) 923-1921, ext. 7200, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.