Her Story: From one small town to another

She's a wife, a Mama, a teacher of high school students, and a woman with a heart big for Jesus. And she's also a dear friend and Sister in Christ. And she may not realize it, but she has inspired and encouraged many children and adults to grow and be the best they can be, including me. Thank you Jamie Plummer Miles for being you, for all you do, and sharing your "Her Story" with a beautiful grace.

This is me...

I'm the product of small town USA. I grew up in a tiny NC town with two stoplights and a few ma and pa eating joints, and everyone knew everyone. Saturdays were for ballgames and Sundays were for church and family. My parents worked hard to provide what our family needed, and they supported my brother and me in everything we did.

My silly Granny on a White Lake vacation

Although my childhood church was small, it was filled with love and commitment to the Lord. My Granny (my Mom's mom) was my favorite church member. Potluck Sundays were something to look forward to because it was a guarantee that Granny's chicken casserole would be in the lineup. Each December you could see our youth in the town's Christmas parade and in our church Christmas play. Vacation Bible School was a hit every summer, and we always had a big crowd. There were many opportunities for me to learn about Jesus and His sacrifice for sinners like me.

Me on stage at church (we were stars in a Christmas play)

But going to church and hearing the name of Jesus won't redeem a sinner. Only a relationship with Jesus can do that. So while I grew up involved in church, my involvement didn't ensure a spot in Heaven for me.

I celebrated my 20th re-birthday in August of this year. On August 12, 2001 I was baptized with my best friend, after we were both saved on a mission trip. Throughout my life with Christ I have messed up and failed. I've committed sins that I thought would keep me from eternal life, but there is NOTHING that can take away one's salvation. Satan loves to attack us and tell us that we are no longer wanted in God's kingdom, but he is completely wrong. God's loving grace will never run dry, and He is the ultimate forgiver.

My crew mates and me on the mission trip (when I was saved)

My re-birthday twin and me at a Christian summer camp

I've seen God in so many seasons of my life. Most recently I saw Him during my transition as an elementary teacher to a high school teacher. I taught elementary for eleven years, so I was well adjusted to growing grey hair and working 60 hours a week. While on vacation I was toying with the idea of moving grades, and I really wanted God's approval on my leaving the elementary realm. Like I love to do, I gave God the sign I wanted...if You want me to go to high school, You'll send me a shark tooth. On the last day of our vacation we found not just one but FOUR shark teeth. My first four shark teeth in almost 20 years of vacationing at the beach. Ok, God. I see You. Romans 8:28 says God works everything out for those who love Him and are called by His purpose.

I recently gave my testimony at church for the first time, and in preparation I sat down with a friend who could help me put some pieces together. This friend is the leader of our ladies' Bible study and our Sunday school class. She has a solid foundation in Christ and a lot of Biblical knowledge. As a growing believer, it's extremely important to have mentors and friends who can direct you back to Jesus at all times. Whether you've had a relationship with Christ for two decades or two days, you will always be a growing believer. Find a core group of Christian friends and use them. Satan is more successful when he finds us alone.

The perfect husband God sent to me (the total opposite kind of husband that I always dreamed of marrying...God knows better!!)

From one small town to another, I've found myself living a life undeserved. I would say I'm lucky - but it's all thanks to God. His mercies are new everyday (Lamentations 3:22-23) and I'm forever humbled by my walk with Jesus.

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