Alphabet Faith Stories: eXtraordinary Women (A-Z)

Women of faith and action

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary definition of extraordinary:

  • Going beyond what is usual, regular, or customary
  • Exceptional to a very marked extent
  • Employed for or sent on a special function or service

For several weeks, I have written about a list of extraordinary women who had a personal story to share about how God spoke to their hearts about making a difference where they lived and/or around the world. Many of you could probably identify with one or two of the characteristics from each of their personal stories because of your own experiences. These extraordinary women included:

  • A: Awesome Annie
  • B: Believing Betty
  • C: Compassionate Charlotte
  • D: Determined Debbie
  • E: Effective Emily
  • F: Forgiving Fran
  • G: Grateful Gwen
  • H: Humble Helen
  • I: Intentional Iris
  • J: Joyful Josie
  • K: Kindhearted Kathryn
  • L: Loving Lily
  • M: Mature Martha
  • N: Neighborly Nancy
  • O: Obedient Opal
  • P: Patient Pam
  • Q: Quiet Quinn
  • R: Respectful Rachel
  • S: Steadfast Stephanie
  • T: Trusting Tammy
  • U: Understanding Ursula
  • W: Wholehearted Wendy
  • Y: Yielding Yvette
  • Z: Zealous Zelda

Each of these women had three things in common:

  • Each woman had a calling on their life;
  • Each woman prayed and asked God’s direction for their life (purpose); and
  • Each woman put their faith in action and trusted that His will would be done.

Let us all be fervent in prayer asking for God’s continued direction for our lives, and let us be faithful by putting our “faith in action” as we continue on the journey that He has set before us.

My prayer is that each one of you have enjoyed reading about these incredible, eXtraordinary women, and that their stories have touched your life in some special way.



Alphabet Faith Stories: Zealous Zelda

Do all things for good

Scripture: Romans 12:11–“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” (NIV)

Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of zealous:

  • Marked by fervent partisanship for a person, a cause, or a belief, or an ideal
  • Filled with or characterized by zeal

Phrases and/or quotes for zealous (

  • Living a daring life is zealous pursuit.
  • Be zealous for good works.
  • Truly, it is easy to sing that we would follow Jesus regardless, but all that zeal is lost at the slightest sign of inconvenience for some.

Z: Zealous Zelda’s Story:

“Zelda patiently stood in line behind a woman with a young child at the grocery store checkout, when all of a sudden the woman burst into tears. She heard the clerk tell the woman that her total bill was $27.72. As the woman frantically searched her purse, she could only come up with $25.10. She frantically looked at the items she was about to purchase and was trying to figure out what could be taken away so that she could quickly pay her bill and get out of the store.

At that moment, Zelda walked up to the woman and handed her a five dollar bill so that she wouldn’t have to leave any of her groceries behind. Shocked by Zelda’s generosity, she reluctantly took the money, thanked her, and quickly left the store. Zelda was not far behind the woman and caught up with her just as she strapped her child in her car seat.

As soon as Zelda approached her, she threw her arms around her and proceeded to tell Zelda the story of how her husband lost his job and they were desperately trying to make ends meet; but this particular week her child had been sick and needed medication which took a big chunk of their grocery monies. Before leaving, however, she promised to pay Zelda back. Zelda enthusiastically told her that she did not have to do that and began to tell her the following story of how someone had helped her out when she needed it the most.

‘Zelda was told that she could pay her back by being “zealous about doing good works”–by paying it forward to another person who needed help. From that time on, Zelda began doing and showing random acts of kindness to whomever needed her help. Without wanting or asking for anything in return, Zelda began helping her neighbors by bringing in their garbage cans, sending get well cards when they were ill, picking up groceries for them, and occasionally helped with babysitting for mothers in her neighborhood who needed an occasional, well-deserved break.’

Zelda’s zealous attitude to “do good works” and pay it forward without asking for anything in return gained her many friendships and wonderful memories with everyone.”

Being zealous for the Lord and doing good works by showing kindness and having an attitude of concern for each other is what we are commanded to do. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind; and love your neighbor as yourself” is what Jesus has commanded us all to do.



Alphabet Faith Stories: Yielding Yvette

When God changes our lives, we yield completely to His calling in our lives.

Scripture: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NIV)

Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of yielding:

  • Productive
  • Lacking rigidity or stiffness
  • Disposed to submit or comply

Phrases and/or quotes for yielding (

  • Yielding your inner life to God will empower you to live the kind of outer life that honors the Lord and blesses others.
  • When you yield yourself in complete and wholehearted obedience to God, He can do great things through you.
  • True wisdom is marked by willingness to listen and a sense of knowing when to yield.

Y: Yielding Yvette’s Story

“Yvette listened intently as her pastor talked about the importance of ‘yielding your life to God so that He could empower you to live the kind of outward life that would honor the Lord and bless others.’ She had been trying to do this by volunteering at the soup kitchen once a week, but somehow she felt something was missing.

After much prayer and getting advice from her parents, Yvette decided that she wanted to go on a short-term mission trip to Haiti with a group leaving from her church the beginning of June and returning back to the U.S. the end of September. She discussed her desire and willingness to do so with her pastor and he suggested she contact the trip’s group leader.

He was pleased that she wanted to join the group and explained that each person going along would have to raise their own funds: round trip airfare, hotel accommodations, and food expense monies. She also had to apply for her passport. Since Yvette only had six months before they would depart from La Guardia Airport, raising funds and getting her passport on time would be cutting it close. Since Yvette’s parents had gone on several missions’ trips, they helped her send out fundraising notices to family and friends and helped her apply for her passport at the nearest Consulate.

As Yvette prepared for her first assignment, she learned about the Haitian culture and the people. Everyone in the group would be helping to build a small church in a village where there was a newly appointed missionary who had been there for less than a year. Assignments included assisting with small group Bible study, VBS for the children, helping with music during worship, and giving personal testimonies.

With the Lord’s help, Yvette raised all of her funds and her passport came one month before her departure. She left on June 1 for Haiti. It turned out that ministering in a small village in Haiti was exactly what Yvette had been missing in her life. She made so many memories with everyone and vowed to return to Haiti again the following summer.

Yvette’s willingness to yield to God’s calling on her life and then follow through with His leading proved to be the start of her continued working with the Haitian people for a number of years.”

One small act of “yielding to God” can turn our lives completely around and change our lives forever. We may not be called to be a missionary in a foreign land, but God commands that we love our neighbors and be willing to help those who need God’s love. May we yield to His calling in our lives by telling others about the Good News.



Alphabet Faith Stories: Wholehearted Wendy
God is love

Scripture: Colossians 3:23–“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”

Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition for wholehearted:

  • Completely and sincerely devoted, determined, or enthusiastic
  • Marked by complete earnest commitment: free from all reserve and hesitation

Phrases and/or quotes for wholehearted (

  • Do everything with your whole heart, or not at all.
  • Loving a single person wholeheartedly is like putting all the eggs in one basket.
  • The most important job in life is to find out the purpose of your life, and go for it wholeheartedly.

W: Wholehearted Wendy’s Story:

“For years Wendy and her husband talked about becoming foster parents, but after their daughter was born, they decided to put that option on hold. After all, it had taken over 18 years for Wendy to become pregnant even after seeking medical advice and going through a battery of tests. After the first five years of marriage, her doctor was unable to find out the difficulty they were having, but he was always supportive by presenting other options such as adoption, foster care, and the IVF process. Wendy and her husband were Christians and believed that “all things worked together for those who loved the Lord” so they decided they would continue to wait and allow her husband to complete his education.

While attending school in the mid west, Wendy’s husband began working for the state as a caseworker and then took a government test which gave him opportunities for promotions within a small government agency. They moved a number of times and after living in Georgia for five years, their daughter was born. God had answered their prayers even after 18 years. When she was five years old, they moved back to their home state to be with family and friends. It wasn’t until their daughter was 11 years old that the idea of being foster parents came into light once again.

After months of paperwork, interviews, and training classes, Wendy and her husband were officially approved as full-time foster parents. Their caseworker talked with them about the type of child they would prefer, and because of their daughter, they decided to take in a girl. However, in the middle of July, their caseworker called saying they had a 12-year old boy who needed a home. After talking with their daughter, they agreed to take him.

Nothing could have been more right as this smiley young man came into their lives. Wendy believed that if you are going to do something for the Lord, you are to do it wholeheartedly. This young man attended middle school, high school, and then went on to college. Their daughter, although skeptical at first because he was one year older than her, decided that he would and could be her brother.”

This is my personal story. I have shortened it considerably, but after we took in our first foster son, we also had others who came to live with us on short-term placements. Our first foster son continues to keep in contact with us. He is married, has a child, and is working as a caseworker and attending school to get his Masters in Social Work. God had a definite plan and purpose for allowing us to wait for His purpose and will to be accomplished in our lives. We are immensely grateful and we continue to serve Him in a special congregation where my husband is now a part-time pastor since retiring from the corporate world.

God’s timing is always right. He knows what we have need of before we even ask and knows what the future holds to fulfill His plan. We are continually blessed and want to serve Him with our whole hearts. I pray that you will allow God to fulfill His purpose in your life today.



Alphabet Faith Stories: Victorious Valerie

Victory in Jesus

Scripture: I Corinthians 15:57–“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (NIV)

Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of victorious:

  • Having won a victory
  • Of, relating to, or characteristic of victory
  • Evincing moral harmony or a sense of fulfillment

Phrases/quotes pertaining to victorious (

  • A victorious life is a result of a correct way of thinking.
  • A Christian’s mindset should be a victorious mentality.
  • God created us to be victorious.
  • Each victory with God can bring a reassurance once more that the ones born of God are victorious.

V: Victorious Valerie’s Story:

Valerie grew up in a very creative home. Her mother was a seamstress; her father and uncle were carpenters and in business together; her brother learned carpentry in school as well as an intern under her father’s supervision; and her sister was a mural artist with a very lucrative business.

Everyone was surprised when Valerie announced that she would be majoring in social work in college and would pursue a career working with children in foster care. Her mother was very supportive and told Valerie to pursue her dreams and not base her career on what she felt the family expected her to be. It was her God-given choice to listen to His voice and to her heart.

Valerie volunteered at the local children’s home during her summer’s home from school and got to know the social workers and the children quite well. Part of her responsibilities included teaching the children how to garden and she dreamed of building a greenhouse on the property for year-round growing of fruits, vegetables, and flowers.

After Valerie completed her undergraduate degree, she was hired at the children’s home as a full-time case worker and continued her master’s degree online for two years. She continued to work and study hard and was respected by all those who knew her. Valerie also became President of The Garden Club at the local Community Center, and her classes on gardening were well attended by the community.

One night at one of the regularly scheduled meetings of The Garden Club, a member brought up an idea that would change the heart of the community. She recommended that members, as well as carpenters in the community, build a greenhouse to benefit the children’s home. They could plant fruits, vegetables, and flowers to sell to the community year round. Excited and amazed at this suggestion, Valerie and all of the other members unanimously approved of this idea. Valerie couldn’t help remembering similar thoughts she had had about building a greenhouse as well and knew that God had given her a “little” reminder.

Valerie enlisted the help of her family and everyone in the community who was willing to help build the greenhouse. After raising the funds for this project, the greenhouse was built and the blue ribbon cut. Everyone was so excited and the children couldn’t wait to plant and harvest all the fruits and vegetables and sell them back to the community to benefit the children’s home.

That Sunday in church as Valerie listened to the children’s choir sing, “Victory in Jesus,” she recognized that God often plants a thought in our minds and hearts so that it can be fulfilled for His purpose and in His time. The greenhouse was God’s fulfillment of an idea He put into her mind and Valerie was reminded of that idea through another individual at her Garden Club meeting; and she recognized God speaking to her heart once again. She just had to listen and remember.”

God oftentimes puts a thought into our minds and sometimes we recognize Him speaking to us and sometimes it takes another time or two before we finally realize what He is asking us to do. We just have to listen and then act accordingly. This is Faith in action.

May we be open and willing to act on faith when we hear God speaking to our hearts and minds in a still, small voice. What a blessing we could be to others if we would just keep ourselves open to His leading and direction.