Journey with Barbara Hollace, as she shares the story of her husband, Bill.
You can learn more about Barbara’s work at https://BarbaraHollace.com
And, you can read her Daily Devotionals on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/bjhollace
Donna Woolam: Welcome to the ReInvent Your World broadcast. My name is Donna Woolam I'm your host. My goal is for every woman to know that God loves you and He's for you. And no matter where you are today, you can start right now and create an incredible new life.
Let's get started into the show. Okay.
It is an incredible honor to be with you today and bring to you and an amazing, amazing woman, Barb Hollace.he life of her dear husband, [:
And she's going to tell you how that has changed for the better and how she still manages to face the emotions and the missing of the dear husband that she loves. And she calls herself a prayer ninja, a relentless prayer warrior. So as you get to know her, you'll understand why. That is. And so Barbara, thank you so much for being here today.
Barbara Hollace: Thank you, Donna. It's a joy to be with you today. I
Donna Woolam: love to ask people first off before we really get into the heart of your story, because that's, that's going to be something that, really is going to maybe make people think that, oh, well she's not like me. That's an incredible introduction that I've just given.r have that kind of faith or [:
tell us about your life.
Barbara Hollace: Okay.
Well, first of all, my husband always used to say like, normal is highly overrated and we were never normal. So praise the Lord for that. Cause you know what, He made us each unique and so we don't have to be normal. And so for those of you who think you have to conform to the pattern of normality, I give you freedom to walk away from that today.
So I live in the Eastern part of Washington state. I have a, I live in an apartment building. 12 acres we have here, there's 206 apartments. It was like 500 people that live here. So we're kind of our own little community. And um, so my day actually starts about 4:00 AM. Well, actually, normally before that now, um, cause I joined with a prayer group that meets in Washington, DC, actually we're around the world.[:
And as an editor and an author myself, I have the joy. You know that creative spirit, but you know, there's also life stuff you have to take care of. So, so trust me, I am more like you than you realize. And, um, I'm just me, you know, I'm just a regular and old human being I bleed as you bleed, you know, I cry as you cry and, um, yeah, I'm not the superhuman saint, um, on the mountain.
So we'll just banish that image right now. Okay.round us is, is as important [:
And we can pull ourselves more closely maybe to those who are around us, but, you know, uh, Barb, the, the heart of this broadcast is to help women maybe, maybe wondering what it is to be a Christian or maybe Christian women. Who've gone through something that has transformed their life. And that could be, it could be the death of someone very close to them.
It could be financial situations, it could be divorce. It could be a relationship that blew up, and now life is different. So you have a story and we alluded to that in the beginning, but I would love for you just to, out of your own heart. And in your own words, just tell us your story about something and the situation that changed your life forever and brought you to the place where you are today.a decade long podcasts. So, [:
And at the same time that happened, my husband was actually in the hospital recovering from an aortic valve replacement surgery. And so we were not even able to go to my mom's funeral and because they were like 400 miles away. And besides that, those still in the hospital recovering. So that was kind of a, an interesting moment because, you know, like Lord what's that about.
And, uh, but the, the joy part of that is that we actually were able to have a video um, conference, you know, thank you to I think we were on Facebook messenger that night, but that kind of technology that as a family, we were able to spend time together and then like an hour after the phone call, my mom passed away.. And then two months later, [:
So let me show the people what I can do in you and through you and through Barb and then. Uh, so that was in April and then two months later I was actually diagnosed with breast cancer. So, um, you know, that's, that's quite a six month, you know, some people would say, Hey, three strikes and you're out. And I said, God said three strikes and you up to bat cause you're going to see what I'm going to do.
And so, uh, it was, I mean, I will tell you like the super saints, you know, not, the Lord actually gave me permission then the morning that Bill died, He said, you need to like grieve. You need to show your emotions. You need to cry. You need to let it out. You need to let people see what it looks like. So you've walked through through this journey.as grown. Um, you have a new [:
And they're going to show, I'm going to show them how My glory can be seen in the darkest hours of your life. And so that is what He has done for me. And as we record this, now we are, um, 401 days since, um, God took Bill to heaven. So, and it has been an incredible journey. Let me tell you, um, Gulliver's Travels, you know, has nothing compared to what God has done in my life during this time.
So I am so grateful. I'm so grateful for what God has done and for His faithfulness.
Donna Woolam: Oh, thank you for that picture of that. The picture that just popped into my head when you said Gulliver's Travels was whenever it is that first shot, where he's laying on the beach and all the Lilliputians have tied him down, but he just stands up.to you. All of these things [:
And one of the things that, uh, I love to find out about people is because we think we know ourselves, we think, oh, I know exactly how I am. And I know when my Richard was really ill and. Then I would, I would handle everything, but whenever I would get home to a safe place, I wasn't necessarily the nicest person around.
I hated that about myself. And I would have to just re martial all of my strength to, to behave myself again and,
and getress, but what would you say [:
What was the biggest surprise? The thing that you learned about yourself there, you were like, wow. I had no idea that that was in me. Good or bad, either one, whatever you saw.
Barbara Hollace: So it's kind of interesting actually, as I was reflecting about that. Was I think I realized that God had actually been preparing me for this place for many, many years.th,:I laid my hands on him and I [:
And then, you know, heading to the hospital and not really knowing, and then finding out that he had pneumonia, his heart's in a fib that night. He has a heart attack. Three days later comes down. Influenza a and the next morning has a brain bleed that was in the first five days versus any one of those things could have taken a normal person out, but you know hallelujah we, again, we were not normal.
And so God was like, no, let me show you what I'm going to do. But you know, that turned into a five and a half month journey, five hospitals, two states. It was only the beginning. And then the other thing I was like, okay, Lord. So, you know, I'm pretty active on social media and I thought, okay, but the thing is like Facebook, you know, you post it it' s there forever.want to do a work there. And [:
He said, I'm going to feed you and then you need to feed others. So that's been our pattern for like what, three years now. But the thing that I, yeah, that I realized was, and trust me, there are places of weakness. Like one thing I found that early, like within the first couple of days, Well after those brain bleed, actually wasn't driving, not a good plan, um, because trying to stay focused.
Do you know when your husband is between life and death and then driving together? Like yeah, we say don't drink and drive. Well, don't be crazy in your life and drive either. Cause that is dangerous to yourself and others. So I knew at that point I needed to reach out for help. And so again, God was like, all right, so you can't do this, but let Me show you how you can.days. And I was like, yeah. [:
plan and God was like, yeah. So like I'm doing that for you right now, too. And you know, and the Bible and me, you know, like God like the sand, like I am Your emergency plan. Um, but also like you have walked through places with people in emergencies, you had to be calm and cool. You had to make decisions quickly, and you're going to be able to do that again.
And then my law school training cause I'm a Law School graduate and that yeah. Um, being able to digest things quickly and be like, all right. So, you know, I still hear it in my head, the IRAC method, issue, reasoning analysis conclusion, and you know, and you default to that. And, um, so, but what a blessing really to say that, and I think for interview on the call is like, God has prepared you for that place you're at right now.here. So refining fire, here [:
Donna Woolam: That's beautiful. That's powerful.
It makes me think about, I'm sure you look back on your life, Barbara and all of those situations and you see the things that you've done and you're just like, how could I even do that? Who, who was, who was that woman? How could I have managed that and that the thought of having to do any of those right now would be a challenge for you, but you knew in that you knew in that moment that the strength was there and we don't need that strength right now.
And that's something that the whole experience just keeps telling me is you don't, you don't need strength for what you're not going through. So quit trying to hoard up the strength for future know that it will be there when it's time. And it sounds like. That, that story is exactly what happened for you.
The people that you needed, the provision that you needed, the wisdom that you needed was there in the moment. And so how did you, you said that you cried out to the Lord and you ask for help. You didn't just say, God, send me help. And then. Wait for your hands up for somebody to just come up and volunteer to do something for you.You [:
Barbara Hollace: So I think I spoke about earlier about that right off the bat. As soon as I wake up in the morning that the first place I run is to my quiet time with the Lord and in the word of God.
And so in those quiet moments, the first thing in the morning, and I still practice that today is that God's word. And then that still small voice, Holy Spirit within us will direct our path. And so, first of all, like He calms us down because He speaks to us when He knows that we are a little fragile. Um, and then He realizes I believe, yeah.or I the Lord, your God, I'm [:
And so I think oftentimes when we're gone through those difficult places, we think that we're all alone because that's what the world's trying to tell us and the other point too is like, and this isn't a condemnation for anybody but the truth is like, we all have our own lives. Right. And so when we're going through crisis, often even some of the people that are close to us are going through their own stuff.
And so there's going to be times to be honest. with you. It is God and God alone, right. That you have, and that's it, baby? You know, oftentimes Bill and I described it and Bill was actually the one that came up with this. You said, uh, it's God's math one, plus one equals three. He said, it's you and me and God.
And that's it. And you know, many, many days as we were in ICU, Um, together and it, you know, oftentimes Bill was sedatedyou know, um, intubated the world didn't see much hope God showed me life, but at the same time, it was just the three of us, you know, and the nurses that would come in and out, the doctors would look discouraged and I'd be like, no, I see hope.at I see when God's shown me [:
And just let me tell you what they're going through in their life and how God has shown up in a mighty way. So we won't know. I mean, Bill already does because he's already in heaven watching the movie reels, but, um, thankfully I don't have to be there for a long time yet, but when I get there, I know that God is going to say, yeah, look what, look what happened because of your obedience
you planted the seed of faith, and then you let Me be seen in your life you let My glory be released. in you And, um, so it's a powerful thing that it's amazing.It's beautiful. There's some [:
And she's going through something similar. Uh, she's maybe lost someone, has a health diagnosis. It's pretty scary. So what would you tell her if you were sitting down with her right now and just speak from your heart? What, what do you have to say to that woman?
Barbara Hollace: First of all, I would say to her that God is with her and that He will never leave her or forsake her because I think that in those moments, you know, sometimes you think that, and the enemy of course comes just plowing in and, you know, he's speaking all the lies in our ears. So first of all, it was like, we have to silence him and say like, you know, The whole LA LA LA LA LA.d the morning that Bill died [:
But, um, our pastor came in after Bill had died. And the first words he said to me were, God must really trust you. And. Wow. Like, first of all, I'm not even sure what that means. And the second honest reaction was like, I'm not sure I really, that the high level of trust. And that's what trust means. I'm not sure about that.
But on the other hand, I mean, I was so grateful because it really touched me. And then my friend, Andrea, that was there with me and both of us were really touched by that. It was like, what does that mean work? And so what I would say to you who are going through that time is that. What this really means is that God really does trust you.we say that we trust in God, [:
I see something that can only come out of you as you go through that fire. But on the other hand, I shined the brightest when you were walking through your darkest places. And so it really isn't that as Christians isn't that what we live for is that His glory would be seen in us. And so sometimes it's that, that light and dark where that contrast is the most revealed.[:
We've been together before that. So hallelujah, you know, for those moments. And so, but I also understand that there are times when the grief is so deep, the hurt is so much and the tears don't stop flowing, but yet, know that God's arms are wrapped around you and He will carry you when you can't walk on your own.
He promised us that. And, um, like it says in Isaiah 43, 1 and 2 right. Um, I have called you by name and you belong to Me you are mine. So. when you pass through the waters. I will be with you when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fires, the flames will not set you ablaze..
So what that says is we're going to go through it, right? Not that we're going to avoid it. We will go through it, but God is with us. So that is my encouragement. That woman today. And you may be that woman, um, or that man. Um, so He will never leave you or forsake. You never sopowerful. I love the imagery [:
The Lord speaks to us in ways we can understand. And then He encourages us to stretch our thoughts when He says things that we're like, Hm. What does that mean? Lord? So I would love to know. I mean, it's obvious that you had a very strong faith going in to this. Uh, you had a discipline of prayer and Bible reading.
You had all of those things in place, but what did you have you learned about the Lord that you didn't know before and that you think maybe you would not have known except in this valley?
Barbara Hollace: I would say that the depth of God's faithfulness has been multiplied in my life, my understanding of that, but I would also say that I've gotten greater revelation, um, especially through His word, like, as I have read through the Bible, even these last years, it's like, there are things that are highlighted.many times. But I'm like, I [:
Anyway, you know, that is my greatest joy is for the Holy Spirit to come and say, like, this is what we're going to tell. This is the story we're going to tell. But daily when I get up, the first thing I do is I start reading the Scripture and I'm like, okay, Lord, what am I going to share today? Because I know that it's not just for me, but it's for that woman, um, that, that we are, um, you know, speaking about today, the person that's listening to.we go through these trials, [:
Uh, and Bill and I often talk about this in fact, going around the world, which is really kind of crazy. Cause like Bill was really a homebody, but he was like, yeah. He said like, do you think they can, they can the track, my pacemaker in Africa. And I was like, wow, for Bill to think about going to Africa was kind of big, you know, I'm like, I don't know, but I think we'll find out.
So God really like breaks down the walls. I think of our limitations as we walked through those places. And so hallelujah. Uh, so I look forward to, I mean, Bill is not here visibly with me, but yes, his spirit is here with us today. And so what God has shown us that we were going to do and go to the world and tell, um, Bill's story, our story for God's glory.
I get to do that today.ything that you're thinking? [:
Barbara Hollace: that I had, well, you know, like I said, uh, I'll have to come back to talk about the other pieces, but, uh, one thing I have learned that in my weakness, God is my strength.
Yeah. Uh, one other great kind of weapon. You know, the, in the armor of God we have the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. So I found that going through those deepest places that speaking the word of God out loud, especially, you know, great tactic to, to silence the enemy. He hates to stand. He can't stand in the truth of God, but that is where we are greatly encouraged as well.d then singing praises. So I [:
And then about an hour later, I come to bed and some point the Holy Spirit just impressed upon me to sing that song about, I sing praises to Your name. Sing praises to Your name and every night, and I went to sleep, I went to sleep with God's praises on my lips, no matter what the day had been, whether whether I was going to sleep in the hospital with Bill in ICU, it was like, uh, out of the depths of my spirit, I could praise the Lord because I knew that we were exactly where that He wanted us to be, and that we were safe in the hollow of His hands.God is faithful and that as [:
And that's where the presence of Lord abides. . And then we stand, right. We stand and we declare his glory and his glory is seen in us, even in this part of my journey, um, you know, What almost a year now with the cancer journey is people have said to me, like, you're like 20 years younger. I'm like, how does that work?
It's like, you've been through two deaths and a cancer diagnosis and you look 20 years younger. I'm thinking Lord are doing something amazing here. I don't understand it, but you know what? It's okay. Just let Your glory be released in me.
Donna Woolam: Absolutely. I love that. I love that. That what, uh, has been meant to make us tired and weary and worn makes us stronger and more powerful and more radiant.ill be there and people will [:
And to hear more about your story,
Barbara Hollace: probably the best place to go it'd be my website and that's BarbaraHollace.com and that's H O L L A C E on that page you'll see many things about what I do, but if you go to the, the books tab that actually shows you some of the books that I've written during this journey.
God, I mean, I'm an author I've written for years, but God has had me on this like super fast track of like, all right so we're going to tell those stories. We're going to tell about the Miracle Man Trilogy is what He said. So those daily devotionals to two books of those have been released already. I've written two more books in the thirdthat? And, and the Lord was [:
I'm like we do. And, uh, and He said, I said, well, what about sleep? And He said, it's all right. If you can, you can get a nap later. I'm like, okay. So I thought, is this going to be my life now? Like a waking up in the middle of the night and having a talk with to the Lord I mean, hallelujah for that? Anyway. So, yes. So you can reach out to me through the website.
There's like contact information there. Uh, of course I love to pray with you and on Facebook you can find me at Barb Hollis as well.
Donna Woolam: Wonderful.
Wonderful. Thank you so much. Thank you. And I know that as you've been listening, you've been struck by Barb's great passion for the Lord and for His power to transform our lives.
And Barb, thank you so much for sharing a few. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.o much for joining us today. [:
Well, you know, wherever you are, I'm probably there too But be sure and go to the website, DonnaWoolam. com and grab the free resources that we have for you. Thanks again, and have a wonderful Living At My Best day.