I met Sheree Whitby at the Montrose Christian Writers Conference in July 2011. I was immediately drawn to her as there was this aura, a sense of purpose and profound love for God and for her family, that oozed out of her as she shared her heart with me there. And so I’m pleased and honored to introduce to you my new friend and fellow carrier of the cross, Sheree Whitby.
Carrying the cross is more than wearing a designer shirt with the emblem or a jeweled necklace with a glowing Jesus. Although, there is nothing wrong with that expression, the cross is meant to be displayed through our actions more so than our speech. Our family has embroidered the cross on our lives one step at a time.
I would love to write of the grandiose acts of the Fruit of the Spirit. However, Jesus’ carrying of the cross was done in ultimate humility. After being greatly inspired to pick up my cross at the Montrose Christian Writer’s Conference, I came home on fire for evangelism. My elaborate plans to resurrect the cross in my family’s life were overshadowed with our work, chores, schedules and unexpected tragedies and triumphs.
We decided to get Darren, my youngest son with severe special needs, involved to stick the letters in their place. On the crosses, GOD was placed horizontally and LOVE was placed vertically. Devin had the great idea of hanging them around the house on almost every doorknob. I added hanging them outside on tree branches. We were excited and felt a sense of accomplishment.
To bring more visibility to the cross, I made a second trip to the arts and crafts store to purchase wooden crosses. Upon my return home, I spray painted them cherry red and placed them at the four corners of our property, after my husband and I secured our land in prayer.
The second trip was prompted by an unexpected dead bird landing on our mat at the front door. Unsure of the intent or the earthly sender, we knew we had to counterattack with the blood of Jesus and the cross.
The remainders of the wooden crosses were placed on my children’s bedroom
walls, close to the trees in our front yard and on our porch close to the front
Halloween was a night to remember, and a noteworthy moment for me as a mother. Devin agreed to follow the vision God gave me without my coercion. Instead of joining the world in celebrating Halloween, he decided we whould package red cellophane bags with candy, my business card and a scripture.
Twenty bags filled with the cross we are bearing as a family touched the lives of children and their parents tonight.
As we struggle to combat the enemy in our daily walk with Christ, we cannot forget
that we are in this world, but not of this world (John 17:16). It only takes
the simplest deed to lift our cross for Jesus and impact the world.
Sheree Whitby is an anointed youth pastor, writer and
speaker. She is a child advocate who has a heart for disadvantaged children. As a former teacher, she believes it is essential for each person to strive for excellence in their pursuit of knowledge. Currently, she resides in Maryland with her husband and three children.