My name is Verba Cross. My best friend is Jesus. I have learned in the past few years that He is especially fond of me. The feeling is mutual. My next best friend is Duane, my teenage sweetheart and my husband of 31 years. I have always loved him, but admittedly there were times I didn’t really like him. Those were really hard times. I am so thankful for the glorious new places The Father has brought us into….. Places of forgiveness and freedom. Places where hearts heal, trust is reclaimed, and connection abounds. Life is really fun in this place. We are empty nesters and while we miss those days of activity, we are settling into a new normal, and we find ourselves rather enjoying it. Our 4 grown children and their spouses are now our adult friends and we spend lots of time together. Our two precious granddaughters are truly one of life’s BEST and greatest gifts!
In 2017 Duane and I moved from our home in Goshen, Indiana, to Hastings, Michigan, where we joined Haven of Hope Ministries. Duane is a full time counselor and I join him sometimes. We enjoy sitting with couples and watching the Holy Spirit set them free. Our own messy story has truly become our message. Redemption is possible. Freedom is glorious…… WE and YOU are His Beloved! In the realization and knowing of this powerful truth I love living.
My life was greatly impacted when our family lived in Jamaica from 2003-2006. We experienced life in a third world country where poverty, immorality and hopelessness are real. A place where hunger and thirst are certain, and murder is common. And yet, incredibly, many are more grateful than you and I, praising God often for breath in their lungs and another day to live. It was there that I began to grasp the gift of being born in America to a Christian family. It was there that I began to understand the privilege I have been given. The wonder of using these gifts to share with my friends there on the poverty stricken hills along with the message that Jesus is real….. and that we ALL are HIS Beloved has been life changing! These dear ones have become my true friends. They call me “family.” They think I’ve ministered to them when in reality it is many of them who have truly shown me the ways of the Father.
My journey as a part of Graceful has been another highly impactful piece in the tapestry of my life! In 2012 my sister asked if I would consider singing with her and few other ladies who were learning Christmas songs to share on a Sunday evening in one of our local churches. I was honored and excitedly agreed! The ensuing years have been filled with so many God moments. Sweet friendships developed when we embraced the challenges of doing relationships well, especially in the midst of much intensity at times as we attempt to sing with excellence the message Father has given us to share. I do not claim to be an expert in either the theory of music or its delivery, but I can tell you that in pressing in and being brave enough to do things that feel really hard to me, I have experienced much grace! “The divine influence, or heavenly power to do what would otherwise be impossible,” and it has been good. The privilege and opportunity to sing with these ladies has indeed been life changing. Their invitation came at a time when I was struggling to believe that God is good, He is good to me, and I can trust Him. It was a dark season of my life. A season I never want to repeat, and miraculously, a season I have recently thanked the Father for. I am forever grateful to these ladies who accepted me in my brokenness, loved me unconditionally, and in doing so poured the sweet oil of healing into my heart. I am looking forward to being a part of Refresh 2020 along with my “Graceful” sisters!