By M.K. Luther - firstname.lastname@example.org
STEPHENSON - Winsome Earle Sears always has a story to tell.
Sears, a former Marine and Virginia state legislator, has traveled down many different roads, all of which have produced various tales, but the constant thread that runs throughout her storied life remains unwavering: her faith.
While she never had any plans or desire to put it on paper before, she suddenly found one February morning in 2009 that a book was within her, just waiting to be written.
The idea for the book came to Sears as she awoke from a deep sleep, she explained.
She then set about pounding out the words, writing "Stop Being a Christian Wimp" in one day, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., from her home office.
"I had to -- I had to get it out," Sears said. "I knew the format, I knew what to say, I knew the scriptures."
"If you didn't know I was a Christian before, you do now," Sears said of the book's message.
Born in Jamaica, Sears and her family came to the United States when she was a child, and she grew up mainly in the Bronx borough of New York. A graduate of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Sears also received a master's degree from Regent University.
Sears was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 2002 to 2003, and made an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2004.
She is also a devoted mother to three daughters and a loving grandmother to two granddaughters. Sears now resides in Stephenson with her husband, Terence.
Sears, who has always incorporated her strong Christian faith into every aspect of her own life, said she understands how easily people can become waylaid by uncertainty and anxiety, especially when faced with hardship or tragedy.
Sears said having her own life opened up to public scrutiny while she was in politics helped her find her strength.
Her own election defeat, for example, had the potential for leaving her shaken and battered and bruised. But Sears found that with work and practice, that personal moment of adversity actually readied her faith.
"I can discover God's love in a public defeat and only God can do that," Sears said of her 2004 election loss.
Once a person is mired in doubt, the ability to see God's plan can become clouded and remaining open to experiencing God's love can become difficult, she said.
"Stop Being A Christian Wimp" can help people learn to believe that even if God's plan is not totally clear at that moment, they do not have to give up and give in to doubts and fear, Sears said.
In the book, Sears presents 31 days of activities and exercises designed to reinforce God's love. Experts say a person can develop a habit over the course of 21 days, Sears said, and she is allowing the reader ample time with 31 days to learn the how to open themselves to experiencing God's love.
"So when the hard times come, you know it," she said.
The exercises in the book are designed to help a Christian to constantly work to overcome the obstacles to trusting in God's love. Ultimately, Sears said, a Christian who can look beyond the everyday problems and have faith in God's plan will find their true calling.
"Sometimes you can meet your destiny on the road you take to avoid it," Sears said.
Although she is not certain where the new road she has embarked on with "Stop Being a Christian Wimp" will lead, Sears is, as always, confident her direction will be revealed.
"I don't know what else the Lord has for me to do, but he will show me," Sears said.
The Church of the Valley in Strasburg will host a "Stop Being a Christian Wimp" retreat on June 5 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The book retreat will be interactive, Sears said, and she will instruct and encourage all participants to examine and practice the daily rigors of Christian faith.
Attendance cost for the retreat is $25 and includes a copy of the book and lunch. For more information, call 540-514-0485 or visit www.winsomesears.com.
"Stop being a Christian Wimp" is also available for purchase at Sears' website, or through online retailers such as Amazon.com or www.xulonpress.com.