Meet Elder Melinda Woodward.
Mrs. Melinda and her family have known me my whole life. You see, I grew up in a small town called Branchville. Melinda grew up in this small town too.
Here is a picture of me (front middle) and Melinda (back middle). She has been looking out for me since then. She is a prayer warrior. She grew up in a big family with hospitality at the core of who they are. Her grandmother did catering, and so cooking for people was more than a pass time, it was time for true fellowship. One thing I remember from those days was the conversations and the time of connecting with each other around the table.
The people in the photo below are all from my childhood memories. This was taken a few years ago while we were all away at the beach. We all didn’t know we would be in different places on the same week. We pressed to meet, for it was just to neat. God did it and you can see from our smiles it was good for all of us. I will not name them all here, but everyone is connected with Branchville either by marriage or blood. Crossroad Community Church was where I called home for the first sixteen years of my life. These people were all a part of that as well.
I started going to Rock Church when I got my license at sixteen years old and the Woodward’s came soon after. Fast forward to the present, and the Woodward’s crew has been with me longer than any other family. They transitioned with me. Melinda has been watching over me since I was a baby. She has seen me become a mom. She has seen me become a widow. Even after everything happened, the Woodward’s invited us to go with them to the beach as a family, because we are family.
Melinda has a very merciful tender heart and is a good listener. She has a beautiful family that is growing up and about to start their own families, sooner than later. 😉 Their daughter Megan works in the office at the church now and is over the youth with her husband Chris. Her second daughter Sara Beth is on our worship team and leading the youth worship team while assisting her sister and brother-in-law with our young adults and youth groups. Their son Seth has just come onto the worship team as well. Melinda has given her life to raising her kids and now that they are almost grown. She has gone back to working and is now sowing seeds into the littles at the Rocking Chair Day Care.
To say I’m thankful for this woman’s life is an understatement. She has been a lifeline until I started walking more closely with the Divine. Over the last couple years, our time together has become less. However, my love for her remains the same. The times we have are rich, meaningful, and always involves food. So, thank you Melinda for all the amazing gifts—our times of processing and prayer, our times of doing life together, even our times of catching each other for a hug on the fly. We have laughed, prayed, walked the beach, had jellyfish fights, and enjoyed many good eats together. My life has been so much richer because of your tender loving care. Thank you for being like a sister/aunt/friend. Thank you for helping me with my kids when work called me last minute. Thank you for loving on my kids—the pool days, trampoline days, the birthday party days, for it all. I thank you.
So, I honor you today Melinda. Your service to the kingdom has been needed. Thanks for filling this Elder’s roll so well. All the home visitors, the comfort care you have coordinated, and your ability to share your heart with others in need is a gift and has been some of your finest work indeed.
“Charm and grace are deceptive, and [superficial] beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the Lord [reverently worshiping, obeying, serving, and trusting Him with awe-filled respect], she shall be praised.”
-Proverbs 31:30 AMP
“Charm can be misleading, and beauty is vain and so quickly fades, but this virtuous woman lives in the wonder, awe, and fear of the Lord. She will be praised throughout eternity.”
-Proverbs 31:30 TPT
Final thoughts: She is beautiful through and through and I believe the Father is very pleased with her relationship with Thee too.
Stay tuned for next week’s final addition of Pastor Appreciation month.
Until next time,
Connect to the Mender.
Be a Sender.