Sharon Tubbs

She’s a Proverbs 31 kind of woman.  Like the virtuous woman in that scripture, she is generous, resourceful, hard-working, wise, and above all, she fears the Lord.  Fearing the Lord isn’t about being afraid of God, it’s more about having respect and such high regard for Him that we choose to keep His commandments and obey His instructions.  This virtuous woman we are highlighting today is Sharon Tubbs – a Christian author, writing coach, and inspirational speaker who lives her life dedicated and committed to the Savior. May her story speak to you, encourage you, uplift you, inspire you and lead you to surrender your all to God.

Sharon was born on February 2 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the second-largest city in Indiana, after Indianapolis. The youngest of three children, Sharon was a “Daddy’s girl.” Her favorite early childhood memory is sitting on her father’s lap as he read storybooks to her. “My father would pick out the books from my school’s book club order form and when the books came in, I would run home so he could read them to me,” Sharon said.  Her love for books and reading fueled her love for writing. Sharon excelled in writing essays in school. She often won creative writing contests. She was a bright student, but very shy. “In the classroom, I was the kid who knew the answer, but never raised her hand or engaged in class discussions,” she said. “I was afraid of being wrong or failing or [afraid of] what students would think.” Her shyness was rooted in fear. “Shyness was my default personality especially in a group or with someone who was boisterous. I was fearful of revealing my full self.” She, like many writers, finds solace in the written word – of letting pen and paper (or the computer, today), speak for them.

A middle school counselor,  Ron Flickinger, helped boost Sharon’s confidence in herself through encouraging words and mentorship. “He encouraged me and told me I could do things I never thought of,” she said.  Sharon realizes, Mr. Flickinger was right about her: She could do things she never imagined she could do. Words he uttered many years ago, still resonate with Sharon today.  “One day, he quoted a book and told me: ‘Good is the enemy of great.’ ” For Sharon, this quote means that “when we get too comfortable, it stifles us and keeps us from getting into a greater position – one that God has for us,” she said.

Her school counselor’s mentorship and advice propelled Sharon to work on the high school yearbook staff, and that experience cultivated her love for journalism.  She went on to attend Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, where she majored in journalism. During the summers, she interned as a reporter for the evening newspaper in Fort Wayne. In college, she stayed in her shell, partly due to her shyness and partly due to worries concerning issues back home. (A family member battled drug addiction at the time but has since been delivered). “I was too afraid to be me. I did my schoolwork, determined to graduate from college and get out of Fort Wayne,” she said.  That’s exactly what she did.  Upon graduating from Indiana University in 1995, Sharon landed a job at the Philadelphia Inquirer as a temporary reporter in the New Jersey bureau.  Through the newspaper’s program for correspondents, new reporters or cub reporters as a new journalist is called could stay at the paper for a maximum of two years but would then need to compete for permanent positions there or seek employment elsewhere. It was in New Jersey where Sharon grew as a reporter and developed a relationship with Christ.  “I joined a sizable church, got in the Word and got saved,” she said.  She grew as a Christian and remained at the Philadelphia Inquirer for 10 months then applied and received a position as a reporter at the St. Petersburg Times (now the Tampa Bay Times) in Florida. In the almost 20 years that Sharon resided in Florida, she said she experienced a lot of growth professionally, emotionally and spiritually.  Because of the diversity at the newspaper and throughout the Tampa Bay area, Sharon said she met and had to interact with many people of different races and nationalities. Getting to know others who were different from herself through these encounters for stories, or at her church, or other professional meetings, showed her that despite the differences, we all have similarities. First and foremost, we are all God’s creatures. These new experiences at work and church gave Sharon confidence and helped draw her out of her shell. Soon, Sharon was hosting small-group Bible studies in her home. In 2005, Sharon decided to attend a writer’s conference in New Mexico. There, she learned a lot about the writers’ industry and book publishing. “I always wanted to write books,” she said. In fact, prior to attending the conference, she had started working on a book titled, “Milk & Honey: 10 Principles to Embracing Your Promised Land.” Her vision for the book was for it to help readers discover their God-ordained purpose for their lives. In 2006, about a year after that conference in New Mexico, Sharon self-published “Milk & Honey” and is currently working to revamp parts of it to further expand on the principles within it. After reading Sharon’s book, she said a friend of hers became emboldened to reclaim her life after a broken marriage.

In 2011, Sharon’s next book, “Living in the Pink” was published. The title refers to Christians who are neither hot nor cold in their walk but find themselves living in that grey area (or pink area) between the red scarlet stain of sin and allowing God to cleanse them as white as snow, as the Bible says. The book chronicles the lives of several women who meet a Godly woman who helps them develop a spiritual perspective in dealing with children, church traditions and marriage. The book includes discussion questions at the end of the chapters to help readers self-reflect on their own walk with the Lord. Sharon said she felt led to find a publisher for this book after completing one of her small group Bible studies using the book, “Believing God” by Beth Moore. “During that study, we all wrote down what we were going to do by faith. I put down:  Have “Living in the Pink” published by a traditional publisher.”  Three months later, Sharon had a book deal. Sharon said God uses her books “to speak to people where they are.” Her goal for writing Christian novels is “to have people to reach their potential in Christ,” Sharon said. “A lot of times, Christians don’t know their purpose – what God created them to do. They get stuck in a routine of work and church and not doing what they are passionate about. God wants us to be passionate and to take the path He has for us. We resist that path because often our destiny doesn’t look like we want it to.” Sharon said that when things don’t work out, we think we’ve missed God, but sometimes, His path is just different for us and we have to trust Him.  “When God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, He didn’t take them on the shortest route to get to Canaan.  On the shorter route, they would have encountered enemies and turned back,” Sharon said.

She said that getting a book deal and writing her books were not easy tasks. It took some time, but she did not give up, and that is her advice to us: “Keep on. Don’t turn back. Don’t give up. Keep doing what God told you to do. You don’t know how He will choose to manifest the gift He gave you.”

Other books she has written include: “40 Days of Faith,” a self-published devotional book, and “The Healing Place,” released in 2018 as a companion novel to “Living in the Pink.” This powerful book focuses on healing – emotionally and spiritually.  Her books may be purchased on her own website, GoMoveForward.com. Sharon left the newspaper industry in 2012 and founded Move Forward Communications, a company through which she provides motivational speaking and writing services, as well as life coaching workshops to help others reach their potential in Christ.  Sharon also serves as a keynote speaker at women’s conferences across different denominations. She has spoken God’s word in Florida, Indiana, and Ohio. “God has given me a heart for women,” she said.  

When it comes to mentors, the woman who truly inspires her is her mother.  “She’s a strong, Godly woman who has overcome hardships and always been my role model.”  

As a single Christian woman, she has dated but does not compromise on Godly principles for those relationships.  Does she think she’ll get married one day? “I hope so. Could I please?” she said. She knows that everything has a season as her favorite book, The Bible, so states in Ecclesiastes 3. “I believe that the purpose God has for me has not called for a mate to be a part of it up to this point in my life.

Her generous spirit and prompting from the Holy Spirit led Sharon to be an organ donor in 2017. She donated a kidney to a person in need based on being led by the Holy Spirit. “I did all the research and was tested to see if I could be a match even before I told the person I would do it,” Sharon said. “I felt that was what God wanted me to do.”  She also believes that it was God who compelled her to leave Florida and return to her hometown a few years ago. She didn’t want to do that, because that path looked very different from what she envisioned for herself. But trusting God has led to so many God-ordained opportunities since she returned to Indiana. While back in her home state, Sharon has been blessed to speak at Christian women’s conferences,  to oversee the women’s ministry at her local church and to offer writers’ workshops at local libraries to teach and encourage other new writers about publishing and writing their stories. “I have to focus on what God has for me in this season. We all have to see the value in what God has called us to do. That’s where the blessing is,” she said.

This difference-maker for Jesus is guided by her favorite scripture: Ephesians 2:10:  “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”  “We are different from anyone else and we all have gifts and talents. How we express these gifts is different and cannot be mimicked,” Sharon said. “If I am uniquely me and see myself as His masterpiece – as one-of-a-kind, then I am the difference.”

Sharon as a Catalyst Woman:

  • She desires to be obedient to Christ, which has been evident in her willingness to donate her kidney to someone she recently met, in leaving her job in Florida, and in moving back to her home state of Indiana.
  • She’s teaching the gospel and inspiring women to live for Christ.
  • She’s written novels that show readers how flawed and vulnerable characters can be made whole through Jesus’ redemptive love.
  • She uses her other writings to show readers that they can come to know their purpose and calling for their lives through Christ.
  • She’s a champion for helping women embrace and love themselves so they can embrace and love others.
  • She mentors writers through workshops to help them tell their stories.
  • She refuses to compromise her Christian beliefs.

 

Women were created to give birth and not necessarily to just children. Like Sharon, you can give birth to your dreams and to the dreams and passions of others. From her story, we are reminded that there is a great blessing for obedience. “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you if you obey the voice of the Lord your God.” (Deuteronomy 28:1-2 ESV)

 

Maybe you are struggling to obey God’s call for your life or struggling to feel whole just as you are today. If this is you and you would like to talk, please email us at: CatalystWomen.Info@gmail.com.  We would be happy to talk and pray with you.  Change is ever-present. Like Sharon, you, too, are a Catalyst Woman!

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Thank you!

Your message has been sent. We'll contact you shortly