Nothing Like a Road Trip!

01RoadTrip_debIt’s been years ago now, but I remember it like it happened yesterday because it changed the course of my life. I was a young, married woman who had just given birth to my firstborn son—and had also just buried my mom, who was only forty-one. I found myself at a desperate place in life (on many fronts).

That’s when a woman at my church insisted I attend a women’s weekend retreat/conference with her. Honestly, it was the last thing I wanted to do, I didn’t feel I had the time, the money, and anyway I thought “those things” were cheesy and boring (because I was twenty-something and I knew everything!) How it all happened I can hardly recall but I do know this: that weekend away with some great women in God’s Word changed my life!

I learned how to hear God’s voice and walk with the Lord that weekend. I discovered there can be progress out of my pain and that He has a divine purpose for everything! The Lord set some things in motion that day that changed the trajectory of my life and created a relationship with Him that I have never gotten over!

The thing that caused me to remember all of that was a phone call from Dori Barber, the Director of Women’s Ministry at The Woodlands United Methodist Church. She felt led to bring a group of women to Unwrap the Bible. She is getting women together; she purchased a group of tickets; she is even chartering a bus to enhance the whole experience. This is what I know: the Lord is awaiting their arrival. He has a word for each one of them that will no doubt change a life.

Back to my mom: I am a few years older now than she was when she died. I want desperately to finish my race strong and complete God’s purpose/assignment for my life. But I don’t know how much time I have . . . and neither do you. What if you knew your time was short and coming to an end? Would you be doing anything differently?

Learn more about Unwrap the Bible, February 21-22 in Houston, TX.


  1. 7 months ago
    Dana Linner says

    God is good all the time and all the time God is good!! Thanks for sharing your story Debbie. I got the wonderful privilege of meeting Debbie in 2004. I had just moved to the area and a woman that I had just met, invited me to a bible study class that Debbie was teaching. I had been in other studies in the past but this was like no other and I knew at that moment God placed me there for a reason and a purpose. Hearing God’s voice and walking with the Lord is one thing that Debbie taught me. My husband and I were contemplating a big decision back in 2011and when I was attending another study led by Debbie, she read a bible verse that I knew was clearly from God. I had the confidence and the knowledge to know that God was speaking to me and to act on our decision. That decision was to move away from the area that we were living in. We had been there for 7 years and that number means completion. In other words, God’s work in me during that time was complete and now it was time to move and continue to grow and be his loving and faithful servant and it is with grace, humility, trust,and a heart of thanksgiving that I can do this. When you follow God’s call on your life, HE will bless you immensely!! He certainly has blessed me beyond measure! I wish God’s greatest blessings on those who read Debbie’s blog and for Debbie and her family.

  2. I wish we could all tell our stories sometimes. It really touches my heart when people share how God has worked in their lives. I have tried to write my story out several times, but I really do not have the education, money etc. others have to get through the grit of things.

    Here is a short version of my story:

    As I think about a mother’s love for her precious child, I can only imagine what it must have been like for my mother to have held me in her arms for the first time and what she must have been thinking. Counting those little fingers and toes to make sure I was alright and just to know the miracle that had taken place. I was in the hands of my nineteen year old mother who was amazing and it beyond my own comprehension how she could be so young, yet be so wise for her age. My dad was an enlisted man in the Air Force and I was born at the Bryan Air Force Base in Bryan, Texas on January 1, 1955. It would not be long that my travelling days would start.
    Later, my dad was stationed at the base in Greenville, Mississippi where my sister, Donna was born. Then, my family moved to Ft. Walton Beach, Florida where I started first grade. Then, in 1961 we moved to Naha, Okinawa for the next four years. We especially enjoyed shopping with my mother. Since my dad was a pilot he was gone quite often. My parents were both Christians, but they did not go to church very much. What I learned about God was from Vacation Bible School at the chapel and from watching Billy Graham shows when we could get American programming on the television. My mother also spent time teaching me and my sister some of the Bible stories.
    After four years in Okinawa my family and I moved back to Florida, then we went back to Okinawa another two years.
    Finally, we moved to Oklahoma and then my dad retired from the Air Force in Warner Robbins, Georgia. During those times, God began to speak to my heart. A pastor visited our home and still we did not go to church, but I told God I wanted to become a Christian and I just did not understand everything.
    My parents were from Laurel, Mississippi and when my dad retired we returned to their home. We had no idea that our lives would be changed forever. My family started going to my mother’s home church. On March 1971, during a youth meeting at church, I decided to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I was 16 years old. Later, my parents re-dedicated their lives to the Lord and my sister, Donna was also saved. My teen-age years were filled with mixed emotions and decisions. A visiting preacher came to our church and he spoke about making Godly decisions for your life. This had a real impact on my life and I attended a Christian college after high school.
    When my parents considered moving to Mississippi, it was with the thought of taking care of their own parents as they grew older. We had no idea my mother would need
    our tender, loving care. She had several headaches along with sickness for several months, before finally going to the doctor. We found out she had a brain tumor, so she went to the hospital to have surgery. She came home and was progressing well.
    Later, she began to have the same kind of problems over again. She had another brain tumor and another surgery. She was told both tumors were benign. As she was recovering in the hospital, her hip began to hurt and she was diagnosed with bone cancer. I cannot tell you how the mental, physical and emotional toll affected all of us. It sometimes seems unreal. Through the process you learn, you pray and you hope. My dad was very gracious and tender toward my mother. We gathered around her bed and prayed with her with tears. She passed away in July 1977. Our lives were changed, but our faith was not.
    My sister went to college and I stayed home with my dad for a while. At age 29 I joined the army and prayed for an office job. I ask God to please find me a husband and I would try my best to share Jesus with others. The Lord honored my prayer and I did share Jesus when I had a chance. I was sent to Germany where I met my Christian husband, Gordon. We married a year later. Then, we moved to Ft. Stewart, Georgia where we helped at a Servicemen Center. I finished my three years in the army there, then we returned to Germany where my twin boys Christopher and Jonathan were born. Over the years God has blessed us so very much. We have a lot to be thankful for. My boys are Christians and attending college. My husband is retired from the army, but still working at a middle school. I work a lot at church and we are truly blessed. Only God! Only God makes a difference in how we live our lives!

  3. 7 months ago
    Mary Anne says

    This could be my story other than the fact that I was 17 when my Mom died at the age of 47. I was the oldest child and I felt so lost. I married right after graduation from high school and married wrong. 18 years later he left us and I moved to Texas with my twin girls. All this time I only practiced my faith on and off. I attended an ACTS retreat and from there my story parallels the story by Deborah Stuart. God now is my life and we live happily together every day.

    I am so in awe of my gracious, forgiving and loving Savior that it is hard for me to believe I ever lived any other way. GOD IS GOOD!!!!
    Mary Anne