In J4 Leaders this year, we are discussing promises we can cling to, as Christian women leading in the marketplace. On Tuesday, Amanda Ober, reporter for WESH 2 news and J4 Leader Board member, discussed her personal journey of God leading her through the storms of life.
Amanda has always loved stories. In fact, when she was in the 4th grade, she confidently told her parents she wanted to be a news reporter. Because she loves stories so much, God often uses them to speak to her.
Amanda explained that she is not known for being athletically gifted. She thinks she must have been doing her hair the day that God gave out the athletic gifts! In her 20s, she had a lot of very athletic friends, and joined them to climb Mt. Washington, the highest mountain peak in New Hampshire, where they lived. During this climb, the group leader, Brian was keeping a special eye on her, knowing this may be a bit of a stretch for her, physically. When they were nearing the top, a huge storm came and she started fearing for her safety. Brian grabbed her, looked her in the eyes and said "Amanda - Just follow my every step. Whatever I do, just copy me." He led her in the 'Step.Rest' method, alternately giving each leg time to rest after each step, allowing for more control and avoiding exhaustion. This was a method that she knew well, but had forgotten to use in the panic of the moment. Step by step, she followed him.
Wouldn't it be great if we could make it to the top of the mountains without any storms? In John 16:33, Jesus says, "In this world you will have trouble, but take heart. I have overcome the world."
What trial do you face today? We all need to be delivered from something.
Psalm 34:4 says "I sought the lord and we answered me." and in verse 17, : The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles." When we seek God and cry out, God's word says that He will hear us and answer us and deliver us.
In 2014, Amanda was enjoying a season that seemed as though God had given her a gift that had long been a desire of her heart. As quickly as it came into her life, however, it was taken away, leaving her devastated. Her heart was utterly broken but she was in a place in her walk with God where she knew that He was the only one who was going to catch her heart so she turned to Him. She sensed God asking her to devote 10 weeks fully to Him. All the time she had, she gave to being in His presence. Sometimes that looked like just weeping to the lord, other times she would read scripture and books, or journal or listen to sermons. Her condo became a holy place where she experienced the presence of God.
When we set our desire to seek God with all of our hearts, He honors that and makes a way.
God delivered her through her storm, one step at a time. 'Step. Rest. Step. Rest.' She followed Him step by step. It was not instant, but slowly hope entered her soul. While the enemy went after her mind saying she was rejected. God revealed to her that she was being protected.
Since then, God has allowed Amanda to use this storm that He led her through to minister to others experiencing heartbreak and longing, causing them to question if God really cares about them. She now has confidence in God's love for us and ability to make broken hearts whole again. God turns the storms He delivers us from into our ministry. We can reach out to others and let them know they are not alone in experiencing the storms of life.
On Mount Washington, as she followed Brian, step by step, eventually, the storm subsided. When she got to the top, it was one of the most beautiful views she had ever experienced. When God delivers us, there is joy and there is laughter.
When we seek Jesus in the trials of life, He will deliver us either from it or through it. When He leads us, out we can look back and remember His faithfulness and we can run to people who's hearts have been broken and show them the way out
A special thank you to Amanda for sharing her story with us!
Amanda Ober is a general board member for J4 Leaders. She joined WESH 2 News in August 1997, moving to central Florida from her home state of New Hampshire where she was the morning and noon anchor at WMUR-TV in Manchester. She earned a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism from Troy State University in Troy, AL. She has received several professional awards, including the Associated Press Best Spot News award for tracking down two of New Hampshire's top 10 deadbeat dads. Amanda is an accomplished political reporter, part of the WMUR-TV team that covered New Hampshire's presidential primaries in 1992 and 1996. Amanda was also part of the team that won a Columbia Dupont award for coverage of the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy, as well as an Edward R. Murrow regional award for her reporting on the Casey Anthony trial. Amanda has volunteered on the board of several faith-based non-profits including the Christian Service Center and Samaritan Village. She currently serves on the Governing Board of Summit Church as well as the board of J4 Leaders. She also volunteers as a coach to small group leaders at her church and as a mentor to several young woman. Amanda is a proud graduate of Lifework Leadership Orlando.