Dear Grace: Words from The Wisdom Sessions



The Wisdom Sessions ~ 7.13.17


Sue Martin  //  Merry Shervey  //  Sharon Hartenstein  //  Judy Campbell  //  Sherri Brown

Our very own Sarah Carter took on the role of talk show host and presented five ladies of the evening with a variety of questions that ranged from their personal opinions about the current culture, beauty and aging, sex (yep – we covered it!) and even what they would tell their 20-year-old selves if they could.  Lots of laughter and love flowed from each of these women and we wanted to share some of the evening with you.


When asked what is different for them now, the ladies all agreed that technology is what has changed and developed the most.  They collectively appreciate the inventions of the microwave, the washing machine and air conditioning, because they all have lived life before any of those were invented!  After some thought, they soberly mentioned how what we treasure and honor has also changed, along with people’s attitudes and how unfortunately, they notice young people’s talk is often filled with sarcasm.



When asked about relationships that have made an impact on their lives, each woman spoke of either their husband or father.  Judy shared some beautiful words about how she learned patience and service from her husband.

Sherri’s father would sit, listen and care for her and her family, and she mentioned that he represented God’s heart to her.  Sherri’s husband challenged her with the words “be you” and those words actually started Sherri on her own journey to find her identity.

Sue’s father encouraged her to stand up for herself as a young woman of color.

Merry recalled how her husband would tell her “don’t look back” amidst all their life’s changes and to “step into the new”. 

Sharon’s father helped her look at the good in life while her husband modeled provision for the family.  She also mentioned how her uncle spoke into her life and poured into her self-worth.


A fact in our Christian journey is that there will be times where we feel a disconnect and even lonely.  Sarah asked the women to share about a time in their lives where they felt either of those things.

Judy expressed that she felt loneliness when she was a young mom in a new city, where she learned the difference between joy and happiness because God filled up the empty places.

Sharon shared about her divorce and finding the challenge of living separately from her ex, as well as truly finding her place for the seven years she was divorced from her husband.  God blessed Sharon with a group of women who surrounded her with support.

Sherri described how during her marriage and family-at-home season of life, she felt lonesome and no one seemed to fulfill her empty feeling.  She tried to find that in her husband and fought having expectations for him that remained unfulfilled.  In his honesty, he pointed Sherri back to God to satisfy her longings.


In a life long-lived, with its failures and victories, we wanted to touch on the subject of what the women could smile about in their lives right now.  With complete humility from all, they shared a number of answers.

Merry took pride in her career as a nurse.

Sharon was grateful that her children were walking with the Lord.

Judy mentioned the same as her children and grandchildren had a relationship with Jesus and that God was faithful in that.

Sue spoke of her long-standing, interracial marriage being a point of victory.

Sherri concluded the question by speaking to her marriage and how she still was able to find life after her husband’s death.


With the idea of teaching us “younger women” spiritual maturity, the women were asked about those good and bad habits that came up in their lives.

For many years, Sharon started and stopped in her journey with the Lord.  Now, God has impressed upon her the attitude and habit of prayer – and that has made a big difference to her.

Sherri also had an up and down journey with the Lord.  She was told that God needed to be Lord of her life and that she needed space to satisfy the hunger for the Word in her life.  She did this by beginning the habit of journaling her thoughts.  For a long time now, she has spent time every day with the Lord.  He kept asking her to get up earlier and earlier each day to do so!

Judy has had to develop a habit to pray through health issues, raising kids, and for her husband, throughout her life.

BEAUTY, AGING, & SEX (oh yah, we went there!)

The first person to comment in was Judy, who honestly said that she likes her smiling wrinkles and that most days, she can accept her wrinkles and age…but some days, she doesn’t feel like her age and can get discouraged.

Sue thought that wrinkles and aging are a part of this world and both remind her that she is getting closer to being with the Lord.

And Sharon was just happy to still be here!!

And as for sex (*within the confines of marriage), well…all the women say:  “KEEP UP THE SEX!”  “GO FOR IT!” “ENJOY IT WHILE YOU CAN!”  ~Okay!  Noted!


Oh, to go back and know then what you know now!  If the ladies could tell their 20-something selves something, what would they say?

Merry answered that she would tell herself to develop a relationship with the Lord that was second-nature…like breathing.

Sharon would say, “more will be revealed”.  Our lives our a tapestry that He is weaving.  She would also say that God is faithful and to pay attention to your dreams and pictures of your future.

Sherri would tell herself to find her identity in who God created her to be.  It is a neat thing that you’re different!


Lastly, the panel talked about their mortality.  But most importantly, that they still have opportunities to impact our world.  Sarah asked them what that impact might look like.

Judy spoke of her deep desire to minister to younger women.

Sharon was passionate about praying and encouraging her grandchildren to walk with God.

Merry also had her children on her heart and desires their return to the Lord and how she can be a part of that.

Sue simply wants to get back to writing.  (We’ll hold you to that, Sue!!)

Sherri’s heart spoke of her children and grandchildren not presently walking with the Lord and how she wants to continue to model to them a more intimate relationship with God and the Holy Spirit.

We cannot express enough thanks and love to these five women for opening up their time, hearts, and lives to us that evening.

Be on the lookout for a “Part 2” conversation with these fabulous ladies!


Want to hear more wisdom from these ladies?

Some of them have already written or had an interview for the blog!

Sue M (2)

Sue Martin


To read more wisdom from Sue Martin, click here.





Merry Shervey

From Merry Shervey, click here.






Judy Campbell



From Judy Campbell, click here and here.




Sherri Brown


From Sherri Brown, click here and here.

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