Welcome! Today, I want to share with you who I am, the mighty ways God has worked to bring me to this leadership role, and some future visions and goals we have for this ministry.
Just a few months after my husband’s death, God started preparing me to serve in aNew Season Ministries. He started by prompting me to write about my journey. As soon as I told some friends about the prompting, I went home and wrote three devotionals and a biography that very day.
Then I waited…for almost a year.
During that year, God kept sending new people in to my life to encourage me to write. One woman even shared that she could see me speaking at conferences, writing books, etc. That vision was beyond my wildest imagination!
Yet, one day in October 2013, I noticed this ministry was accepting submissions from guest bloggers. Soon after submitting my devotionals, Kit called and asked if I would like to join the team.
In March of 2014, I participated in our first retreat in Virginia Beach. I can still remember how terrified I was walking into a room full of strangers when I still felt so emotionally raw. I remember Liz Anne Wright from our team, making it all “right” with her warm welcome and sweet hug.
I had to smile as I noticed a first draft of our devotional book sitting on our chairs; only God can pave such a path from His simple prompting over a year earlier. I was immediately reminded of the words the woman had spoken to me about her vision of me speaking at conferences and writing books.
A few months after the retreat, I felt God prompt me again. This time He impressed on my heart I needed to make more time for this ministry, and to do so, I was going to have to move. I really didn’t want to move– I had a job I loved and a wonderful church family that supported me through everything. I didn’t want to leave them, but God turned up the pressure. I finally contacted a friend (who is a realtor) to come to my home to advise me on what repairs I would need to make if I put it on the market “down the road”.
ONE week later, my house was sold and I had purchased a new home in Houston. I only had three weeks to finish up my job and move. Fortunately, God provided amazing friends who stepped in and packed my entire house. This whole scenario was way outside my comfort zone. By nature, I am someone who likes to plan things. I seldom make a $5 purchase without serious consideration.
This last year has flown by with getting settled in Houston, coordinating our Dallas conference in February, dealing with the loss of my father, getting established in a new church and watching my grandson several days each week.
Then Kit approached me, asking if I would pray about taking over leading this ministry. At first I hesitated, I felt so inadequate, but it wasn’t long before God confirmed this is where He had been leading me all along.
The dreams in my heart…
With each prompting, God has been building dreams in my heart for what He plans to do. He has broadened my vision from simply hoping to share my experience to help someone else, to dreaming about the impact this ministry can have on the Kingdom.
Here are some of the things that have profoundly touched my heart:
- Seeing how God puts order to my steps and has a much bigger vision for how I can contribute beyond anything I ever imagined.
- Meeting a woman at our first conference who told me that she had been a widow for five years and it was the first time she had met another widow. (Oh, my heart aches when I think about the isolation and loneliness so many widows experience.)
- Hearing our praise and worship team talk about how impacted they were by experiencing worship with our conference attendees. I began to realize we have a tendency to think more about the widow’s need, but we forget how much the rest of the kingdom needs to see God’s faithfulness in our lives!
- Reading your responses to our devotionals and learning to appreciate how much we need Christian community with other widows. We need others who understand what we are going through and encourage us to step forward in His truth. We need others who not only help us with the grief but also all the stuff that comes with the loss – burnout from care giving, shock from sudden deaths, emotional toll from suicides, raising children, dating again, financial issues, health issues, multiple losses, etc. And most importantly, we need help with the spiritual issues – like what is my purpose now? What is my part in His plan for building His Kingdom?
The next steps…
Behind the scenes, Kit and I are working on the many steps involved in transitioning the ministry into a nonprofit organization and recruiting advisors who can help this ministry align with God’s path for us. The team is also working diligently to offer another conference which we will be announcing in the next couple of weeks.
How can you help?
- Please continue engaging with us on our website and on social media. On Facebook, be sure to “like” us, “follow” us, and mark us as “see first” in your newsfeed.
- Share us with your friends. Even if your friends are not widows, they will be blessed by seeing God working in our lives.
- And PRAY for us! We have the same daily struggles you do.
- Pray for each other– in the body of Christ each piece is needed.
- Pray for this ministry and all that God plans to do through us.
The title, why a huddle, you might ask? Because I want to draw you in so we can work together as a team. This ministry is not about me, or the writing team, or even just about you. It’s about so much more.
So, when we call for a Huddle, join us, because we are all in this together!
It is an honor and a privilege to serve His Kingdom with you!
Sheryl Pepple is an author and speaker for aNew Season/A Widow’s Might Ministries. She lives in Texas with her yellow lab, Super Duper Cooper, and spends time with her two daughters, her son-in-law, and her grandson. She is a seasoned traveler and loves to visit great snorkeling and diving areas. Her husband was killed by a drunk driver in September 2011 and she lost her brother, the victim of an unsolved murder, years ago. Sheryl feels blessed to be able to share how evident God’s grace and faithfulness is in her life.
If you are interested in having her speak, please contact her via email at: email@example.com