All my life God has been preparing me for “such a time as this”. He has placed a calling on my life arranging for me to be a minister of His grace and to share the great hope of His redeeming love.
I became aware of God’s presence after many years of self-destruction, distorted views, and pressing soul pain. God would use all of it to drive me to my knees humbling me by the magnitude of His love. With knowledge that I was chosen, and accepting His mercy that I did not deserve, I surrendered my life to Him.
Realizing that I had been coping and managing my life in ways that were spiritually bankrupt, I began to allow God’s Holy Spirit access into all areas of my heart. I learned that I needed to face and accept the fact that I had been abandoned by one parent and the other had committed suicide and that I was also a survivor of sexual and physical abuse. Only then was I able to finally offer those deep, twisted scars to the Lord so He could heal the immense ache.
With the new-found freedom of knowing my identity is found only in Christ, it forged a fresh and healthy hunger for His Word. As a result, God has placed a passion for digging into and delivering His precepts to others, whether in Bible studies, as a retreat speaker, or for my own delight.
During my eighteen years of marriage and raising my children, God unfolded the sweet knowledge that with His Spirit’s power, unhealthy cycles from the past can in fact, be broken. When my husband, the love of my life, died after years of battling cancer (and the treatment for cancer), it was the first time I understood disorienting grief. Yet, there would be even deeper waters to cross as I would soon learn our youngest child would be diagnosed with cancer just ten days prior to my husband’s death. The number one and most important blessing is that God reveals Himself and is present in our sorrows. We never struggle alone!
After a time of God’s pruning, probing, and purging—to then filling, fostering, and fashioning, He began to equip me for the many ministries ahead. I started A.N.E.W, a grief support group, which I’ve been leading for years and I became a published author telling the story of the Lord’s faithfulness through the tough times in my life.
I also served for several years as the Director of Women’s Ministry at my church. Lacking my own personal family connections in those early years was the catalyst that drew me to bring women into a close, deep, community of friends that could serve the Lord together in one body.
An opportunity opened up for me to serve for several years on the Board of the Pediatric Family Advisory Group at Children’s Hospital Hem/Onc (cancer ward) in Seattle, WA. We discussed ways the hospital and staff could improve a patient’s time and care at the hospital.
Through the many rough roads I’ve traveled that’s where I’ve met Jesus and been drawn into a more intimate relationship with Him. These struggles have taught me to look to Christ in all I could ever need or want. They’ve also allowed me to continue to grow in His sustaining grace. Because I’m in a right relationship with God, and I know how to point and lead the way to His healing work, it has compelled me to become a Certified Grief Coach. Since the time I was freed from carrying the shame of sexual abuse, I’ve been able to share this same message of freedom with other abused girls locally and in the mission field.
God doesn’t always ask us to understand the difficult road - but He does ask that we will not choose to be ruled by our emotions and instead, stand in faith. Fellowship, praise, and trust are the signs of a maturing Christian as we become the “pleasing gifts” we give to the Lord!