by Yolande Morris
Have you ever walked into a room where the women were fierce, confident, walking in their purpose and dripping with the word of God? That’s the atmosphere that I walked into last weekend at the Fresh Oil Conference at Purpose Life Church in Brooklyn, N.Y. So, it was fitting that the conference theme was “Unbreakable” because I walked out with clarity and confidence, in a way that I have never felt before.
Free people, free people and ask for help.
Only women who are free, open, vulnerable and transparent can help you break through to your own freedom. These women were not there to perform, they were there help us break chains. When I walked in that room, I couldn’t help but to break free from the chains of conformity and religiosity, which is an insincere form of righteousness that is based on performance.
I learned the secret to their “unbreakable spirit” - obedience. When we do the things that God says to do, i.e. waking up early to spend time in His word, caring for His people, and loving others as He first loved us; He takes care of us and our needs. We learn to trust in His provision and guidance rather than our own self-righteousness. We also learn that we are not superwomen so we ask for help - we ask for help with our children, our marriages, we go to therapy, and we seek wise counsel. It’s cliche but we really are stronger together. The Bible says, a cord of three strands is not easily broken - you + Jesus/Holy Spirit + your village = Unbreakable.
“The Holy Spirit is a person, ask him for what you need.” - Naomi Raine.
Here are some more highlights from the conference:
Night 1: Kicking off the festivities was worship leader, Naomi Raine, who brought us to our feet with an original song called, Unbreakable, the theme of the conference. Then world renowned worship leaders, David and Nicole Binion, who sang the house down with songs from their latest album Dwell and one of my absolute favorite songs right now: Surrounded.
Enter, Pastor Sara, a powerhouse preacher with a fierce Jamaican accent a remarkable story of courage in the face of persistent adversity over sexual abuse, neglect, and violence. She reminded us about the “bounce back” and that “it costs too much to stay in a broken state.”
Panel discussion on mental, emotional and spiritual health in our churches, relationships, and marriages. The biggest takeaway from this panel was the need to cultivate a strong foundation in God’s word, take our thoughts captive daily, and overcome emotional trauma through prayer and therapy. Yes, therapy, we need the spiritual and practical to become truly unbreakable in every area of life.
Moderator: Yolande Morris, Founder + Editor-in-Chief of Wit + Grace Magazine
Naomi Raine - worship leader, wife and mother of three.
Gillian Garcia - hairstylist and girls empowerment leader
Dr. Jackie Greene - speaker, dentist, wife and mother of three.
Sade Solomon - faith and style blogger and Founder of Conversations Beyond
Abby Crews, licensed marriage and family therapist
Night 2: The Saturday afternoon sessions included messages from Dr. Jackie Greene, Pastor Sharo, the panel and a closing message from Jazmin Georges.
If you didn’t get a chance to attend the conference, there’s always next year. Check out freshoilconference.com for more details.
If you are interested in learning more about organizations and practices to help you overcome anxiety, depression, stress, addiction, grief, marital strife and more, check out these resources below:
For people interested in therapy services:
Check with your employer's EAP (Employee Assistance Program). Sometimes, they provide counseling, and other times they will refer you to the appropriate service or professional at no cost or copayment. They can also direct you to attorneys and other professionals for other issues.
Check with your insurance plan. Therapy may be covered just as medicine is covered.
Here is a list of therapists that we personally recommend:
Abby Crews - 6 East 39th Street, Suite 503, N.Y., NY - email@example.com
Tamara R. Buckley, PH.D., 718-877-1450, firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard Orbe-Austin/ Lisa Orbe-Austin - 928 Broadway, NY, NY 10010 917-765-7429
Melissa Diahann Lashley, Brooklyn, NY 11216, 929-244-2965
Visit Psychology Today to find a therapist near you: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us
Redeemer Counseling Services offers bible-based counseling on a sliding fee scale - Visit their website for counseling resources https://counseling.redeemer.com/training/newsletter/
Avail NYC provides after-pregnancy support and resources for women who have had miscarriages or abortions - https://www.availnyc.org/
If you have had a miscarriage - visit https://www.miscarriagehurts.com/
If you find that your insurance doesn't cover much or any sessions, also check out community mental health clinics.
If you are an undergraduate or graduate student, your institution will also have a counseling center.