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Letter: Oak Grove Women's Conference a great success

Thank you Harford County for joining Oak Grove Baptist Church in our annual Women's Conference held on March 30. We were blessed to host our speaker, Jessica Long for the day. Jessica is a paralympian swimmer who has participated in the 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 Paralympic Games. She is the second-most decorated paralympian in U.S. history with 13 gold medals and has qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.

Jessica focused her talk on: You are Bigger Than Your Struggle. She recounted her life of being born in Russia with missing bones in the lower part of her legs, to being adopted at the age of 18 months by a Baltimore family, to feeling angry at God for her disability, and enduring 25 surgeries and recoveries. Yet, through her honesty and vulnerability, she shared how she has overcome so many trials and now actively pursues Jesus. Jessica readily admits her life would have been easier with legs. However, she has discovered that God made her the way He did for a reason and that without legs she found swimming and a platform to share the goodness of God.

Jessica shared the verse, Deuteronomy 31:8 — “The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” She said confidently that a God who loves us enough to be right by our side can be trusted. He can handle our questions and is ready to meet us exactly where we are.

Jessica concluded her remarks with these words: “I want you to remember that God doesn’t just want you to struggle and survive. He wants to be with you so you can thrive, bless you in the midst of your pain, and use your tests to be a testimony and encourage others to hold on and lean into His glory and strength.”

If interested in learning more about Jessica Long, pick up a copy of her book, “Unsinkable,” through Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

In addition to our speaker, the conference was highlighted with worship music by Lindsey Lewandowski, Emily Carver, and the Oak Grove praise band.

Special thanks goes to Henry Jones of Kingsville Station White Marsh for providing the most delicious, individually boxed lunches.

Our conferences allow women an unhurried time in fellowship and learning — so please join us next year for our 10th Anniversary Women’s Conference at Oak Grove Baptist Church, 2106 Churchville Road, Bel Air. To find out more information about our conferences and other events, please check: http://www.oakgrovebaptist.com/women.

Diane Weih, Forest Hill and Mary Frances Tracy, Jarrettsville

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