Today, we introduce you to Sheila B. Sheila’s husband is the late E. K. Bailey, who was pastor of Concord Baptist Church for almost thirty years before succumbing to cancer.
Sheila and E. K. were introduced in college by his friend, Melvin Wade. (E.K. later returned the favor by introducing Melvin to his wife, Jacquie!) Sheila is head of Sheila B. Ministries, serving women who have experienced great loss.
4word: Can you tell us the story behind your recent book, “Makeovers with Leftovers”?
Sheila: “Makeovers with Leftovers” evolved from a message I presented, into an 8-week bible study and finally into a book.
People had been asking me to teach a class for widows. Though I’d been a Bible teacher for years, the burden of grief had been so heavy that I didn’t want to focus on widowhood. One day I read a familiar Bible story in 2 Kings 4:1-7 about a widow who was in a desperate condition. She went to the prophet Elisha, followed his requests, and experienced a miracle. The words that arrested my attention are in verse 7, when Elisha instructed her to “live on what’s left.” I started thinking how my mother would turn leftovers from the fridge into culinary delights.
Elisha asked the widow two important questions before the miracle: “What do you want me to do?” and “What do you have?” We must identify our need and realize that whenever God takes, He never takes all. I realized this story extends beyond widowhood to any loss. We must realize God gives us hope and help for each situation. We must cry out, obey and watch in faith as God changes, renews and revitalizes our lives.
4word: What has been the hardest part of losing your husband?
Sheila: I miss his presence immensely. He was a strong leader, articulate, compassionate, decisive, generous and humorous. I had faith that God would take care of me, but how He planned to do it often frightened me.
There were so many decisions to make. Who was going to be my security blanket? I had meetings with financial planners, lawyers and other very influential people that I was reluctant to attend, but as I watched, God opened doors of support. Like the widow in the story, I had “little oil,” but it became more as I walked by faith.
4word: What has been your greatest source of comfort?
Sheila: Reading and applying the Word of God. Also my family and my mentors in various arenas of life. Everyone has a story. Finding the right person, especially a Christian who can encourage and empower you, can make such a difference in your life.
4word: What is your dream for Sheila B. Ministries? In what specific way do you hope to minister to women?
Sheila: This ministry is another vessel through which my “little oil” is being poured out. Initially, it wasn’t an aspiration of mine. I succeeded my husband as president of E.K. Bailey Ministries, Inc. I wanted to see that mission accomplished, but I was also passionate about the needs of women. I want every woman to know who she in Christ, that God didn’t make a mistake when He made her, and that whatever mistakes we have made can be corrected in Him.
Many women can’t find their passion. They are lost in the routine of busyness, or are only helping someone else fulfill his dream. They are disenchanted. I want to help every woman identify what she has been given – mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually – and use it for God’s glory.
There are many TV makeover shows. Let’s have one that’s Christian-based! I want women to see they can be “made over” based on God’s Word; therefore, they can live victoriously in every season of life.
Have you ever had to live with leftovers? What has God done with them? Tell us in the comments.
If you’d like to hear more from Sheila, you can find her on Facebook or on her website, sheilab.org. (She’ll be posting a special Easter newsletter there later this week.) You can also attend the S.T.A.N.D. conference that Sheila is hosting in Dallas, July 8 – 11. Learn more at concorddallas.org/stand.