The Storyteller Tells a Story of Faith… God’s People at Work The Path Beneath My Feet – “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” Psalms 119:105 (NIV)
The series of stories under this heading will feature people of faith from both Barnitz and Mt. Zion churches who have not only built the foundation of our churches, but also the foundation of our faith. “The Path Beneath My Feet” is a periodic series of stories which will showcase these people. Bette Newcomer (B) is the next feature story in this series.
Psalm 118:24 “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (NIV) For those of you who know Bette Newcomer (B), you know she is a joyful person. Part of that joy can be attributed to personality, but part is assurance that Bette knows where her eternity lies. You see, at the age of 8, Bette accepted the Lord as her Savior. Even though she was a young child when she answered that call, she has followed Jesus since then. While she will be the first to tell you that she hasn’t always put God first in her life, she will tell you with certainty she has always felt His presence.
Bette was married in 1984 and she and her husband welcomed their first child Steven a couple of years later. At that point, she wasn’t worshipping regularly, but she soon felt the need to get Steven to church. Bette says, “When Steven was 4 years old, I had a friend who asked me if I wanted to help with the VBS program at her church.” She did and she took Steven with her accepting the opportunity to get Steven familiar with a church environment. She and Steven enjoyed themselves, but when the program ended “we went on our way and didn’t go back,” says Bette.
Another son, Matthew, was born in 1991. However, he was stillborn which threw Bette into a situation where at a young age, she had to deal with the grief of losing a child. Pastor Kevin Hughes, Uriah United Methodist Church pastor whom Bette met at VBS, baptized Mathew and helped her through her grief. Bette remembers the people of Uriah being so good to them. She adds, “This was the point where I ran back to God. Don’t get me wrong, there were times when I was mad at God and yelled at Him and asked why (many times), but He was there for me no matter what and He never left me. Through time and with God’s grace and the love of family, friends and strangers, my faith grew stronger and I was able to feel joy again. I felt that even though Matthew was not with me, I knew he was in Heaven with God. I explained to people I felt Matthew went straight from me into the welcoming arms of Jesus. My son would never feel any pain or be hurt. I just knew I needed to trust God and the day would come when I would see Matthew again and all the hurt and pain would end forever.” And she did trust God. “Less than a year after Matthew was born, my daughter, Rachel, was born. She was quite the surprise and blessing,” adds Bette.
“I have become so much closer to God than I ever thought possible. That does not mean that there are (not) times that I stray and feel far away from God, I do. I might feel far away, but God is always there. I’m so thankful for God’s grace and love. I try to do the right thing and live out my faith in my deeds and actions. However, (spoiler alert) I am far from perfect and sin every day … but I am so thankful that God is patient with me and forgiving. God wants us to come to Him just as we are, with all our flaws and burdens. Even when we make mistakes, He will still love us. He wants to be on a journey with us,” says Bette. She takes comfort in one of her favorite Bible passages:
1 John 14:1-4 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in Me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” (NIV)
Bette adds, “I am certain in the years to come, I will continue to face struggles and have my ups and downs. But I know God is always with me and always for me. After all, because of Him, I can face tomorrow.”