(1) Tell us a little about your family and growing up years.My dad is a bivocational Baptist minister, and I grew up in little country churches. My parents loved me and encouraged me to believe I could do anything! I’m the oldest of three girls, and a classic first-born. We moved several times when I was young, so I spent a good part of those years feeling awkward and lonely. Sometimes, that feeling still creeps up on me.
(2) When did you know God was calling you to write?Actually, my husband spoke that over me when our kids were toddlers! I got serious when I started writing my own Bible studies and lessons, around 2003. I really consider myself a student first, a teacher second, and a writer after that.
(3) Who is a person that is making and has made a strong impact on your life, and why?My husband, Steve. He’s rarely flustered, and can always switch gears and see the big picture. He’s also one of the most generous and gracious people I know.
(4) What is your life verse?
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace
as you trust Him so you may abound with hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit.
My middle name is Hope, and I’ve woven this verse into the long-version of my testimony. It's the lens through which I view life!
(5) Other than Jesus, what Bible hero would you like to talk to?Gracious, so many - Joseph, David, Daniel, Peter. Since most of your readers are women, I’ll go with two ladies: OT - Deborah the Judge. NT – Lydia from the church in Philippi.
(6) What in depth Bible study would you recommend to my readers?An older Precept Upon Precept study, Kinsman Redeemer. (Actually, I’m a fan of PUP studies in general. They’re all great!)
(7) Tell us of how you came to a saving relationship with Christ?Growing up in a Christian home, I always believed in Jesus but I didn’t always belong to Him. When I was five years old, I asked Him into my heart because I knew that’s what He wanted to do. But when I was 12, I understood that my sin separated me from God, that I needed to be forgiven for my sin, and that Jesus was the only One Who could forgive me. So I guess my coming to faith had two points: believing at age 5, repenting at age 12.
(8) Please give a word of encouragement and hope to my readers who may be struggling today.No matter what’s going on in your life, nothing is outside God’s ability or desire to redeem. NOTHING. Once you fully trust Him with a situation, He’ll bring healing and restoration. It might not look like what you imagine, but it will be something that deepens your faith and reveals His glory.
Susan Stilwell lives in Roanoke, VA with her husband, Steve, and their Yorkie, Sophie. She has two kids in college: Scott at Virginia Tech, and Sarah at James Madison University. When the whole family is home, she makes sure to have three things handy: a pot of hot coffee, a jigsaw puzzle, and a board game.
She's a passionate teacher of God's Word, and enjoys writing lessons and Bible studies. She's also a conference speaker and has helped lead tours to the Holy Land.