Melissa Blount Women of Valor

When I think of women of valor, I think of women dressed in military suits adorned in medallions and upright and confident and strong. And when I found this beautiful woman and she introduced me to the women of valor collective where I had the beautiful opportunity to write and share with her community, I was enamored by how she provided confidence, day by day, by the stories of others into the insight of the valor that they could own under the love and adoration and promise of our Father in heaven.

Today, Melissa and I unpack what this community means to her, how it was established, and how it was designed even from her own testimony. And isn’t that exactly what God would have us do. He’d have us go through the fire to come out stronger. Perhaps in intimate situations, uncomfortable situations…well, mainly all uncomfortable! If you know anything about my story, there was not a lot of resting and not a lot of being and a lot of doing in how I was striving so hard to become. So it was such an honor…and honor and valor go so beautifully together…To sit alongside her and dream cast over this growing community.

Hundreds of women submitting their own stories to be shared. No filter in that. Simply an act of ministry. To spread the good news and to showcase how God shows up in all of those situations. And how He becomes the change agent in which we get to stand, adorned, with medals, saying I’ve done it. I can see Him hanging it over our neck as a daughter of the King most high and saying, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.

So I hope today as you listen, you feel inspired to write or speak or share your story in some way. And if you do, then Melissa is your girl. Reach out and check out the incredible website and community she is creating. And speak and know that you are a woman of valor.

Don’t feel quite like the aligned, pristine, pressed white suit yet? Know that it is yours for the taking, friend.

Melissa’s Formal Bio:

Melissa is a wife and mother of four adult children; Jordan, Malachi, Ephram, and Trinity.  She is currently working as an Operations Director in an Insurance Sales Corporate office and has for the last Fourteen years.  When she is not at work during the week, she is enjoying trips with her husband, and traditional dinners with her children after church each Sunday.

Melissa was inspired to tell her story while attending a women’s meeting at her local church.  A year ago, she started writing her story down and witnessing to her friends, family, and small groups.  Her stories have entertained, captivated, and encouraged many women.

​She started a women’s online chat group that pray and encourage each other daily. The miracles, through the power of prayer, and the ‘God-incidences’ as she calls them, that have taken place within this group have guided her.  It’s really been the driving force that has encouraged her to create this Ministry, Women of Valor Collective and to learn how to follow what she believes is the will of God on her life. The next chapter.

​Her objective is to spread the Word, encourage and touch as many women as she can through speaking engagements, the completion of her book, and social media mainstreaming. When she speaks to anyone and shares her story, she finds they are receptive, attentive, and they always tell her she needs to share this with others.  She is no longer walking in fear and wants to guide other women to be fearless.

Connect with Melissa Blount here:

https://www.womenofvalorcollective.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvk0bEv3TqBVz_IRKIEIgDw?view_as=subscriber

https://www.facebook.com/WomenofValorCollective

https://www.instagram.com/womenofvalorcollective/

Show Notes: Melissa Blount with Women of Valor

When I think of a woman, a baller, I think of someone dressed in a military suit adorned in medallions and just upright and confident and strong, and when I found this beautiful woman, and she introduced me to the women of valor Collective, where I had the beautiful opportunity to write and share with her community, I was enamored by how she provided competence day by day, in and out for the stories of others testimonies by giving them insight into the valar that they could own under the love and adoration and promise of our father and I and so today, Melissa and I unpack what this community means for how it was established, how it was designed, even from her own testimony. And isn’t that exactly what God would have us do? He’d have us go through the fire, have us unpack who we are in perhaps intimate situations, perhaps, uncomfortable situations, mainly uncomfortable, if you know anything about my story, there was not a lot of resting and that a lot of being… But a lot of doing in who I was striving so difficult and striving so hard to become, and so it was just such an honor and honor and dollar goes so beautifully together to sit alongside her in conversation, dream cast over the vision of this growing community.

01:45 S1: Hundreds of women submitting their own stories to be shared and no filter in that whatsoever, simply an active ministry, describe the good news, to showcase how God shows up in all of those situations and he becomes the change agent for which we get to stand adorn to the other metal to say, I’ve done it, and I can just see Him handing it over our neck as a daughter of the King moiety say, Well, time my good and fatal survey. And so I hope today this conversation blesses you, I hope that you feel inspired to write or speak or share your story in some way, and if you do, Melissa is your girl, so reach out, check out the incredible and community that she’s creating and speak and know that you are a woman of valor, and if you don’t feel quite like the aligned pristine pressed white suit yet, now that it is yours for the tape is bete or…

03:16 S2: Oh my gosh, I don’t know if you can hear or see that when it’s going live, but that new client was cute. I love, isn’t it so fun? That was new. So I am so excited for us to be here together, and I too feel like clapping and just being excited and grateful for the day, but more so importantly, just grateful to have an opportunity to get to know you more. We’ve been in communication for, gosh, a few months now, but ask me, our relationship evolve and everything that God is doing in your life, I’m just excited to see how that got to be and learn more about who you are, so you guys… This is Melissa, and she is with women of valor Collective, which is how we got connected. And so I would love for you to just introduce yourself, give us a little bit of your backstory, your bio, if you will, and we’ll die write in

04:09 S1: My name as well as I am from the north and moved down to Florida for a corporate job. And while I was down here, I found a church and kind of really just got back into my faith in my walk, I’ve been saved since I was six years old, but did my own thing and followed my own path for a while. I think we all kind of can relate to that, and so coming down here to Florida, I found a great church that I just started growing, and for years, I would say I need to tell my story or I need to write a book or something, and I’m not a writer by any means, but I felt this call to do something, to speak to other women, to encourage other women. I have four adult children. I know I don’t…

05:02 S2: Toaster skin is just glowing.

05:09 S1: That’s because one of my daughter’s 20 and she helps me with my makeup, right.

05:13 S2: If that’s the estates, I can imagine my daughter being that age, but I’m not excited, but I’m excited ’cause I am really in to my mom and it’s so cool. It’s

05:23 S1: Fun. She’s like my best friend, she’s in college now, but saved for all of my life, and I just did what I wanted to do. I knew God, I knew the law, but I didn’t have a relationship, so I didn’t have this love or connection, I just was thinking, This is what I have to do and I have to do this. To go to Heaven, yeah. Yeah.

05:49 S2: Instead of women heard of or thought of it as like the law, it is the law, essentially Old Testament like here, here this, do this, do this in order to be under the grace of the Lord, gonna get into heaven, just like you’re saying, it’s like, here you only get your keys if you follow the rules, right, like you’re the mom, you understand the

06:09 S1: Digital… I knew the commandments, I knew how I should do the right thing, but we didn’t have this relationship that I have now with God where I’m talking or… When we talk about WBC, I’ll explain. I was arguing with God saying, No, that’s not what I wanna do. A real relationship. And so in doing that, I started stepping out into some other areas because all my children grew up, went to college, moved out… What have you… And I found myself with a lot of extra time on my hands, and I said, Okay, I’m gonna write a book. I wanna write about some of these experiences in my past and some of the mistakes that I made, and some of the things that God brought me out of a very abusive relationship and marriage and issues that were… That are deep… That are very deep, and to help other women, and I didn’t know what that looked like, so I just kinda went into… I went to she speak as I went to conferences, I started painting, I started writing, I just started developing different… Me, time it.

07:26 S2: I love 25 years raising children, so… Yeah, and I would love to know or any of the listeners that are on now, What… How old are your kiddos? How many do you have? Because I feel like we’re kind of straddling, like I’m a mama, but my kiddos are young, and then you’re on that other spectrum of your kiddos are growing still… They’re still pretty young. My mom always tells me that raising children never ends, and so even though they’re out of your house, she says it’s actually harder now that we’re grown because she worries about us more because you don’t have that control factor or that Monahan factor of like, they come home to my nest in the night time and I can take care of them, it’s like they’re out with their own families, and they’re doing their own thing and there’s… That control is gone, so really releasing them to the Lord is by a whole another learning lesson for you for motherhood.

08:15 S1: Well, and it’s also a way the enemy attacked me and held me back for a little while as resting, I knew that I only knew the law, so when I was raising them, I did the same thing. Sure, and I didn’t teach them. They went to Sunday school, they know the Veggie Tales was in my house all the time, but they… They don’t have… To this day, I don’t know that they have a real relationship as adults now because I just didn’t teach, I didn’t know better. And would say to the women that have younger children, that’s your mission field right now is to make sure… The number one thing is to make sure those children have their own relationship with Christ, and not just, This is what we do on Sundays, this is, you know, this is what you’re supposed to do. It has to be a loving, mutual back and forth between the child and God, and it’s personal, it’s theirs. That’s

09:11 S2: So good. How then do you emulate that for them to learn now, because even though you’re their mom and they’re grown, and you might think that you don’t have as much influence ’cause they’re not there in your home, you do, and you matter, and they still see you and still watch you and they still wanna glean from you and get wisdom from you, especially as you’ve gone through some of these dark times that you’re talking about, like teach us. How can I impart that now? Well, one thing that I constantly do, and I heard somebody say this, I send every single day, I send them something, whether it’s a funny meme of Scripture or a lesson or something, we have a group text, and I send it every single day and people would say, Well, they’re not reading any of that, and I said, You know what, if they only read five out of the 65 days out of the year, then let that be the five, let that be what sinks into them. Right, so that’s the first thing. The

10:13 S1: Second thing is, my mentor, she’s the leader of my life, or be church, HAO, she also writes for the blog on our website, she told me one time, and I just love this, I call it a HARO wisdom. God doesn’t make grandchildren. He makes children only. And so when I sat down my daughter on a college and said, Trinity, You are a daughter of God just like I am, there’s no grandchildren here in the kingdom, so you are equal to me in God’s eyes now as an adult, and you’re gonna be standing in front of him without me. I’m not going to be there. You’re responsible now for her own… Because you’re a daughter of the king, right?

10:56 S2: Yeah, that’s like I call… It’s an interesting to think of it that way, because I always feel like I’m having conversations about generational change or generational curses or any of that, and so to think that there… And there’s the individualism in that experience, and so you have to answer to God and lead

11:19 S1: Once they’re at that age of maturity or at the age where they understand, God does hold them responsible and they are responsible for their own relationship and it’s knowledge, right? I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Yeah, now that I do, now I teach it to them. We also do… We started traditions and we have Sunday dinners every Sunday, and we get into some pretty heated conversations.

11:49 S2: Colony’s been interim sure. And even knowing that they’re also different and then there’s no rhyme or reason to it, and now their experiences are being infused into those perceptions, so… I love that. So tell me, when was the shift for you of being law to relationship, and what did that process and journey look like? I

12:16 S1: Think it was, I’ve always… I’ve all gone to people, I always felt that if you don’t know the answer, you go to somebody that does or that knows more than you write in any field or any meat, my job, wherever. So when I was struggling, I went to my pastor, and my pastor said, You need to know who you are as a daughter of God. And so I started searching and I started surrounding myself with women, like my mentor and different things that have much more… That had much more knowledge than I did, I was like a baby again, a baby Christian again, so I surrounded myself with adults and more mature Christians, and I think for the ministry, what really hit me was going to… That she speaks and going to do by myself and going in the only relying on God at that moment, ’cause I was very, very nervous, and it was totally out of my bubble in a room with 500 other women that are writers and experienced, and I’m like, Yeah, I wanna be a writer. I didn’t know.

13:32 S2: I didn’t watertight year, were you there?

13:36 S1: Let’s see. So this year, it was cancelled, it was the previous year. So we do 19. Okay, we don’t meet there that we didn’t either.

13:45 S2: As so many people there… I know, I know, but I’m always like when I hear something who’s at the same conference, I’m like, Did we meet there? Because there is a… I probably hugged you or… It’s something at some point, right? And so our pastor business card, I have to… My creative designer, I was like, I just wanna take the business card and just like some in the air, that way everybody gets one… I spent my money well, Merton, and then maybe it was… Maybe we crossed paths, right. It was an amazing experience.

14:13 S1: I never, I had never experienced anything like that. Yeah, every moment was God inspired every… But to answer your question, it was prior to that that I just started really looking towards mentors and answers and searching, and I believe that God intended me to go to that… To that conference, I’d never been to a conference like that before, my husband was a gold… Every step of the way, he just opened the doors for me to go and that the ministry was birthed. Because I thought I was going there to learn how to write a book. On the plane ride home, God said, No, you’re going to start a ministry. And I said, No, that’s not what I wanna do.

15:00 S2: That’s amino. Have this back and forth with God, you think you can argue with this plan. Yes, we do. We often do, that’s our tendency, but he… First as otherwise, right? So walk us through that. I call ministry an entrepreneurial journey because I believe it’s the same thing, you’re still establishing a concept, a business idea, a mission and value statement, all of those things, I still a community, you’re still serving, whether or not it’s in a monetary realm or not, I think it’s still a business. So walk me through that entrepreneurial experience of coming into this space, and if you’re still working, or this is a side hustle, if this is like a working… Okay.

15:47 S1: I am working in the career that I have is in operations, so I’m very corporate, very business-oriented. So when you hear God speak, not audibly, but when you hear that nudge and that push from him, my mind immediately, Well, how am I gonna do this with my job, how… And immediately you go to your own strength again, instead of relying on him, and so if I really just listened, I know what God was telling me was just right. And write a letter, I wrote a letter to 30 of my best friends on the plane coming home from Charlotte, wrote letter… Sent it out to them. And the letter basically said, I don’t know what this looks like, I don’t know what this is. I just know that God has called me to do this specifically for women, specifically to encourage women and to just support women in their walk with Christ, like I don’t even know what that… How do you make a business out of that? I don’t know, but just know that what he’s saying to me, and every one of those women… And said, I’m there, I’m with you, if that’s what you do.

17:01 S1: If you feel God is telling you this, I’m 100% behind you, and I’m not even kidding you. When I tell you, women just all over my mother, my mother is on the board of women that watched me grow up in the church as a child, helping and it’s just flourished. And turned into something completely different than I could have. Isn’t it amazing when you think you know what you do, what the plan is, and then God just blows you right out of the water in… Every single time. Every single time

17:34 S2: I think that that’s an experience, no matter if you’re in business or you’re in motherhood or your relationships or anything, and it’s just… I’ve learned that the more out of control I am, the more I released control, the more he actually provides in such an abundant wayside, DOI lived outside of my relational knowing of God for basically my whole life, and late into my 20s and everything was a control situation everything was by my might, by my hand, by my ability, by my energy, by mine, looks by everything I can do. And honestly, it’s how I believe is really how I was taught, and it’s a societal thing as well, and so when in our lives are we ever taught to submit it. So to learn how to submit when you’re a mother, already a wife or been in a relationship at that point, we’d been together for almost seven years, like how do you come under the wing, How do you come down to your knees? And it was a process of stripping away that I had to list, release that, lack of humility, released that confidence factor that was given based on… It worked half the time I was in control.

19:02 S2: It worked. But did it work? Freely, did it work well? Was I fully enjoy? Was I fully experiencing their fruit of the Lord? Absolutely not. He will, he

19:13 S1: Or did it fill the will you don’t wear that extend even… You don’t know how far that extends ’cause we’re trying to control who were affecting, but I’m affecting 100 people when you… You think your 10 is great. Yes.

19:32 S2: It’s so true, it’s so true. So I love, so establish the idea, you sent it out to people, which I love that you sent out to that circle of women who had been the influence in your relational understanding of the Lord, they were there to support you because that’s what they’re supposed to do and that’s what they do. ’cause they love you. How did you establish whether it was gonna be a blog or a podcast or… Right, so a lot of the women had amazing stories as well, and a few of them were writers.

20:04 S1: Not maybe published writers, but they loved to write, some of them were poets and… Which I loved your poem, and I think that what happened was really… We didn’t even have a name. And we didn’t have a mission statement. We didn’t have anything. And so when I put the group together, we just started adding women that gave their feedback and their experiences and their information and what they were good at, and God has drew everybody… We just kind of all fit together so nicely that we came up with a mission statement, I created a website, someone else helped do a logo, and then we were looking up online, women of dollar is everywhere, right? It’s years, there was a 500 women of all ministries. And the reason we came up with women of valor in the first place was because of Wendy Black’s message at that she speaks remember mind was so blown from that message about women were not the weak… They were not women of Varsha pole. That’s why we use that in the name of our ministry is because those words were not interpreted correctly, and it’s really women of strength, it’s women, it was a mill pre-term and it’s supposed to be strong, but we know the 16th century or whatever century English changed it so that you are…

21:36 S1: And so it’s funny that you use the word submit because people have a bad connotation with that, that…

21:43 S2: No, but it’s a… Yeah, I always see this understanding of submission actually takes you higher, and so it’s just, it’s the posture by what your heart is set before the Lord and before yourself, even to… And it’s not necessarily that you are weak, it’s actually in your strength, you’re capable of submitting, which… It’s just an oxymoron. And I think that it goes to show like God himself, he has so many different faces and he’s capable of the strong in the same moment that He can fill your week, and so he’s that good and he’s that multi-faceted, but it takes us a process of unbecoming in order to become. Right, right.

22:28 S1: And it was a relief act when I listen to that message because I had never heard it spoke in that way, and I was always, Well, I’ll never be a proverb 31 woman, I can’t attain that. But that’s not what… That wasn’t a command of God, it was a queen writing to her son and just saying, Look for a woman like this, and so we would want to aspire to that, but it’s strength that you get from them, and then you partner with your husband, and it just was it all came together? So nicely, the women that helped create the logo, fed ministry, that’s gonna be a word you’re gonna fight with for a while because you’re gonna… How are you gonna set yourself aside? We came up with the word collective motion of women. It’s a collection of writers, it’s a collection of authors, speakers, just mothers… Oh yeah, doesn’t matter what race and what to… What we decided to do was anybody that wanted to write, send us something and just… It started pouring in, and the easiest way I could create a website was to do a blog, so I just… Really no knowledge of how to do it.

23:45 S1: Toilets.

23:49 S2: So cool. That’s so amazing. And it is true, and the more that I’m connected with new Women and even men, that there are just so many different abilities within them, but every single person has a story, so I get to help alongside my creative designer, bring to podcast ideas that can serve God in His kingdom, in a righteous way. And whether this one that we just did is a guy who you wouldn’t think from the exterior that if you saw the podcast name, it would be something that’s like Kingdom-oriented, but it’s the mind, body and soul, it’s the full understanding of home. Wealth, just as much as it is pocket wealth, and then other people who are just bringing to life their own stories, all of them have a desire to share other people’s stories, and so we’re never gonna run out of stories, we have to just keep allowing a space for people to speak and write and share and show up, and so I am such a passionate towards that word collective because it’s so… The heart of the Word. Yeah.

25:00 S1: And we were even… We have staff meetings on Tuesday nights, and we were even talking about… ’cause we went to battle PRI in Savanna. It was a tent revival. It was so cool. And we were saying, Well, how do we present this? How do we have a book or a table and say, Hey, Hi, we’re a collection of women, so we decided to come up with some words and we decided that maybe it’s just prayer, maybe it’s just that we pray, and I love that you… When we first prayed earlier before we went live, that you said just the one… Because that’s exactly what we’re talking about, one. Now we are focused on women, but one woman at a time, if we can just get one woman to feel strong and get that mature relationship with Christ, then everything we do is worth it one at a time, so our new… For 2021, we’re gonna have a planning meeting and we are focusing on sewing, serving, supporting, encouraging and giving a… That’s it. That’s all it’s going to be, it’s not… We don’t want anything from you. We just want… Amazing

26:12 S2: Just to bring you up. Yeah, that’s so beautiful. And it’s so neat because that’s Jesus, right. That was his era. Those are deep calls though, those are calls, but to know that as you bring one up, and this is like business knowledge as well, but one touch is nine, which touches 16. So the ripple effect, which is inside of my coaching logo, is that you make that splash and you touch so many more people, and that one

26:42 S1: Person… I either was one woman that kind of was hanging around and we talked and we chatted, and eventually it got to tears and prayer, and back to them in just from a conversation. Do that more, right? I think that this pandemic, if it’s taught me anything is… I don’t do enough of that. I don’t personally do enough of that in my own life, but loving that we can have technology to at least stay connected, I love seeing the women that are on my staff, the co-founder, Tory, she’s in North Carolina, the Vice President, the secretary, the truth, Arizona. So we just get together once a week and do a live Zoom and say, So what can we do now? What’s that then what can we do

27:40 S2: Now? And that’s such a big thing, Melissa’s, because so many people, I was just literally right before this on a coaching call for some women that I’m helping establish their businesses, establish their ministries, and there’s all these questions, there’s all these ideas and directions that you can go and things that you could flourish within systems, you can create communities that you can devise, and ultimately it’s really about just taking that next small step, and the vision comes to fruition because it’s exceedingly abundantly more than you could plan. Again, we talked about that control. And so why try to vision cast What the end of 2021 is gonna be like when we don’t know what tomorrow’s gonna bring, and so it’s just in our active obedience, in our active submission within the calling that we then get to take the next step and the new door opens.

28:36 S1: Yes, and so our heart is just too… We have had a guest author every month, I asked you if you could write something, and I think that home is so perfect for the time and place that we were in, we just launched the website in April at, and we’ve got tons of authors… I don’t know if you know Lauren crew, she’s here in Florida with me. Yeah, and we just did her, Casey healthy. All these women that are online are doing their own thing, there is enough for everybody that we… Too.

29:15 S2: The beauty, right? Absolutely, and that’s why we have to… That’s where we’re called to touch all of these people and to speak out and to share our testimonies for that specific reason, SoCal, let me see

29:26 S1: This a month and next month we have my crystal stinging out a new book and we did a Bible study on Holy hustle, it was amazing, and she is so down to earth. And such a nice person, and she’s a pretty well-known published off our area. She just has a heart of gold. And so I would encourage anybody to go on crystal Stein’s website and get her new book that’s out, we just put it on our website also, and then next month, we’re gonna highlight holy hustle because she wrote that a few years ago, but it’s so good, so good. But the women like us that are working and

30:08 S2: Doing all the things yesterday… Do you know off the top of your head?

30:13 S1: I have, yes, I have it somewhere. But she is phenomenal, and just what a nice down-to-earth person, the book is quieting the shout of should it Unicode

30:30 S2: Quoting a sound of shouting, the shot of shutout of Wotton our home page now that’s like a timely and so applicable especially to women, because we have this… Basically, I already can see it happening when my daughter meet somebody new, she’s not even six years old, and right when somebody meets her, they’re already asking her what she’s gonna be when she grows up, they’re already talking about the beautiful girl that she is, or the beautiful woman, she’s gonna be on The Heartbreaker that kills me. I’m like, They’re not Heartbreakers, their heart makers stuff right now, do not speak that death over my child right now. Yeah, I like it, but just thinking about the people who need someone and they’re little and they’re just let them be little, they’re already putting your entire life out before them and they should do this, so you should go to college, which we’re not huge advocates for… I went, my husband didn’t, and I would have much rather been cultured, traveled and gone and to experience the learning, which is how we hope to teach our children and try to do with them on a regular basis. And then it’s time for them to get married, and then right after you get married, the very first question at your wedding is, what are you gonna have babies? I’m like, Wait, I haven’t been…

31:51 S2: I don’t even know what being married is like, and it’s just… Everything is a should, this is the next thing. This is what you should do next. And at the time, I

31:59 S1: Love it, I can’t wait to… We interviewed her and I can’t wait to post that, I’ll make sure I do. And she’s phenomenal. And it’s funny that you mentioned all of that because my children… I kinda didn’t answer you, but Jordan is 25, Malachi, 23 from I-21, and Trinity is 20, and I had a problem everyone.

32:26 S2: I’m like, Oh wow, I’m not going… If I knew how this happened, I’m like, Yes, I do, it’s just… That’s a Larry, they’re not a really cool… Yeah.

32:37 S1: Yeah. All that’s another funny story. They’re all table, and then when I had my daughter, I wanted a pelican name Mariam or Ruth or something to go along with the boys, and the trip came out and then this big movie, the main character’s name was Trinity, and so I said, Well, it’s kind of biblical, right. That

32:59 S2: Treasure. That’s so good. I love it, I think it’s beautiful. And when I read them on your bio, I was like, Oh, that’s interesting, it’s gotta get a story behind that. Okay, so I wanna go deeper here, Melissa, because you’ve talked to us about the highs, you’ve mentioned very briefly some of the lows, and I truly know that the testimony that brought you probably tissue speaks, or the testimony that brought you to that place of shifting from law to relationship that you mentioned, what did that season look like and how can you impart wisdom based on what you walk through?

33:36 S1: Well, I think that a lot of it is society clashing with biblical principles, I was married extremely young and had children prior to being married, I didn’t know my husband well enough to know what I was getting into ’cause I was 19… I can’t even imagine 19-Olds now dealing with what I dealt with, and I just… I wasn’t praying, I wasn’t following God, I was doing my own thing. And I really… It turned into abusive, abusive behavior, talk, physical, and I just as I continued on this marriage, I just kept thinking God’s kind of shame for something, God’s punishing me because I didn’t follow and what he told me to do because I was having children before I was married, but I got married, God, so I was always trying to fix it and thinking that the law was gonna save me when… That’s not the redemption story, so I just didn’t understand that and I finally, after 12 years, dot divorced, and that was a whole another almost death and the whole… Another something we all had to go through of Is this okay, that God hates divorce. And I just kept hearing all of that versus, No, God doesn’t want you to live in abuse, no, God doesn’t want you to live in this…

35:21 S1: You need to start searching for God’s heart and your calling, and I still didn’t, but I finally moved down to Florida, I met a few people that I continued to do what I wanted to do. And as the kids grew up, were older, I wanted better, and I just… God kept pulling any… And I know my mother didn’t stop praying, I was 30-something, and my mother was still praying, just like a man. They’re still praying for them. You contend to contend. Contend for your children. So I broke all the family curses, I joined Life Groups, I couldn’t get enough of small church groups or the women’s going to the event the church was holding, I did as much as I served, I did as much as I could to be around it, and I think that that was the change. It wasn’t an instantaneous. All of a sudden, I know some people do, and I know some people have that story, but for me, it wasn’t instantaneous, I knew Christ all my life as we were speaking in tongues at six years old running around the church, it was just that carinthian… So as I got older, it just morphed in it, and God just kept showing me to…

36:44 S1: Time after time, that he was there for me, time after time I would call out to Him and He’d be… And he’d just be there. And for me, it was a gradual… No, he really does love me. No, this really… And my Pastor did a great sermon that I’ve clung on to that therefore, because I’ve done all of this for you, right, you have to go to the therefore a timeslot

37:13 S2: It eventually… It’s so good, it’s so interesting because we’re called to have that child-like faith… Right, and you did. And probably even when you were younger, there was more of that relational understanding, it’s just, it grows out of you as you grow into the places that we shouldn’t be… Right, and it’s where we’re abiding, we’re supposed to be dividing a design, and if you’re abiding somewhere else, it’s going to show fruit of that somewhere else, and the root is usually rotten as you… An experience as I experienced, as I think everyone has tasted that experience in their life, and so… I love that regardless, when you’re looking back now, and maybe even in that time, you said you felt like God was still calling you, that there was still something, he would give you another sign, another spoken word, another affirmation to just keep pressing into who he is, and I just love that now you get to have that testimony to share back with your children and be an example to them. It’s so interesting, I was talking with my mom the other day, and our story lines are very different in comparison to like my journey and my relationship with the Lord was established relationally before hers was, and as she’s leaning into this experience, I can just see this entire newness factor in her. 38:33 S2: I see the eagerness, the desire, the prayers have always been there. She too was grew up in a lawful experience and understanding, and so I just didn’t understand that because of that, my parents put us out of the law experience.

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