Comfort and Joy

February 14, 2024

EDMOND, OKLA. – A delightful afternoon of “comfort and joy” was recently enjoyed by more than 120 women (and a few men) from across Oklahoma on Dec. 10, 2023. The fun holiday celebration and brunch were held by Oklahoma Conference Women’s Ministries (WM) and graciously hosted by the Edmond Seventh-day Adventist Church. 

The ladies enjoyed much overdue laughter and conversation as they enjoyed the scrumptious and beautifully presented fare of quiche, avocado toast, salads, pastries, tea and much more! The WM department collaborated with the Edmond church WM leader, Julie Marehwa, to assist with the planning of the brunch. Marehwa invested many hours to ensure nothing was spared for the ladies! In addition, Maxine DeCocq, an Edmond church charter member, perfectly paired seasonal décor for each table to make it more special. And those few men mentioned earlier—Richard Bell, Ira Farley, Irv McKey and Rick Mercer—went above and beyond to cheerfully assist in meal prep, serving and catering to the ladies for several hours.

Frolic and fun continued with a few Christmas games which evoked a little spirited competition by the women. They eagerly worked to be the first to finish the A-Z nativity word race and the Christmas carol word scramble! Some very happy winners were the recipients of seasonal kitchen gadgets, ornaments and “Fa-la-la-la-la” socks.

The festive brunch transitioned into an inspirational time of worship led by Torre Gerling from the Moore Seventh-day Adventist Church. The ladies beautifully echoed their voices together as they sang the heart-touching songs “Mary, Did You Know” and “Silent Night” followed by Gerling’s special, “Light of the World.”

As the event was being planned, a recurring sentiment of “comfort and joy” surfaced especially as so many women experience isolation. Additionally, some are in a season of grief due to a variety of losses in their life. There seems to be a craving for more comfort and more joy with the challenges we each continue to face. Our hearts need a helper and I wanted the participants to experience a special touch from their Savior during the holiday season, leading to the selection of the “Comfort and Joy” speaker, Eve Diaz-Mora. Diaz-Mora, the wife of Oklahoma Conference Youth Director Israel Mora, did not disappoint as she enthusiastically shared how God is lovingly caring for us during the “seasonal” changes of our lives and that we can find comfort and joy no matter what particular season we are living in today. She chose the biblical character of Mary to portray, identify and emphasize how we too can find calm in the chaos. 

Diaz-Mora left us with three key points to help us move forward in a seemingly difficult season:

1. Surround yourself with Godly people (like Elizabeth was to Mary); 2. Find your purpose and serve; 3. Keep God’s Word in your heart. 

By implementing these three key points, we can be an “Elizabeth” to other “Marys” as well as intentionally seeking God’s will in our life so we can serve Him with our best gifts! As we study God’s word and pray daily, He will make clear our path and provide peace in each situation. 

Scripture says that we can expect trouble, but that doesn’t mean we can’t experience true tidings of comfort or joy during these uncertain times. It is in Jesus Christ alone that we can find true comfort and true joy. In fact, He comforts us with these words: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.

By Cindy Mercer