I AM project: Anna Ward

Photo by Rachel Adams 2019

I began by asking Anna when she felt furthest from God.  She sighted her lowest season as a time when she felt utterly alone.  Her family was changing as siblings grew up, turned from God, and began defining who they were as individuals.

The change affected her family deeply and it was partnered with her transition into a brand new church family.  Her heart broke as she was not only separated from her siblings and parents, but also from the Lord.  She felt like God had pushed her aside. She felt alone.

Photo by Rachel Adams 2019

This time taught her how to love and be loved, even though “you may not always feel it.”  She was comforted by what became her favorite verse: 

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed” 2 Peter 4:12-13.

Photo by Rachel Adams 2019

It comes as no surprise that the theme of Anna’s future has been molded into becoming a woman that ensures no one feels alone in their struggle. 

Her degree is Clinical Psychology and Counseling and she explained, “I love that people set aside time to talk to people.  Even Jesus understood the importance of not being alone and he surrounded himself with solid people.”  

Anna’s mission for both her time in college and her career is that people would always feel, “like they have someone to come to.  My heart breaks most when I think people are alone and have no one to go to… Jesus didn’t come and die on a cross for people to be alone.”

Finally, I asked Anna if she could describe in a word or a phrase who God is in her story. 

She paused for a moment before answering, “God is the sustainer.”  She went on to explain, “I’ve learned what it means to be delivered.  He meant it when he said ‘it is finished’ on the cross.  I have already been delivered, so right now I need to be sustained.  He’s gonna meet me in all things that come my way.”

God allowed loneliness to enter Anna’s life so that He could show her the importance of His plan for her.  Now, He continues to sustain her as she walks through the future He made for her.