Bethany’s Beads – Meet the Founder

**The Story of Bethany’s Beads**

CarrieFamilyAugust 1998 was the beginning of one of THE darkest journeys on which a mother can go. As I tended to our beautiful third child, Allisyn Ruth Reynolds in the NICU isolate, having been born 2 ½ months early, I simultaneously grieved the loss of her twin sister, Bethany Nicole, who drew her first breath in Heaven. Although I will never, ever forget the pain and grieving, eventually, I began asking God to make sense of this loss, as well as two other miscarriages. For years I gave it to Him to use – and waited. Nothing seemed to happen. I continued to work, mostly in women’s ministries, as that seemed the most logical use of my testimony and ministry position as a pastor’s wife. My husband had been called to be a pastor while he was still in high school. We met after high school, and were married in 1988. He began in youth ministry and went on to pastor a few small churches in North Carolina. Eventually, we returned to our passion of seeing young people come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and grow as Godly men and women equipped to make an impact on their generation in the here and now. However, I continued to feel there was something specific I needed to be doing.

On October 21, 2014, sixteen years after beginning that painful journey of loss and brokenness, I was blindsided by the Holy Spirit with a vision and direction. My husband, Jim, and I had gone on the North Carolina Assemblies of God Ministers Retreat. We had no particular spiritual expectations – OK, we went to the Outer Banks to laugh with friends and eat great seafood! The Tuesday morning speaker shared from Acts 16 (“ironic”, 16….) about Paul’s seemingly delayed missionary journey. He started his message with, “Sometimes we don’t get a door, sometimes we get a direction”. I realized that I had been on a journey, gathering knowledge and experience. That’s when He hit me! God showed me a vision of a very specifically designed, individually handmade bracelet using beads that appear marked, scarred or cracked, but are beautiful.

As the vision of this bracelet unfolded, the Holy Spirit showed me how I would be using this tool to show God’s love to all the young girls we would encounter in our continued youth ministry so that they would know that even with the bruises, hurts and scars they carry, God sees them as beautiful. Then He gave me the name – Bethany’s Beads. This was an answer to all the years of prayers that God would redeem the time of loss, grief and pain and give me something specific to do for Him. I could hardly contain myself. My heart was racing and tears were flowing. I was doing some “ugly crying”, and there weren’t enough tissues for me. I had never received such clear direction from the Lord.

As Bethany’s Beads has continued to grow and minister, we have been able to share God’s message of love to girls, young ladies and women we have come in contact with by giving them a bracelet. We also work with Charlotte area human trafficking rescue organizations to give survivors a Bethany’s Beads bracelet, which includes a heart charm, so that they will know that Jesus’ blood covers their hurts, loss, cracks and bruises, and God sees her beauty. Every girl we encounter needs to know how much she is loved and how beautiful she is. For this reason, we have created thousands of bracelets to be given away, as the Lord leads us, to be a tangible reminder of His love. We also sell bracelets with the purpose of funding our efforts to give bracelets away. All proceeds go directly into the ministry.

What an amazing answer to a 16-year long prayer. And, I believe that this is just the beginning of this chapter. Interestingly enough, I’ve never made a single piece of jewelry in my life, thus proving that this call is completely from God. As Bethany’s Beads continues to grow, faster than I can keep up with, and go places I could never have imagined, more and more young lives can be touched and told that they are beautiful and God loves them! I cannot wait to see where this goes and how much beauty will come from the pain and loss that I turned over to God.

Carrie Reynolds
Founder Bethany’s Beads