My three year old son and I often go on walks around our neighborhood. Throughout certain times of the year, our neighbors put up outdoor decorations for the season. However, as the seasons change, the decorations come down. One day, when we started on our walk, my son asked me, “Mom, where did the decorations go?” I explained that they were put away because the seasons were changing; yet as we continued on our walk, and saw more houses without decorations, he kept asking me the same question. As I continued to give him the same answer, I was wondering to myself why he kept asking me that over and over, knowing what I was going to say. In that moment, God opened my eyes to the fact that I am just like my son. I often find myself asking God the same questions over and over again, even though He’s already given me the answers. Some of these questions are things like, “Why did You let that happen?” “Do You hear my prayers?” or “Do You even care that my heart is breaking?”
The answers to all these questions are found in God’s Word and although they remain the same, we continue to ask the same questions. Most of the time, we don’t get exact answers to our questions, but these truths are the only answers we need. When we wonder why He allows something bad to happen, He answers us in Romans 8:28: “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.” When we doubt He hears our prayers, He lovingly tells us in Psalm 34:15, “The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and His ears toward their cry.” And when we wonder if He cares about us, we’re reminded in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
It’s easy to memorize and say these truths, but we have to take it a step further and believe them. Oftentimes, we don’t believe them because we don’t feel like they’re true when tragedy strikes. Thankfully, God and His word never change and their validity is not based on how we feel about them. They are ALWAYS true!
As my son and I were finishing our walk that day, he randomly said to me, “I know why the decorations are put away,” and he repeated the exact answer I told him five times. My heart was so happy when I realized that he heard and accepted the truth of what I told him. Like my son, I want to stop questioning God when bad things happen, and instead believe and claim the truths of God’s word.
My precious husband, Bill, and I have been planted in Fort Myers, Florida for almost 35 years. As a newly married couple, God most graciously had placed people in both of our jobs to share Christ with us. Its hard to believe it has been almost 34 years since we asked Jesus into our hearts! Bill and I have been blessed with four children, 3 daughters, then a son. These blessings came quickly, all within 6 years!! During these years I'm so thankful I was able to be part of women's ministry classes at our church, helping me to grow in my walk with Him. Then came the day when I was asked that question that stretched me way outside of my comfort zone...will you teach a class? Its hard to believe that I have now been teaching more than 20 years. Bill and I love to travel, most of the time going to visit our 9 grandchildren, oh ya, and their parents! I also love reading, walking and hanging out with some very special young moms in Beloved that bless my socks off!
Julie is a Kansas girl who resides in sunny Southwest Florida. She's been married to her husband Sean for 23 years and they share two boys ages 21 & 17. She enjoys baking and biking, but her absolute favorite thing is snow skiing which is a little difficult to do in a sandy 80 degree land.
She became a follower of Christ at age 10. She loves studying and teaching God's Word. She has a passion for encouraging moms to love and follow Jesus.
Beth grew up in a loving home; however, in her early 20s she faced a very lonely time. During that time, she cried out to God and asked “If You are real, please show yourself to me!” God met her where she was and she trusted in the Lord Jesus at that time. Her life verse and desire is “no matter what happens, to conduct herself in a manner worthy of the gospel.” Philippians 1:27
Beth now resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband Larry. The Lord has blessed them by blending their family of five children. They currently have eight grandchildren and are hoping that there will be more grandchildren in the future.
Donna accepted Jesus as her Savior at the age of nine and has been amazed at God’s goodness and faithfulness throughout her life. She has been blessed to have had many mentors through each season of life, who have shown her what trusting God looks like. Donna and her husband, Bryan, make their home in central Arkansas. They have five grown children and are grandparents to wonderful grandchildren. Donna enjoys spending time with her family, laughing with friends (usually over coffee), going for long walks with her husband, and reading a good book (which may also be accompanied by a cup of coffee).
Sarah is a true Florida Cracker. She was born and raised in Southwest Florida. At the age of 6, Sarah accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior, and she hasn't looked back since. Hebrews 13:8 is one of her favorite verses, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Eating delicious desserts, spending time with her family and friends, and teaching people about Jesus are a few of the things she enjoys to do in her spare time.
Sarah has been married to her best friend and husband, Brandon, for 7 years. They have been blessed with one beautiful, determined son, Asher, who keeps them on their toes. Sarah and her family live in the Tampa area. They love exploring their community together, family hugs, and eating pizza whenever possible.
Katie Flint just recently moved back home to Fort Myers, Florida with her husband, Ryan and two children, Collins and Madden. At the age of 5, Katie accepted Jesus Christ to be the Lord and Savior of her life, after attending Vacation Bible School. Through each phase of her life, God has shown her that He alone is trustworthy. The verse that has been her life source is Psalm 46:10- “Be still and know that I am God.”
She is a stay-at-home mom and enjoys exercising and baking. She has been married to her husband Ryan for almost 9 years, who is her high school sweetheart. They enjoy trying new restaurants, family trips to the beach, and relaxing at home.
Marsha grew up in a small rural town in upstate New York. In 2006, after finishing college, she moved to sunny SW Florida where she met her, now husband, Shawn. Together they enjoy spending family time with their two fun-loving toddler boys Zachariah and Kairos.
Marsha enjoys living an active lifestyle, which is helpful, considering that her favorite hobby is baking.
Though she attended church as a child, Marsha was not saved until adulthood when her eyes were finally opened to the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.
Since being saved, God has placed a loving burden on her heart to share the truth about God’s healing grace with those who may feel like forgiveness is not possible for them.