Grief and Suffering

An Online Conference for People with Chronic Illness

Hello Wild Rose Journal readers! I’ve missed you. I have been thinking about doing posts more often, but I have to wait until we get my computer fixed. But meanwhile, today I have two special announcements for you, one today and one tomorrow!

Do you recall Sara Willoughby? She’s the author of He’s Making Diamonds: A Teen’s Thoughts on Faith Through Chronic Illness and a friend of mine. (If you don’t have a chronic illness, I am willing to bet you know someone this announcement will bless, so keep reading!)

A while ago, Sara and I and some other friends were talking about ideas to connect her with more chronically ill young people. I mentioned an idea, but thought to myself, “That’s way too much work. There’s no way Sara will even want to do that.”

But, several months later, she has put in hour after hour of labor to present (drumroll please!) an online conference for chronically ill Christians, called Diamonds 2019. The theme for this year is Living Hope, based on 1 Peter 1.

Pretty cool, huh? I really can’t take credit for anything beyond giving Sara a little idea. She’s so amazing and wonderful and has worked incredibly hard to make this conference an amazing, FREE event. (Yes, that’s right. Although I know Sara deserves to be paid for all her work, she wants so much to bless people with chronic illness.)

What you need to know:

Where: The conference will be held live online. So you can watch from wherever you can find WiFi . . . even if health issues force you to be stuck in bed.

When: It will run from Friday, January 25th, through Saturday, January 26th.

What it costs: Diamonds 2019 is completely free. Sara Willoughby and each of the speakers understand that many facing long-term sickness struggle with medical bills and other financial burdens. They don’t want this to be one of them. Your heart and soul need care just as much as your body does, but sadly it’s often neglected. The conference team wants to help you care for those parts.

Who is presenting: They have an awesome line up of speakers, if I do say so myself. People like Vaneetha Rendall Risner, Kristen Wetherell, Sarah Walton, Esther Smith, Isabella Morganthall, Emily Ryan, Stephanie Kehr, Sara Willoughby, and others! And Joni Eareckson Tada will be popping in to say hi! (Can you believe it? I grew up admiring Mrs. Tada and now she’s speaking at my friend’s conference!)

Who this is for: Anybody and everybody is welcome to come. Yes, Diamonds 2019 is targeted to Christians facing long-term sickness, and that will help guide the topic and themes. However, that doesn’t mean no one else can be encouraged by it. Caregivers, family, and friends will also enjoy it. And even if you don’t have any connection with illness at all, I am convinced that the same truths we need in illness are the ones we need in any trial. Packaged differently, but at the core it’s the same. So if you or someone you know is going through a difficult time, please come. Diamonds 2019’s purpose is to help equip you to fight, even when the battle is long and hard.

Why we are doing this: So many chronically ill Christians feel so alone. You struggle with questions you don’t think you should have. You battle fear and discouragement. These speakers have been there. They want to offer you life-giving hope. They  want to refresh you for a weekend — providing truths you can hold on to when the going gets tough — so that you can fight that the child of God that you are. With confidence and hope.

How do you register: Does this sound like something you or someone you know would be blessed by? Well, here’s the good news: registration officially opens today! You can be the first to claim your spot. After me, that is, because I’m all signed up. Don’t forget-it’s completely free. Just follow this link:

Let me know if you’re coming in the comments!

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