Hello! Thank you for taking time to get to know me a bit more personally here!
Now, let me start with my name: Sylane. Pretty cool, huh? I’ve always liked it.
My parents were probably getting short on name ideas. I was their fourth child–one more yet to be born would complete the family, making it five children in fewer than five years! Mom and Dad gave me this name (which to them really had no special meaning) by switching the last three letters (l-y-s) from my older sister’s name–and making them the first three letters (S-y-l) in my name (then adding a few more letters–a-n-e–to finish it off). So, even unintentionally, my name reflects a truth from God’s Word: “…the last will be first…”–Matthew 19:30. (I always liked that verse. I was almost always the last one picked for all those stupid gym class games!)
If you’re not sure how to pronounce Sylane, don’t worry! You’re in really good company! Here’s the hint: Say the name Elaine (I know you can say that one!) and then put the S – sound at the beginning. Thanks for making the effort! Names are important. God even calls the stars “…each by name.”–Psalms 147:4. Also, pretty cool!
About me: who I was and who I am now–is very, very different. Transformation does that!
I have been so completely transformed and healed in my mind, body and spirit by the love, grace, truth and power of Jesus Christ that, quite honestly, it still takes my breath away. I hope it always does.
Who I was–a child victimized and brutalized by the evil and sickness of physical, emotional and sexual abuse right in the midst of my family and, then, a victim of rape by a stranger when I was only twelve.
Who I am--a woman who is loved, able to love others and free from all vestiges of victimhood. You see, I am not merely a survivor of all that I went through as a child. No, God did not stop there. God shaped me and made me into “more than a conqueror through Him who loved [me]“–Romans 8:37.
Yep. God totally transformed my life with His very real, unfailing and outrageously powerful love. God convinced me of His love for me–in spite of all evidence to the contrary. God convinced me to accept, and then to give, His gift of forgiveness to every person who had ever inflicted any wound on me or had caused any brokenness in my life. God convinced me with love.
Love and Forgiveness. That’s freedom. That’s healing. That’s power. That is what being Transformed By Grace is all about! It is about God’s love in our lives that is not limited by our limitations. It is about the truth of God’s Word having more power and influence in our lives than anything else we might have experienced. No matter what.
God’s passionate transformation of me encompasses all that I am and all that I do.
But! God is so not done with me yet. Not a surprise to anyone who knows me! On this side of Heaven I am still frail, flawed and finite–but God is not! So! God has lovingly set His purpose for me, and for each of His children, to be “…conformed to the likeness of His Son…”–Romans 8:29. It is a constant, loving work of art that our Heavenly Father does as He shapes and transforms me (and each believer) on a daily basis “…into His likeness with ever-increasing glory…”–2 Corinthians 3:18.
And this transformation is done right in the midst of our daily lives. Right in the midst of our relationships, responsibilities, celebrations and circumstances. No matter what.
So, what does my daily life look like at this point in my life?
My Family--Tim and I have been best friends FOREVER! Tim was my best-friend well before our first date on November 9, 1975, and he still is! We were married on June 7, 1980, and have had the joy of growing closer and older together–as friends, lovers, parents and partners in all things!
It is absolutely ridiculous how very much I am in love with him! Tim is a man of deep integrity and strength of character, with an even deeper heart of love for God, for me and for our children. His voice (my favorite sound in the world!) is also deep and strong. It warms my soul and still makes me go weak in the knees. Tim brings me joy in oh-so-many-ways! His loving-faithfulness, sense of humor and playfulness, his respect for all people, his wisdom, balanced perspective, constant kindness and sense of adventure have filled and shaped my life. Because of Tim, I am a better me. Plus, you’ve just gotta love a man who warms up my side of the bed (whenever it’s even the teensiest bit chilly) with his body so I can be all cozy-warm when I’m all ready to jump in! Sweeeet!
Tim and I are now empty-nesters. Still hard to believe that the circle of life has spun this far already! Yep! Both of our beautiful daughters, Erin and Julia, have grown and flown! However, we are totally spoiled because both girls live, work (and went to college) in New York City. Just a quick train trip away from our newest address: Empty-nester-down-sized-townhouse in Princeton, NJ! Visits and staying close in every way is fairly easy! And a definite priority. Thank you, Jesus!
Our third child–our son was officially added to our family when Erin and Marcus were married in 2007. Yep. I’m a mother-in-law AND an empty-nester. Go figure. That circle of life thing just keeps on spinning! It’s all about gaining wisdom, not just about getting older, right?
My Ministry–For nearly thirty years before Transformed by Grace (TBG) was ever conceived or formally incorporated in 2003, God had put His loving and strong hand on me to tell others the truth of God’s transforming grace, healing power and unfathomable love. God gave me a passion for Him, His Holy Scriptures and for people.
And now, as I serve formally through the ministry of TBG, I am surrounded with an amazingly gifted and diverse group of women and men who love and serve our Lord Jesus Christ: our Board of Directors, our Ministry Staff Members, our Speakers and Counselors. God has opened the doors for us to minister powerfully in a two-fold way: by leading conferences, outreach events and retreats AND by deeply investing our time in offering Biblical counseling for individuals, couples and families.
I, and TBG, have been called to present the grace and truth of Jesus Christ–locally, nationally and internationally–in churches, schools, prisons, counseling relationships and in so many other ways that we could never have envisioned! Isn’t that just like God? Our Lord really is “…able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or even imagine, according to His power that is at work within us…”–Ephesians 3:20.
I celebrate with such thankfulness the victory and transformation that Jesus has already accomplished in my life by His love! And I look forward to how God will yet shape me, the ministry of Transformed By Grace, and all the lives we will be privileged to touch with the love, grace and truth of Jesus Christ! I know it will be beyond what my limited mind could possibly “…ask or even imagine…”!