Before Jean was born, doctors told her mother that giving birth to a seventh time could kill her, and it almost did. Her mother was very sick during her childhood, and grew up blaming herself. This produced very low self esteem and shyness in her life. She was very close to her brother, Ronnie who was her constant friend and protector. Her brother passed away when she was twelve in a drowning accident at a Christian day camp. At that point, Jean turned her back on God and everything that she had learned. Her teenage years were spent searching for happiness in one direction after another.
She married young and soon had two small children. Her husband and her decided it was time to go back to church for the kid’s sake. When she was 22 years old, she began seeing signs all over town that said “I found it!” with no explanation whatsoever. One day a man called on the phone and asked if she had seen those signs. He explained that “it” was a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He explained that the Bible says “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” She realized that “all” included her and that the consequence of sin is spiritual death. On the phone with a total stranger, she prayed and asked Jesus to forgive her of her sins, to come into her heart and take control of her life. .
A few years later, her husband was called to full-time ministry, and she began her life as a pastor’s wife. She found herself forced to talk to strangers and make herself vulnerable. It was really hard at first, but the more she does it, the easier it became. God has used her experiences to give her a sensitivity to people who think they don’t “measure up”.
She is now the proud grandmother of three beautiful grandchildren and the Ohio president of women’s ministries for their denomination.