God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble.”
Recently, we had a bad thunderstorm come through our city in the middle of the night. I was awakened by the rain hitting the side of our house and then I heard the loud thunder. The first thing I thought about was whether or not the thunder was going to wake up our three sleeping children. After a couple more rumbles of thunder, I could hear my 4 year old son’s footsteps coming down the stairs and straight towards our bedroom. He has a huge fear of thunder, so I knew he was upset to be awakened by it. The first thing he did when he got into our room was come to my side of the bed and wrap his arms tightly around my neck. He stood there for almost a minute, holding on for dear life. He then scooted onto the bed, never letting go of his grip. After a couple minutes, the thunder stopped and we journeyed back up to his bed, where he quickly fell back to sleep.
My husband, who is the worship pastor at our church, told this story to our congregation, during our time of worship a couple of weeks ago. He said that as he thought about how our son didn’t hesitate to run to us in his time of great fear, he realized how many times he doesn’t run to God when he deals with fear or trials. That is something that I know to be true in my life as well. When I get upset, become filled with fear, or feel out of control, I know my first steps are not always headed towards God. Rather than run straight to Him, sometimes my first instinct is to call my husband, vent to my mom, or even to look on Google for an answer to my problem; which, by the way, can actually be a very bad idea that fills me with more fear.
Talking to our friends and family, when we’re going through a difficult time, is not a bad thing, but it can become an unhealthy habit when it is what we depend on most for help. We should be looking to God and His Word for our main source of comfort and wisdom. He should be the first one we run to! Psalm 46:1 reminds us of this beautiful truth: “God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble.” I am so thankful that no matter what our circumstance may be, God is always there. We should not just be going to Him as our last ditch effort, we should be sprinting with everything we have straight into His arms, holding on as tight as we can and never letting go.
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.