Friday, February 4, 2011


Want to meet an amazing woman of God? Connie Wetzell is that woman. She is here today to chat with us. I encourage you to grab a cup of coffee, sit back and take all her words in. Oh, did they bless my soul. Connie is one of those straight shooters who speaks truth with love. The only way for a woman after God's own to heart to speak. She has a grace about her words that you know comes from the heart. A heart that is inspired by God.  I had did not know of Connie prior to my sweet friend, Julie Miller Gorman, signing me up to receive Women Inspired. A two minute call daily with encouragement and inspiration from a group of ladies that has become a blessed part of my life. I look forward to each Monday, because I know Connie is going to bless me. If you are not receiving a call from Women Inspired daily I encourage you to click on the link and see what it is all about. I promise you will be inspired.

As I read over Connie's words my heart just filled with peace. A sweet, tender peace.  There are times in our lives where we feel alone. We feel like we are the only one in the whole world going through such trials. You just never know what one's life is really like until you take the time to ask. It seems as though we are afraid to reach into an others heart. Maybe we are fearful we might learn something about ourselves. Maybe something painful will be revealed. Friends, we must dig down deep and allow God to show us we can have peace through surrendering all to Him. We can be content and reach comfort in our abundant life with Him. We are on a great journey. Christ is our everything. He is who makes us complete. But we can find blessings through sharing one an others burdens. By lifting one another up through encouragement. We can inspire by sharing with others they are not alone.  Each lady who visits was God given, God empowered, and God inspired. I want to get to the heart of a person. That's what I try to do with Lets Chat Friday. I want to show that we can be honest with our struggles. No one lives the life of a Hallmark card daily. We each have our battles. Connie shares some of her battles, but she too shares her hopes and all that God has done, is doing and will do in her life. I know you too are going to love Connie. Here is our chat.

(Robin) Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

(Connie) I was born and raised in Chicago. I’m 100% Sicilian Italian. The first thing I loved in my life was music. I started singing when I could talk. I can’t tell you how much I love a good cup of coffee. I started drinking it when I was a baby. My mother somehow heard it had a calming effect (go figure) and she put one ounce of coffee with 7 ozs. of milk in my baby bottle. I’ve been hooked ever since. Can I just tell you how much I love perfume? I’m a real girly girl. I’ve always wanted to have a little tomboy in me, but it wasn’t to be. I have 2 beautiful grown daughters, one adorable grandson ( I cannot put into words how crazy I am about him) and another on the way. I love to travel. My favorite cities in the U.S. are Chicago, San Francisco, and New York. Things that I enjoy doing: Cooking, gardening, decorating, dancing, hiking, listening to great music, watching great films and reading great books. I love to hang out at coffee shops and get into good conversations with people. If I could only pick one type of food in the world to eat, it would be CHOCOLATE.

(Robin) I would love for you to share your testimony
(Connie) I was raised in the Catholic Church and attended Catholic School for 8 years. Although I always believed in Jesus Christ and had a deep reverence for the Lord, I had never known anything about knowing Him on a personal level and that the Bible was the way to get to know Him better. After my boss witnessed to me, I began to read a modern day translation of the Bible. And I accepted Christ into my life at the age of 20 after realizing I could have a personal relationship with Him. For the most part, I would say that life didn’t really get difficult for me until 1999 when my father passed away and I began dealing with panic attacks that debilitated my life. It threw me into a deep depression. This episode caused me to press into the word of God like never before. Through the saturation of God’s word and the faith to believe that His promises were true for me, I obtained complete healing from panic and depression without natural meds. Life is like the stock market. It has its ups and downs. I’ve gone through many difficult challenges. I was divorced after being married for 26 years and my divorce was a shock to me. I was divorced against my will. There was nothing I could do to save our marriage. I was never given the opportunity. Till this day, 8 years down the road, I can honestly say, I didn’t see it coming. I’ve had to rebuild my life after the divorce and the ONE who will never leave us or forsake us walked with me every step of the way. I’ve had to learn some hard lessons since that time. God has called me to a high place and He will not settle for anything less than the excellence and character that I’m capable of. So I try to die to self everyday and do what He has called me to do. I’m excited to see what God will do…praying and believing that my latter will be better than my former.

(Robin) In your journey as a woman what has been the most challenging?
(Connie) Definitely going through a divorce, empty nest syndrome, a milestone birthday and menopause all at the same time. It’s amazing I didn’t end up in the psych unit. God was so faithful to me during that time… filling my life with friends that held me up when I was too weak to stand, showing me the heart and the love of God. If I was sure of one thing in this life besides having to pay taxes and dying, I would’ve bet the farm that we would’ve stayed married until one of us died. I was so naive. In my book, divorce was something I thought I was exempt from because we were both believers. It never occurred to me that it could be possible. Christians don’t get divorced, right? Wrong!! It was the end of the dream that I had…to grow old with the man who was my husband, the father of my two children. We would baby sit our grand babies together, go on vacations together, see the legacy of a beautiful marriage passed down to our children and grandchildren. So, I had to start all over again. I had to rebuild my life as a single woman This was not something I wanted to do but he made the decision to leave. So I could do one of 2 things…shrivel up, be angry about it my rest of my life and die… or forgive, move on and start a new adventure. I chose to look at it as a new beginning, not a new chapter, but a whole new book. It is definitely a huge part of my story that has molded me into the woman I am today.

(Robin) What has been the most challenging aspect of being a mother and the most rewarding?
(Connie) Now that my children are grown women, I feel that the most challenging thing is the fact that they watch my life intently. They listen to what I say and watch what I do. I have to set good examples for them through my words and deeds because they know that I’m a believer and if my walk doesn’t match my talk, if I compromise the law of the Lord, they will know it. How would they every take any advice that I’d give them seriously, if I’m nothing but a clanging cymbal of just “words.” They watch where I walk and what I do and it causes me to strive to live excellently for God.

The most rewarding aspect is this: I really do think that my girls would rise up and call me blessed. Not because I’m perfect. No one is, but because they know my heart. They know that I’m a praying mother and that I love them unconditionally. I see the beautiful women they have become inside and out. I see my daughter raising my grandson with skills I wish I had when I was raising her.

(Robin) I believe a mistake is only a mistake if we cannot walk away with greater wisdom. Has there been a time in your life where struggle occurred from a poor decision and if so, how did you overcome it?
(Connie) Ok, I could write an entire book about this one. I will have to be very transparent. After my 26 year marriage ended, I felt very rejected and betrayed. I didn’t allow myself the necessary time it took to grieve this horrific loss. When you go through something that traumatic, most decisions you make are purely based on emotions. In other words, your brain goes on vacation, and you base many decisions on feelings.. When a husband leaves a wife, she feels that there is something wrong with her. So, of course, who do we need to validate us as women?....Men, right? We need a “mandaid” to stop all the bleeding from the open heart surgery we’ve just had. And that is exactly what I did. I ran into the arms of another broken, hurting man whose marriage had just ended also, but I felt safe with him because I’d known him for 10 years prior and was comfortable with him. That turned into a 4 year relationship which he ended on the weekend we were suppose to get engaged. He couldn’t go through with it. So I had my heart broken again. I was completely devastated because I “needed” him. I was addicted to him. He became my idol. Isn’t it amazing how the God of the universe pales in comparison to our idols? God forgive us! I had a nine eleven happen in my life (the divorce) and tried to rebuild the towers (my heart) in a few months by getting into a relationship with someone else in order to stop the bleeding and mask the pain. Because I did that, it took me twice as long to heal. What should’ve taken about 4 years, took 8 years. But now, I’m happy to say that I’ve done the work necessary to become an emotionally healthy woman. So, if the “right” man came into my life now, I would be able to make wise decisions and move forward.

I see women doing this all the time after a divorce…especially Christian women, and worse yet, marrying right away because they don’t want to have sex outside of marriage in accordance with God’s word. So what happens? In most cases, another divorce. I can’t stress enough how important it is to heal… to go through the stages of grief and become a whole person again before adding someone else into the mix. Also, I can’t tell you how many times I see women settle because they think they need a man to survive. God has let me know under no uncertain terms that He will never allow me to put Him in second place again. No one or no thing will come before Him. He has shown me that HE is all I need. Sure, I can love and desire a man in a healthy way, but I don’t need anyone or anything but Him. He has called me to this high standard and He requires that of me.

(Robin) How do you define success?
(Connie) I define success by living a life filled with contentment, fulfillment and joy in all circumstances. The apostle Paul is a good role model for that one. I define success by making a difference in other people’s lives. By sharing what we’ve learned through our own journey to encourage others. By operating in the gifts that God has given us. I define success by being “wealthy”….wealthy in relationships…with our mates, children, family members, friends, co-worker, etc. I define success by laying treasures up in heaven…eternal treasures. I like to make deposits into that account as much as I can. I define success by being wise in making the right choices and living a life of integrity. I will have reached true success when I’ve crossed the Jordan and the Lord looks at me with those loving eyes and He says, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

(Robin) Looking back, what advice would give to yourself at the age of eighteen to prepare you for life ahead?
(Connie) Several things. I would tell myself to be a much better steward of my finances. Save more. Plan better. I would tell myself to plan for a career that I loved and could make a great living doing it. I would tell myself that eventually the proverbial garbage is gonna hit the fan and when it does, the ONE who created me, who designed me with a purpose and plan in mind was NEVER going to leave my side, even when I felt abandoned and that He would walk me through everything good and not so good thing in my life. As a woman who is a communicator, I would tell myself how important it is to LISTEN to what others say. That’s what communicating is. “I talk, you listen. You talk, I listen.” We can learn so much by just listening. I would tell myself to savor every present moment. Because that’s all we really have.

(Robin) With a new year beginning, what do you hope to accomplish this year?
(Connie) There are certain things that I am praying for in my personal life and for my children. But I am very excited that God has opened an incredible opportunity for me to be a part of the “Women Inspired” team. And I would like to thank Dr. Clint Steele for extending that invitation to me. I have so much respect for the women on the team and though we haven’t met in person yet, our weekly conference calls and the messages they leave every week have bonded us together already. I look forward to encouraging women every week to live with fulfillment and joy in their God given purpose. I hope to meet some of them in person through our conferences.

Also, I hope to add a title to my audio CD series, “The Healing Word of God” These are scripture based CD’s, narrated by me and accompanied by beautiful music. These are verses that the Lord gave me when He healed me of panic attacks and depression. The verses are categorized into topics and they are for people that are at the end of their rope. The Word of God is truly “medicine for the soul.” I would like to record this project in Spanish and do a series for children as well.

(Robin) What encouraging words would you give to someone encountering loss.
(Connie) Actually there are “no words” that would take away the pain of loss. And the wrong words would actually add to the pain of loss. There is nothing I could say that could fill the void of loss. I would hold them and love them. I would be there for them whenever I could. We all have to walk through it in our own time.

Weeping may remain for a night, but joy comes in the morning.

(Robin) My pastor says, “If the Lord has done something for you the least you can do is say so, “Dear friend, what is the Lord doing in your life.”
(Connie) He is protecting me.( He holds me with his righteous right hand) He is providing for me. (Jehovah Jireh is my provider). He is loving me like no one else can (Nothing can separate me from His love). He’s listening to the prayers of a praying mother. (And when you call upon me, I will answer you.) He’s committed to me and will not leave me ( I will never leave you nor forsake you). He’s leading my steps. (The steps of a righteous man/woman are ordered by the Lord). He is romancing me in the dance of life (Your maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His name.)

(Robin) What empowering advice would you give to someone facing adversity?
(Connie) Depending on what that adversity was, it might be different, but in general, I would give them one of my all time favorite verses “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all your ways and He WILL direct your path.

If God is for you, who can be against you?

For we know that ALL things work together for good, to those who’ve been called according to His purpose.

He will give us beauty for ashes and restore the years the locusts have eaten.

This whole thing is a walk of faith. So much of what happens in life doesn’t make sense to us. Bottom line is that we either believe that God is who He says He is or we don’t.

(Robin) In your legacy what do you hope to leave behind?
(Connie) A trail of people who’s lives I’ve touched in some small way…especially my children and grandchildren. I would want them to want to model me in some way. I would want them to say, “My Mom was the real deal.” She lived the way she spoke. I would hope that they would see the faithfulness of God in my life, that it was worth it all. That they would serve God everyday of their lives and it would be passed down to the generations after me.

Didn't I tell you, you would be blessed? Oh, Connie, so many nuggets to carry away today. Thank you so much for being a part of Lets Chat. You inspire by allowing Christ to shine through your life. What a treasure you are. We indeed worship a God who gives beauty for ashes.  Blessings to you, Connie.

Be sure to check out Connie's links to all she is doing. and

If Connie has blessed you today please leave her a comment. Share your questions and prayers. I know she would love to hear from you.


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