Judi had been raised in a Fundamentalist Baptist household. She accepted God's gift of salvation at the age of nine. By her mid-twenties, she strayed from seeking God’s will for her life, and “wandered in the wilderness” for many years. She had always coveted her salvation, yet she was not active in the pursuit of her own personal relationship with God.
She decided, after a five-year relationship with a functional alcoholic, that she no longer cared to fill herself daily with vodka. She longed to repair damaged relationships with her family and friends, and most importantly, she decided that she wanted to become closer to God; remembering that the only times in her life when things were on track was when she actively read her Bible and attended church services regularly.
She had owned and operated, in her home town of Oswego, New York, the first skin care center as well as various hair salons over the course of 20 years. After multiple carpal tunnel and cubital tunnel surgeries on both hands and elbows, she was forced her to give up her career as an Aesthetician and Cosmetologist. She moved to Tennessee.
Still in the new stages of pursuing her personal relationship with Christ, she found herself attending services at Cumberland Worship Center in Crossville, Tennessee. In the latter part of May of 2013, she walked to the front of the church and dedicated herself to actively serve Christ in whatever it was He had for her to do...although, at the time, she had no idea what that was to be.
In July, 2013, she began working as a Customer Service Representative (Teller) for a bank whose branches are located within a chain store’s super centers. For several weeks, she could only greet customers and perform superficial tasks at the branch until she was properly trained. On August 27th she was sent to Nashville for training. It was on the first evening of the training that the room she was housed in by the bank had no internet connection. She traveled to the Starbucks located across the street from the training location. She sat with her computer at the far end of a long table void of customers despite the two cups, at the opposite end, awaiting their owners to return. When the two gentlemen returned, she made very brief small talk. One of the men said that he was an author. He was vague about the book he had just published. She was polite, but had no interest in reading his, what she thought to be science fiction, book. While online that evening, she was forced to conjure up an answer to the security question, “Who is your favorite author?” Her go-to answer, “God,” was too short and the system wouldn’t accept it. Knowing that she would never have to access that particular website again, she asked the author what his name was so she could plug it into the slot. He gave her his name and wrote some information on one of the paper-bag-brown Starbucks napkins he found at his side. She accepted it gratefully. Before leaving, she expressed that it was a pleasure to have met the two gentlemen and told the author that she sent him a Facebook friend request.
After returning to the condo and readying for bed, she checked her Facebook page from her cellphone. There was a private message from the author. It said primarily two things, “I knew you were a believer” and “You should write.” She was sent a link to samples of his first book; a series of short writings similar in style and content to her posts on Facebook. He was a Christian author! Now, she was interested in reading his work. The next day he gave her a copy of his book and they talked about the commitment it took to write for God. It was during that conversation that she knew, without a doubt, that she was to write for God. “Once you begin to write your book, Satan will do whatever he can to prevent it. You’re life may become difficult; things will happen...” was the warning she received from her new author friend. She had already committed herself months earlier, and her personal life had already been launched into a tumultuous period just prior to her walking to the front of the church.
Judi had always written her thoughts. Over her lifetime, she found that writing became her outlet during times when she felt she wasn't likely to be heard or understood. As life situations arose, and her closeness with God grew, she began experiencing thoughts word-for-word in her mind for days on end. There was no peace from this until she wrote those very words down. Once written, she began to see a pattern. Within 72 hours, following the writing of these words, a person would cross her path who would share a something of which they were currently dealing. Judi found herself quoting the words she had just put to electronic paper; often she would print or email that written piece to the person. Many had expressed comfort in her writings. She quickly learned that not only were these writing pieces a release for her own burden, they were meant for the person she was yet to meet. They gave comfort to the person crossing her path as well as a comfort to her by reminding her that the burdens she was experiencing were not exclusive to her.
By November of 2013, she was forced to admit to God that she could no longer deny the evidence of what He had been revealing to her since spring. Once acknowledged, she had no choice but to act on it. She had to leave Crossville. She committed herself to go and her prayer was that, if it were God’s will that she leave, that He would provide the way. Miraculously, the next day, God provided the finances for the move, as well as placing in her mind the complete format of the book she was to write once she relocated. She spoke to her employer. The bank had one opening within the region located in Gallatin, Tennessee.
On January 11, 2014 she moved to the Nashville area. At the end of April (Easter weekend) her book was published. She lives each day believing that she is “God’s work in progress, never to be completed while on this earth.”
Judi is honored to consider herself a usable vessel for God.
Then at the end of July/first week of August 2017, every aspect of Judi’s life changed all within the same week. That which she loved was taken away, and what she counted on as financial stability was no longer there. She became crushed into dust once more. As much as it hurt to lose the familiar, she could see that God was doing a mighty work within her. The potter was remolding her into a new, thicker, stronger vessel for multiple uses.
The molding process isn’t comfortable, but the potter never takes his hands off the clay. He guides it and forms it to His liking. By forcing Judi to restructure her life, she knows, without a doubt, that God is preparing her for where He’s taking her writing ministry. She concluded that, without those events, she was the one in the way of God's plan for her life. She had to retrain in how to think and behave in certain situations.
It was during the tumultuous first week her transformation, that the death, burial, and resurrection representation of baptism came to her mind. To Judi, the submersion is the equivalent of the potter taking his new creation and placing it into the kiln; solidifying its usefulness. It was then that she decided to rededicate herself to the direction God is taking her life.
Watch Judi’s full testimony and re-baptism in the video below. She has decided to follow Jesus. No turning back…no turning back.