World Changing Women of the Upstate
The Story Behind These Stories
About a year ago, the Lord began speaking to me about several women within my sphere. Some I had known from my earliest days… others had come into my life only in recent years. I clearly heard Him telling me to write about them, to put their stories on display.
Over the next several months, He brought more and more clarity. I did fight Him for a while, though. At one point, I even threw away the list of names He had given me! I kept rationalizing myself out of what the Spirit was telling me to do. But after many months, He made things too clear for me to deny that this was from Him.
I finally said ‘yes’ at the end of this past summer  and launched this line-up of women on September 16th. Mary Kury, being the woman God first used to speak to me about this, was featured first.
As I’ve ventured into this new territory, God has burned two things in my heart concerning these women and their stories: He wants His hidden work in the lives of “everyday” women to be displayed. The stories I’ve shared are not of women who are on platforms before millions. They are “ordinary” women, many of whom have never been in a spotlight. And it turns out, they aren’t ordinary at all. They are world changers – women who hear His voice and are willing to take risks in obeying Him. Who offer Life to all who cross their paths.
Besides displaying His hidden work, He has also revealed to me His desire for women to celebrate each other. It’s time for competitive, judgmental, jealous, critical, and exclusive voices to be silenced. For too long, women have torn each other down – sometimes silently, sometimes overtly. And some of the greatest cruelty has manifested inside the Church. Beloved, there is a better way. If we are His, we ought to be extravagant in our encouragement of one another. We ought to see His beauty within our sisters not as a threat, but as a gift.
By His grace, I believe He has already begun this work in the earth. And my writing these stories is but one expression of it. Father, let it be so. Give us eyes to see – and hearts to celebrate – Your glory upon the lives of others.
With no further ado, here are these women. And here are their stories.
Meet Mary Kury. In this post, she describes how God led her, step by step, to the place she now stands. A place that, in a world of fast food and artificial everything, is often misunderstood and undervalued by those around her. Be awakened by the grace on her life to keep pressing forward against the grain of our culture!
Meet Yvette Picou. Hers is a story of stepping into new and intimidating territory after decades of believing it would be impossible. Be inspired by her risk-taking, and take this as your invitation follow God into the unknown!
Meet Ryan Williams. There is an abiding sweetness on her life, and it was a joy to write about her. In this story, she invites us into her long wilderness journey that catalyzed her intimacy with God and her understanding of the things of the Spirit. Her story speaks POWERFUL truths to our own journeys.
Meet Karen Hollifield. She has a passionate willingness to obey God’s voice regardless of how she is perceived by others. These glimpses into her journey with God offer some back story for her boldness.
Meet Jessica Satterfield. Hers is not an easy story – it has been marked by pain. But it shines brightly because it speaks of a trustworthy Father who meets us in our hard places and turns ashes into beauty.
Meet Rochelle Delain. I don’t know what you’re waiting on, Friend. Maybe it’s a spouse, or a child, or a prayer you’ve been praying for years – whatever it is, be encouraged as you read her story. It speaks beautifully into the place of waiting.
Meet Becca Friend. Hers is a powerful story of inward and outward change. It invites us to revisit those hidden parts of ourselves and allow the Father into them. Be infused with hope as you read!
Meet Karen McBride. Her life and her words offer our souls a sigh of relief. And room to laugh! Let your hair down as you encounter this story.
Meet Krista Gaulden. Having walked alongside her for this journey, it has thrilled my heart – and brought many tears – to write about it. Pull up a chair. You’ve never heard a love story quite like this one. It’s a walking expression of God’s delight in doing the unimaginable.
Meet Elizabeth Martin. It was one year ago today [on the date of this story’s release] that her world was rocked as her son arrived 11 weeks early. Her story speaks beautifully into our seasons of uncertainty – and points us to the only real Certainty we have.
Meet Brigitte Quinn. In more ways than one, hers has been a journey through darkness marked by pain’s chill. Be prepared: there is real heaviness in parts of this story. We are getting a glimpse into the pain many have endured in silence.
But her journey doesn’t stop there. Open your heart wide as you encounter these words – and watch as darkness bows its knee to the light!
Meet Kaylee Christine. There have been so many surprises in pursuing these stories. I knew number 12 would be unique. Then when He revealed to me who it was to be, my heart leapt. Here is a glimpse into the journey on which my niece has taken our family.
“I know what some of you are thinking. Why is a ten year old a world changing woman? Well, because she’s been changing our world from the moment she was born.”…