A little shopping, a lot of food, a beautiful sunset…yup that’s sounds like a perfect night out. Girls Night Out and Day Off at Sandy Cove Ministries was a much needed chance to catch up with old girlfriends, make new girlfriends, and share stories of life, loss, and overcoming. Sharing her story is exactly what guest speaker Anne Beiler (founder of the soft pretzel titan Auntie Anne’s) did as she brought the story behind Auntie Anne’s to a waiting audience.
Beiler grew up Amish and Mennonite and by looking at this 62-year old, Harley Davidson riding grandmother, she’s not exactly who you would expect. She wears a smile that seems to say, “It’s going to be alright.” Yet, there is no jovial flowery story of inspiration in her own life saga, yet the inspiration comes from the power God gave her to overcome the accidental death of her 18-month old daughter, sexual abuse, adultery and depression through the power of confession.
Talking about issues that were very common to women, Beiler expressed having feelings of “pain, blame and shame.” Although God, her husband and her children had forgiven her, she still felt like she had to pay, so she paid by feeling guilty. It was only when she was finally was able to let someone know that she wasn’t okay that her burden began to lift. Beiler showed a physical representation of burden by carrying a backpack with lots of books in it . Being a diminutive woman in stature, the backpack was especially effective because it was a physical weight that one could imagine with time being not only bothersome, but increasingly heavy.
James 5:16 was a life changing scripture for Beiler. “The scripture says, “Confess your faults one to another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” She explained that bedside prayer is important because it’s a direct communication and confession to God. She also found some relief in journaling, but it was through confessing to someone ( a trusted someone in the Christian faith) that God began to deliver her.
Beiler reminds that “confession is an act of obedience.” God’s word is a command, so confessing our faults is one of the means that God uses to bless us through His word. The person who we confess to begins to take on some of that burden, making it lighter or us. On top of that the scripture goes on to say that the one that you share the confession with should also “pray for you that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” So there is power in confessing. However, she poses the question to the audience: “How do you bear someone’s burden if you don’t know they have one?” There are those who are willing to bear the burden. “Alone we die…connected we live,” Beiler explains. “You are not privy to the outcome of confession but it’s obedience.”
Beiler’s shares her story in her book “Twist of Faith.” She also talks about Auntie Anne’s being a modern day business miracle. Although, she sold the company in 2005, she and her husband Jonas gone on to build a Family Center and Family Resource Center in Lancaster and Gap, Pennsylvania.