2 Corinthians 12:9-11 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
“For the first time, I truly saw my own depravity and my complete need for grace,” said Julie Sedberry. “After our second child was born, I joined a Beth Moore Bible study at a friend’s home. Through this study, the Lord showed me what I was missing in my understanding of the gospel. Since then, the Lord has offered me one experience after another to know and understand how trustworthy He is.”
“I remember my summer camp counselors so clearly sharing the gospel when I was 8 years old. This is my first memory of hearing the gospel and my need for a Savior. Although my family stopped going to church, I continued to go to summer camp, and that’s where the foundation of my faith started. Growing up, I had a works-based understanding of my faith. I thought it depended on whether I did the right thing or not. I’m a prideful, perfectionist by nature and this works-based mindset continued well into my late twenties.”
“After getting married to Scott and having our first two children, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. This disease really wears you down in the details: the minute to minute journey of tracking blood glucose, the amount of insulin in your body, and how much insulin you will need in the future. You have to constantly be aware of yourself. It’s super easy to get lost in the daily grind of this process and believe you are in control of your future.”
“My struggle to trust the Lord was amplified when I became pregnant with our third child. The entire pregnancy I tried to control everything that was happening in my body and to my baby. The pregnancy was fine, but when our son was born there was a giant knot in his umbilical cord. In that moment, I felt the Lord reminding me of what I already knew to be true. Witt was a perfectly healthy baby born into multiple life-threatening situations. I didn’t even know what to be worried about throughout his pregnancy and birth, but the Lord had it all under control. He was trustworthy.”
“After moving to Texas, I began participating in the Women’s Bible Study at Watermark. I am thankful to be a part of a church that prioritizes women studying the Word together. Over the past couple of years, I have learned so much through the study of what it means for Christ to work in and through me. God also continues to grow me through leadership opportunities with this ministry. It is easy for me to feel ill-equipped or as if there’s somebody more qualified for my position, but that’s a great place to be because it keeps me dependent on Him. I’m in constant prayer about the Lord using me despite my weaknesses, because I know that’s where He wants me to be: Willing, relying on Him, and excited to see what He will do next.
“Through unemployment, hardships in our marriage, and health issues, our community group and other close friends have been hugely instrumental in our faith. They were in the mess with us, on their knees in prayer, and truly holding us accountable where we needed it. They encouraged us every step of the way. I can’t imagine what it would have looked like if we didn’t have abiding friends pointing us to the Lord and his best for us.
“Having community and being involved in a local church has played a huge role in my family’s life, especially our children’s lives. Our kids, who are in elementary school and high school now, don’t know anything different than being surrounded by biblical community. Living openly and authentically and pursuing the Lord in a way that is the most important part of their life is normal to them. I couldn’t ask for a better situation. There is one opportunity after another for our kids to know what it’s like to trust the Lord and step into the world the way He’s created us to.”
“Reflecting on my life, my story has been season after season of the Lord showing me how trustworthy He is. He’s repeatedly shown me the need to lay down my struggle with pride and control through trials like health issues, unemployment, ministry opportunities, and marriage. The world makes you feel like it’s up to you and your own gumption to handle everything, but I’ve learned that doesn’t work. I heard the gospel when I was 8 and now, I’m 46. I’ve learned that control is no longer my goal but instead my goal is to take one step after another in obedience - trusting the Lord with the outcome. This is where I have found freedom. Now, I’m free to love others with all I have.”