My name is Billie, and I have known Jesus since I was six years old. I grew up as a preacher’s kid and have been in church my entire life. My family and I moved to North Carolina from Pennsylvania in 2011 due to a job change for my husband, and we found Calvary that very same year. We found our Bible Fellowship class almost immediately. They loved on us so well and welcomed us immediately, so we have been there ever since. One of my passions, besides beach trips and time with my family, is quilting. In 2005, I started making t-shirt and photo blankets for my children, and I discovered that I really loved making them as gifts, especially for graduations. Little did I know that quilting would become an instrumental part of my story.

On January 9, 2014, at a routine mammogram, I was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. There was no history of any breast cancer in my family, so I was in complete shock when I first heard the news. There was no pain, so it was hard to imagine that anything was wrong.  A month later, I was told by some ladies in my Bible Fellowship class that a prayer quilt had been made for me by the Calvary Quilting Ministry. I had no idea this ministry even existed. It brought me such joy that this community of women would come together using their talents to do something so special for me. I was personally invited to one of their meetings to pick up the quilt. It was such a humbling experience to not only receive this gift, but the ladies then prayed over me. The quilt was absolutely perfect. It had the pink breast cancer ribbon on it, and it was blue, because they had heard I love the beach. That quilt was a constant reminder of all the love and prayer that surrounded me, and as it hangs in my home today, I am still reminded about the joy that my church family provided me during a time of need.

I had surgery, then six months of chemotherapy, followed by 33 radiation treatments. It was a full and challenging year, but I must say that I do not look back on 2014 as a bad year. I chose joy despite the difficult days, and my faith was strengthened like never before, and I was so blessed by the incredible community that surrounded me that year. My Bible Fellowship class was an especially great support. They consistently prayed for me, checked in on me, and set up a Caring Bridge site that I could update as my journey progressed so that people could know how to specifically pray for me. I finished radiation at the end of November and I am now cancer-free!

 I already had a passion for quilting, and the love showed to me by the women in this ministry made it a perfect fit.

In the fall of 2015, Pastor Rob began talking about “My Next” and he encouraged us to find an area where we could serve. I was very challenged by that, so I began looking for areas where I could serve. It did not take long for me to get involved in the Quilting Ministry. I already had a passion for quilting, and the love showed to me by the women in this ministry made it a perfect fit. The Lord used a hard thing (cancer) to bring a great thing (the Quilting Ministry) into my life. It is such a joy to be able to give back, and I am forever grateful for these ladies that have become precious friends and ministry partners.

For more information on the Quilting Ministry contact Melody Welch. The group meets on Wednesday mornings.