Even though our Trusting Wholly, Holy Trust brunch is over, the stories continue to flow in because of it. We’ve been hearing women’s experiences of how they’ve had to trust God throughout their lives. Today we’re blessed to read part of Linda Stitt’s beautiful life story and how trusting God through prayer has strengthened her life, marriage, parenting and relationships with people. Linda and her husband, Jack has been part of SMC for over 20 years.
“Prayer is a way of life.”
Those are strong spoken words from Linda Stitt, a prayer warrior for St. Marks Church.
She grew up in a home where prayer was part of her family’s life. It was as daily as brushing her teeth, making her bed and eating dinner. Each morning over breakfast her parents opened the Bible and read Scripture to her and her siblings and then they’d pray together as a family. Then they did this at the dinner table that evening. It was a beautiful habit.
Praying to God became Linda’s life as early as she can remember. As she became a young lady, when she was having trouble with school, or friendships or questions about the Bible and what it really meant, she took those questions to her parents and they’d pray together for her. It was a beautiful example.
In the depths of her words is the underlying trust in God that He’ll answer them according to his will. She said, “I cannot answer the prayers I pray. I have no power to do that. It’s only God’s. It’s simply my responsibility to give intercessory prayer as I discern a need.”
Intercessory prayer – a prayer to God on behalf of others.
Daily, Linda starts her morning reading Scripture from the Bible and then prays with Jack. They do the same thing at the end of each day before they go to sleep. But that’s not something they check off their to-do list. Personally, there have been times when I’ve prayed in the morning to start my day and then checked it off my to-do list. I had my quiet time and then I’m off to work and my busy schedule and hardly think of God the rest of the day.
But that’s not how Linda does it. She wants to be in constant communication with God throughout the day – whispering pleads, hope, request and praise to the God whom answers prayers. It’s a beautiful trust.
Throughout the day she talks with God. She’ll see a young mom at the grocery store with a toddler in the cart crying and she’ll ask God to be with that mom to lovingly calm her child. She’ll get off the phone with a friend who’s struggling with a relationship and she’ll ask God for restoration and peace.
Before writing this post, I knew who Linda was but we had never had a conversation together. I called her one afternoon to ask her if we can get together so I can ask her some questions about trusting God through prayer. After scheduling a time, our conversation came to an end – so I thought. Linda then asked me if I minded if she prayed for me right then and there. The Spirit was coming through that phone line because even though we didn’t know each other well, she knew exactly what I needed prayer in that day. What a beautiful gift.
But let me tell you friends, I’m not the only one. Linda and Jack pray for you each week.
For many years, Linda and Jack get to SMC at the crack of dawn every Sunday morning and pray for us. In the worship center, they put their hands on each row asking the Holy Spirit to be present and to speak to you right where you’ll be. During the service they pray during Bob and other teachers’ messages for the Spirit to speak though them into each of our hearts and minds. It’s a beautiful offering.
And it doesn’t stop there.
Each Wednesday at 12:30pm, Linda, Jack, Fil Anderson, and a small group of other SMC members join together in the church prayer room to pray. Their hands hold the information cards turned in the previous Sunday and prayers are said for those specific people and their needs. They pray for SMC church and our leaders and volunteers. They pray for those sick in physical and spiritual need. They pray for our community and country. They give praise to God for His love, forgiveness and healing power. It’s a beautiful time.
And they welcome you to join them each week, or whenever you can, during that time. It’s an open invitation to everyone and I’ll say it was a time of worship when I went.
As Linda said, “Prayer is a way of life.” I’m ever so grateful for Linda and Jack and their love for God’s people and how prayer is woven into their being.
They are beautiful. We are blessed.
Linda and Jack Stitt
Take two! Take two because we had to reschedule our original brunch date due to an ice storm. We didn’t let that stop us though because we’re super excited to be together in fellowship, worship and storytelling and we’re not going to let anything stop us! So, here’s some reminders and details and please make sure to scroll down to learn more about an outreach in which you can take part!
Trusting Wholly, Holy Trust
A brunch gathering for women of all ages
Saturday, March 22 – 10am-noon
Doors open at 9:30am
As of today, we have 435 ladies registered for the event and many that will be coming as guests. We are thrilled at the turnout and believe God has something incredible in store for all of us! We realize that ABSS’ inclement weather make-up day will be this Saturday and it may affect some of our friends who have planned to attend. However, please be assured that the gathering is still on and we hope you are still able to join us!
If your childcare needs change, please contact the SMC office at 336.584.8983 as soon as possible so that we can make arrangements with our hired childcare staff.
PLAN TO BE HERE EARLY! Doors will open at 9:30am so you can have a little more time to mingle, grab coffee and enjoy a delicious brunch before our program begins at 10:30am.
There’s still time to invite friends! They can come as your guests or register online here.
Our SMC Women’s Leadership Team has prayerfully selected this partner for our Engage/Outreach emphasis for our brunch. We hope you’ll join us in blessing the clients at the Family Abuse Services for Alamance County (FAS) which is a valued local ministry partner of SMC.
FAS emphasizes the prevention of violence through education and awareness programs for diverse groups of people of all ages. They provide community education, resources and support in the following areas:
• School Outreach Programs
• Domestic Abuse
• Workplace Violence Programs
• Latina Community Education
• Elder Abuse Education
We ask that you would consider bringing some of the following items to the SMC Women’s Brunch and bless some women and children who need to know that someone really cares; and to share the love of Jesus in a practical way.
• Paper towels
• Toilet Paper
• Facial Tissue
• Bathroom Cleaner
• Toilet Bowl Cleaner
• Glass Cleaner
• Kitchen Cleaner (counter tops)
• Dishwashing Detergent
• Laundry Detergent
• Dryer Sheets (Fabric Softener)
• Laundry Baskets
• Bath Towels
• Wash Cloths
Questions? Contact Kim Torrence @ email@example.com
We’re looking forward to an unforgettable time of inspiration, worship and fellowship!
As we lead up to our Trusting Wholly, Holy Trust brunch, we continue to share stories about women trusting God. Today we’re blessed to read from our contributor Susan Disher. The rich story she wrote describes the deep trust she’s had with God the past several years. Thank you Susan for being beautifully vulnerable to share your story.
The blue ribbon is a reminder of a covenant I made with God in 2004.
I believe that God is who He says He is.
I believe that God can do what He says He can do.
I believe that I am who God says I am.
When I was struggling to tie the ribbon using a square knot so that it couldn’t come undone, I had no way of knowing God had a plan for that knot and the blue ribbon to become a constant in my life.
I believe that it was no coincidence that I received the blue ribbon one year before Robby’s death. God knows what is needed and where we will look for Him. And always, there’s the stilled voice, “Do you believe…do you trust?” Will the knot hold tight?
December 2005…I was still wearing the knotted blue ribbon that seemed to be holding me together so that I wouldn’t crumble into pieces.
There were cold winter days where darkness fell earlier and earlier and the night hovered over my shoulder with no hope of light. Just touching the knotted blue ribbon brought a peace that would stand guard over my heart. I believe that God can do what He says He can do. Satan you are not going to win.
There were mornings when at last I had no choice but to open my eyes and look into a lost world. I believe that God is who He says He is brought comfort that He was steadfast and unmoving and had not forsaken me. The knot held.
There were trips away from my safety net of home where I wanted to wear body armor to protect myself from people and their stares and their hugs and their kind words that I didn’t know how to respond to…I am who God says I am gave me the strength to walk bravely into life.
The blue ribbon sent the fear scuttling away. Mark 5:35 says “Do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear, only keep believing,” and I kept believing God, trusting that He is unchangeable and knowing he is unmovable. He was keeping his word and loving me without measure.
He can do what he says he can do.
Lamenatations 3:19-24 became a life saving red thread of hope in the face of overwhelming fear that my life could not be mended after crumbling to many disjointed pieces.
The thought of my suffering and homelessness
is bitter beyond words.
I will never forget this awful time,
as I grieve over my loss.
YET I STILL DARE TO HOPE
when I remember this:
The unfailing love of the Lord never ends!
By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each day.
I say to myself,
‘The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore I will hope in him!
The knot became tighter. I believed God.
October 2008 found me in the NICU at DUMC holding my firstborn grandson who only had hours to stay with us. This time the blue ribbon took on a different meaning. It became a weapon. Fear was staring me down, kicking trust out the door and then the words came…do you trust me?
Could I trust Him with this precious soul that still had the look of heaven in his swollen eyes? Could I trust Him in loving my daughter and her husband back into life? Could I trust that was hope to be found? Could I trust Him to dare think about a future? Fear was sauntering in that NICU proudly boasting an anticipated victory when the blue ribbon spoke in my heart.
I believe that God is who he says he is…I believe that God can do what he says he can do…I believe that I am who God says I am…I believe God.
And fear began his retreat as peace rushed in and trust began its reign in that sacred space. And baby Murray offered us a little smile.
In 2012 I found myself once again in a NICU looking at my feisty granddaughter proving the doctors wrong with their first hesitant words about her chances to survive. Her beautiful mother had risked her life with scary emergency surgery to give life to this tiny wisp of a girl and this time I boldly initiated the blue ribbon mantra…I believe that God is who he says he is and he can do what he says he can do and I am who he says I am. And fear was not allowed in and trust deepened as the knot tightened more.
The summer of 2013 my mother dropped dead, just as she would have scripted it if she had been asked. I became an earthly orphan with both parents and my only sibling were gone. I had no extended family of aunts and uncles. This time fear did not walk in, but loneliness did, and once again the blue ribbon answered boldly...I believe God. I am who he says I am…without my earthly family.
Do you know what a touchstone is? The definition: a black siliceous stone related to flint and formerly used to test the purity of gold and silver by the streak left on the stone when rubbed by the metal. It’s a test or criterion for determining the quality or genuineness of a thing.
The blue ribbon is my touchstone. It’s my stone that I hold up to the refiner’s firing of gold to ask one more time, “Is the knot still tied tight Lord?” I can trust God…I believe God.
There aren’t many days that go by without my touching the blue ribbon. Life presents challenges daily. Doubts creep in. Fear raises it forked tongue. Goliaths appear and Jericho walls seemingly stand firm yet the thin blue piece of knotted grosgrain ribbon is a constant…a touchstone. Like God, it is steadfast. It will always be there. The mark of trust always appears when I hold it up to God: trust and peace and love and victory and courage and belief.
I believe and trust God.