I love showcasing people like Corrie ten Boom and Darlene Deibler Rose, women of faith, character, and principle, who touched people’s lives for Christ and changed their little corner of the world. What I’ve noticed about these folks, is that—before they reached the big tests—they learned important lessons from interacting with Christ during their everyday lives. And many of them began their journey of faith while very young.
During my years of teaching, I’ve been privileged to spend time with some of the finest Christian young people in this country. I can’t help but think that one of them might be the next Billy Graham or Catherine Marshall. They give me hope for the future of the church and inspire me to give my all for Christ.
One such former student is Helene Reed Vance. My first memories of Helene are of a radiant young woman with a tender heart and a smile that brightened everyone’s day. Always a hard worker, Helene held down a job during her high school years to help pay her tuition in our little Christian school. She was involved in every activity and a friend to all. Some of my fondest memories include Helene and her best buddies from Northern Dutchess Christian School.
Helene was gracious enough to answer my questions for a blog interview. So here we go . . .
Helene comes from a close-knit Christian family of seven—her parents, twin older sisters, younger sister, and younger brother. One of her goals is to be as involved with her kids’ lives as her mom and dad were. Helene says, “The most special memory of my childhood is reading and memorizing Scripture with my family each morning before we started the day. We did that for as long as I can remember. I believe that is what has held us together and molded us into the people we are today.”
Who has provided the greatest inspiration for you during your life?
“My parents have taught me so many lessons that I hold dear to my heart. Their wisdom has been an invisible strength and help to me over the years. My grandfather is another person who has inspired me and helped me grow. He passed away about nine years ago, but his legacy was one of love and selflessness as I’ve never seen in a person before or since. My sister, Amber, has always been an inspiration to me. We are opposite in so many ways, but she is always encouraging me, pushing me, and holding me accountable, whether she is making a conscience effort to do this or not. Also, you have helped guide me as well! It was during my high school years that my love of reading continued to grow. Because of that, I chose my college career in English.” (I know–wasn’t it sweet of her to mention me?!)
What degrees do you and your husband Jordan have? What are you and he doing now?
“I have a Bachelors in English from Liberty University. I will be finishing up my Masters in Business Administration in May. Jordan received his Bachelors in Religion and Philosophy from Eastern Nazarene College. He is now working on another Bachelor’s degree in nursing, here at Liberty.”
“I’ve been working at Liberty for the past 2 ½ years. I recently accepted a job promotion as Assistant Registrar for Liberty University Online Undergraduate Programs. I love the position and the team I am a part of. Jordan works as a Sales Rep for a regional phone company, while going through his schooling. He is an incredible salesman and I am so proud of his hard work and sales abilities!”
“I am entertaining the thought of working on a PhD program in the next couple of years. Jordan plans to graduate in two years, start working in a hospital, and then continue with his education by attaining either a Physician’s Assistant or Nurse Practitioner degree. Also, we are following the Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover steps. Through these steps we hope our financial planning will allow us to go on short term missions trips, where Jordan can use his medical skills overseas.”
What are some things you do as a couple to keep yourselves grounded in the Word and close to the Lord?
“For the past 6 months or so, we have made it a point to set aside time each morning for devotions together. It has made such a difference in our relationships with each other and with Christ. Another special thing we do is prayer time in the evening. We spend no specific amount of time, a couple times a week before bed, praying for our families, friends, issues we are facing, things we are thankful for, etc. It has gotten us out of our comfort zones, and we grow closer to each other and especially to the Lord because of those times. Also, our Life Group has kept us accountable.We look forward to our meetings each week, even though we know we will be stretched and pushed to work on something that we may not be overly excited to focus on.”
What are some of the important lessons God has taught you through situations in your life?
- “I have learned how to forgive. But not until I was thrust into situations where I wanted to do everything but forgive. The Lord has taught me that I am not truly set free from those memories and feelings of bitterness until I have allowed my heart and mind to forgive and love again.”
- “I have also learned about God’s provision. I have experienced miracles this past year. Even though I have not had the faith I should have, yet God still showed me how much He loves us by providing for our biggest and smallest needs.”
- “And another great lesson: keeping a thankful mindset. It is so easy to let the little things drag me down when I am not keeping things in perspective. I have had a life full of blessings. God has shown me that everything good is a gift from Him. I learn that more and more each day.”
Helene’s life verse is perfect for her, don’t you think? It’s Colossians 3:16-17: Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Before you go, take time to enjoy some great photos . . .