Introduce yourself! Share a little bit about who you are, what you do, and what makes you YOU!
Hey yall, I’m so honored to be here sharing today! My name is Wynne Elder and I’m a wife and mama living in Texas. I’ve been married to my college sweetheart, Stephen, for almost a decade and we’ve been back in his college town a little over a year. Together, we have two kiddos – Camp + Asher – whom we adopted from Ethiopia over 3 years ago. They are the joy of our lives! I am a natural connector and “haven maker” – I love to connect with people + people to each other and am passionate about creating spaces of belonging for women to feel like they can be their true self. I have a space in downtown Bryan where I host gatherings, called The Haven. I also write on my blog wynneelder.com and share my life on instagram. I founded a ministry for women struggling through infertility, called The Carry Camp. I love being outdoors, traveling, writing, and as a true extrovert – sharing my life with people!
Share your story–how did you come to know Christ? What have been some big milestones, both good and difficult, of your journey?
This is a great question. A question I wish I was sitting across the table at the coffee shop telling you about right now! I grew up in the church and was there probably every time the doors were open. I was a classic “good girl” / first born/ rule follower and always thought I had to be who everyone “expected” me to be. After years of constant striving, I finally cracked and after my freshman year of college started the “downward spiral”, as I call it. God in his goodness relentlessly pursued me, and on a mission trip to Juarez, Mexico spring of my sophomore year, He showed me that I was cleansed from my sin. In an instant, my shame was gone and I was fully His. I have never been the same since that moment. It is a spiritual marker in my life forever.
Now don’t hear me say that life was all butterflies and rainbows after that spring day. Since then I’ve built up quite a few “arrows in my arsenal” of faith as I call it. Going on 7 years of infertility, raising a son with special needs, and a tumultuous adoption process to name a few. Life hasn’t been easy, but we aren’t promised that, we are promised that God will be with us, and that he has! My faith has been tested, but through the hard times I’ve only grown closer in intimacy with him seeing my need for him in a new way. I wouldn’t trade my story for anything, knowing the “suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame” Romans 5: 3-5.
The Lord has been there through it all.
How have you seen God at work in the hard moments of your journey? Where has God made beauty in the broken and unexpected places in your life?
He’s shown me so vividly recently simply how he is physically there through it all. In the moments of frustration and anger, and the moments of pure joy – he is there through it all, he never leaves my side and he never will. Through infertility he has made the broken beautiful – giving me a ministry to come alongside other women deep in the struggle and help carry their burdens. He’s used my story to be light and hope for others. Through adoption and special needs, he’s sent people to walk alongside of me – women who’ve gone before to encourage me, and he’s allowed me to be that same blessing to others. He’s been glorified through it all!
Why do you think it is important that we share our stories?
IT’S SO IMPORTANT that we share our stories because when someone shares their story, it lends someone else to say “you too? I thought I was the only one”. It helps people not feel so alone, and connects us to each other. We need each other for support, prayer, encouragement – we truly are better together.
Have there been any specific Bible verses/songs/soundtracks/books etc. that have made a big impact on your life and your journey?
oh so many. my life verses are found is Psalm 40 –
“He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord”
What is one thing you would like readers to take away from your story and your experiences?
No matter what you’ve gone through, you are not alone. I hope that you are encouraged, inspired and challenged. I hope after reading this you can see the places where God has relentlessly pursued you, even now. You are beautiful.