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Life transitions can be tough; don't go it alone
Stephens Ministry
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There are thousands in Liberty County and the surrounding coastal areas who remember the “good old days.”
In the Baby Boomers’ younger days, life seemed easier and families seemed closer. It was a time of hula-hoops, hot rods, cherry Cokes, going steady, Veronica and Betty, white bucks, blue suede shoes and “I Like Ike.”
Veteran’s parades brought the whole town out, and nothing was better than mom’s cooking after church on Sunday.
Then fast forward to today. Baby Boomers are retiring, drawing pensions and Social Security. Their grandkids are becoming teenagers and some are starting their own families.  
They’re told to go “live the good life.” After years of hard work, they’re told to buy a condo in Florida, a motor home to travel the country, or watch the grandkids grow. People say how lucky they are not having to punch a clock and being able to do what they’ve always wanted.
But for many, retiring is not possible. Stock market losses have paved the way to working without a retirement date. “Empty nesting” has been replaced by kids and grandkids living at home again. Lifetime dreams have been replaced by gloom, health-care issues and rising costs of living.
These issues have created an environment difficult to bear. Spouses are lost at an early age due to unexpected reasons. Company guidelines force retirement at specific ages and workers search for jobs in an unfamiliar field.  
Just when the last child leaves the house and parents begin to enjoy the freedom of less responsibility, children return to the nest with no money, no job and no place to go. In many cases, they bring their own families. Some Baby Boomers face the challenge of caring for their parents, as well.
Adjusting to retirement is a struggle as well. Too much free time can lead to feelings of abandonment and neglect. Depression sets in, spousal relationships can be damaged, substances are abused and self-esteem crushed.  
But there is someone who can help. Stephen Ministers are trained specifically to help with major life adjustments. Each Stephen Minister is commissioned as a trained caregiver and will be there during hard times. They’re available for simple needs, too.  
Stephen Ministers are the “after people” — after the retirement, after the news of a serious diagnosis, after an accident or affliction. Stephen Ministers help people cope with long-term or unexpected circumstances or issues that strike at the hearts of families.
There are more than 400 Stephen Ministry churches with 1,000 trained Stephen Ministers in Georgia. There are eight highly trained, caring men and women of all ages at First Baptist Hinesville and they’re ready to help.  
If you or someone you know could benefit from the guidance of a caring Stephen Minister, call John at 9320-7840. Stephen Ministry services are confidential, gender-sensitive and one-on-one. Stephen ministry is faith-based but faith is not a condition of service, and there is never a cost.
Learn more about the global Stephen Ministry program online at StephenMinistries.Org.
And on the 234th birthday of our great country, may God Bless America!

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