(This is Part 1 of what will be several posts, though not shared consecutively. God has been so good to connect me with amazing people over the years, and I just can’t keep silent!)
“Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice” (Proverbs 27:9 NIV).
Meet my friend and, come to find out, fellow Asbury sister Whitney Ward.
I met Whitney in the cafeteria during Write to Publish 2019, a Christian writers’ conference held in beautiful Wheaton, Illinois. Over soft-serve ice cream, we chatted–asking one another the common question, “What is it you write?”
It was during those few moments that I learned several things–
- Though born with a rare genetic disorder, Whitney’s an overcomer.
- She graduated from Asbury University, though many years after me.
- She was writing a children’s book that would help others struggling with disability to believe that, no matter what, they are more than their mountains.
In 2021, Whitney’s dream became a reality when her picture book More Than Your Mountains was published (Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.).
Whitney also hosts a podcast called Mountain Climbers. Each session is packed with inspiration as she interviews others who have faced, and climbed, mountains in their lives. (Click HERE to check it out!)
Since that summer day in 2019, we’ve kept in touch via social media. I’ve been privileged to participate in spreading the word about her children’s book, not to mention telling others about her latest endeavor, her recently published autobiography More Than My Mountains.
In early June, though she was unable to attend in person, we both celebrated our 3rd place Selah award tie for articles in print, and it was fun to rejoice with one another virtually.
Furthermore, we’ve begun pursuing our dream to return to our alma mater–to one day share with current Asbury students all we’ve learned post-college about the ways God connects us with others who share our vision, encouraging them to trust Him with one’s dreams, for His glory and our good.
I’ve had the blessing of praying via FaceTime and Zoom with Whitney, as well as over the phone.
On Monday, I called to sing her a Marilyn Monroe-style “Happy Birthday,” and I celebrated with her for a few minutes before praying for her upcoming knee replacement surgery.
And today, I’m continuing to pray for my friend and sister. I just received word that she’s out of surgery, but she has a long recovery ahead. Won’t you pray with me for this sweet young woman who loves the Lord, His Word, and sharing His words with the world?
To know Whitney Ward is to love her. Small but mighty, she’s doing wonderful things for God! And I’m so very proud to say she’s a Godnection, impacting my life, as well as the lives of many.
Who in your life is a true Godnection–someone you know beyond doubt God connected you with, for His glory and your good?
Dear Jesus, thank you for the way You connect us with wonderful people–to further our dreams and bless our lives. Whitney’s one of those gifts, God. Be with her and help her heal from her recent surgery. Encourage her with Your loving presence, and speak to her of Your plans and purposes. Thank you for all You’ve done, are doing, and will do in her life. Amen.