I grew up on a farm and my sister and I had childhoods full of four-wheeling, catching lightning bugs in old mason jars and running outside barefoot until our feet were black with dirt! I grew up going to a small Baptist church. I can remember from a very young age, praying to God and believing in Jesus with all my heart. It was at the age of 9 that I gave my life to Jesus.
I met my husband (Bryan) when I was 14 years old and knew I would marry him. It would be eight years before we would get married, and when that day came, it truly was one of the happiest days of my life! As life went on, life got tougher. My parents divorced, Bryan’s mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and for the first time in my life, people I loved were dying. During those times, I came face to face with what I really believed about God and that shaped everything about who I was.
In 1998, I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, and Bryan and I began our life together back in our home town in North Carolina. We had great jobs; we had built our dream house on my grandparent’s farm and started a family. Life was right on track! We were serving the Lord at our home church and thought this was the life God had for us forever!
Boy, were we wrong!
Throughout those years, I began teaching a college singles’ Sunday school class and realized my love for teaching. God had begun a mighty work in my heart and I was eager to be used by Him in a way I had never known before. As the years went by, God began showing me that my calling was to teach! I surrendered to this call when I was offered a pharmacy faculty position at a nearby University. I began teaching pharmacy students and learned the “art” of teaching. I enjoyed teaching pharmacy students, but there was a deeper passion within me to encourage others through God’s Word. There was a fire burning inside of me which led me to begin writing women’s Bible studies. When I delivered my first women’s Bible study, I felt as if my spirit was going to jump right out of my body! I was overwhelmed with joy!
The fire that burned within me was affirmation that God was up to something.
In 2011, God called our family to move to Tennessee. We sold our dream house, packed up our family and moved 600 miles to a place where we did not know anyone. It was so hard to move away from our extended family, but we knew God was in it, and so with tears in our eyes, we obeyed His call. While in Tennessee, I was invited to be a guest on Tom Mapes’ Christian radio show to tell my “God story”. I instantly fell in love with Christian radio!
After the show, Tom suggested I begin doing a daily radio segment to encourage women. After much prayer, in 2012, Joytime Ministries and “Joytime” began. “Joytime” is a one minute radio segment aimed at encouraging women to walk more closely with God.
Since then, God has been doing amazing things! Joytime has grown and now airs on radio stations all over the world. God has connected me to Christian music artists and has provided opportunities for me to encourage women from all walks of life. I am so grateful for the opportunity God has given to me through Joytime to speak a word of encouragement into the lives of women.
In 2014, God moved our family back to North Carolina where I now teach at High Point University. God continues to amaze me with opportunities to encourage women through radio and speaking engagements. That fire inside of me burns brighter than ever! I am not sure where God is taking me, but I am excited to follow Him in complete abandonment of myself.
“Faithful is He who calls you, and He will do it.” ~1 Thessalonians 5:24
Grateful for you,
Joy is an Assistant Dean and Professor at the Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy at High Point University in North Carolina.