Before coming to know the Lord at the age of 32, Judith Brooks was a high school dropout, not sure of what her life’s purpose was.
Then the divorced mother-of-two got to know God — and realised how much more was possible for her, both personally and professionally.
It was during the summer of 1997, after attending an inspirational church conference, that Ms Brooks decided she was ready to complete a lifelong dream of finishing her education.
“After that event my conversation with God went somewhat like this: ‘I’m not sure if this is my leading alone, but please bless me as I pursue higher education’,” she said. “That summer I purchased a General Equivalency Diploma book and went to Boston in the early fall and sat the GED exams and passed.
“By January of 1998, I was sitting in my first college courses, which I completed to the master’s level in the summer of 2001.”
Currently she serves as a family counsellor and parent educator with Government’s Child Development Programme.
Through that journey, God showed her that, while having faith isn’t always easy, anything is possible when you partner with Him — and surround yourself with support from family and friends.
Ms Brooks will be the guest speaker at next Saturday’s event, Living Life Together The Titus 2 Way, taking place at the Willowbank Conference Centre in Sandys from 2pm until 5.30pm.
Hosted by Lorna McGowan, the event will feature a time of fellowship and afternoon tea. It serves to deepen the understanding of what it means to be a Titus 2 woman, as they encourage older women to be a positive example to younger women “with regard to conduct and integrity”.
“Attendees will leave with new friendships, an appreciation of the importance of being a Godly role model inside and outside the home and everyone will go home feeling inspired and rejuvenated,” Ms McGowan added.
Ms Brooks will be speaking on the topic of “Demystifying Family Life in 2017”. She encourages women, wives and mothers of all ages to come out for a time of reflection, inspiration and the chance to determine core values to move themselves and their families forward in the future.
“This event will give women an opportunity to create family branding through mission, vision and core value statements,” Ms Brooks explained. “Women will clarify for themselves through new or updated facts about families what it takes to preserve Christian homes today.
“The goal of the journey is to empower women to know how to clearly invest in strengthening supportive family relationships for building the Kingdom of God.”
As a clinical social worker, Ms Brooks knows all too well the struggles facing families on the island — and sadly, Christian homes are not immune.
Common issues she sees include: poverty, neglect, evictions, homelessness, domestic violence, anger, divorce, trauma, grief and loss, adjusting to parenthood, depression and other social or mental health concerns.
“Families are challenged around the lack of basic needs such as food, shelter, safety or even psychological needs like individuals not feeling accomplished or self-fulfilled,” she explained. “Bermuda’s landscape has changed and continues to do so as evidenced with the number of families on financial assistance, or those relocating in hopes of a better future due to the exorbitant cost of living here in Bermuda.”
When it comes to Christian families, she’s found for the most part, those who have an intimate knowledge of God are often provided a built-in grounding to move through challenging circumstances in their lives.
She stresses the importance of learning to trust God and surrender to His control as a means of coping with difficulties.
“Understanding that all things are possible with God or as John 14:27 states ‘I am leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid’,” she said.
“Accepting that peace has nothing to do with a life of no conflict.”
Tickets, $55, are available by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 234-1616.