Introduce yourself as if we were on a coffee date! Tell us about yourself. Would you be drinking coffee or tea?
If we sat down before noon, I’d definitely have a hot cup of coffee in hand. Otherwise, hot peppermint tea is my drink of choice these days! Or Kombucha.
My name is Hunter Beless. I’m a disciple of Jesus, wife to Brooks, and mama to Hadley Grace (3) and Davy Kathryn (2). We do life together in Fort Campbell, KY, where Brooks serves in the U.S. Army. During nap time, I record conversations with mentors and friends and share them on my little podcast called Journeywomen.
When did you start following Jesus?
I grew up in a family of faith, but my ears were opened to the Gospel sometime in elementary school while sitting in the pew of our home church. I was overcome with the reality that I was separated from God because of my sin and filled with a teary-eyed kind of joy when I realized Christ came, lived, died, overcame death, and made a way for me to be in a relationship with God. I began to understand that because of Christ's sacrifice, by his grace, through faith in his atoning work, I was saved from my sin and reconciled to God.
Fast forward to middle school, where I was the classic Bible-verse-taped-to-her-locker kind of evangelist who thought wearing overalls was cool (ahead of my time). The main thing I took away from this experience was that following Jesus wasn’t going to earn very many brownie points with the cool kids. So, during the transition from middle to high school, I made a conscious decision to set my Bible aside—because I felt conviction when I read it—in order to wholeheartedly pursue the attention of others. My four years of high school were characterized by an endeavor to curate my reputation and résumé. I thought I could have one foot in with my faith and one foot in with the world, but I learned it doesn’t work that way. You’re either walking towards Christ or walking away from Him.
I began to shrivel, spiritually speaking—but the beautiful thing is, God pursued me in spite of myself, just as He’d done years ago in that church pew. At my darkest time, I began asking big questions about whether or not God was who I had believed Him to be all those years before. By His grace, I looked to His Word for answers. I gobbled up the words on the pages like a starving person who just had a hot meal placed in front of them, and I haven’t ever really stopped. College was a huge time of spiritual growth, as I was exposed to mentors and friends who challenged me in my walk with God, taught me how to really study the Word, and who walked alongside me as they lived out their own faith.
After college graduation I attended a discipleship program through Pine Cove Christian Camps, called “The Forge,” that was designed to help students know God and who they are in light of Him, and help us learn to walk in the good works that He prepared for us beforehand (Eph. 2:10). That’s where I met my husband, Brooks, and we married shortly afterward. We’ve been doing life together, walking out our faith in the context of the military for the past seven years. One of the questions asked of us when we started the Forge was, "Who are you and what are you doing here?" My answer is this: I am a journeywoman for Jesus. God is sending me out to seek after those He has awakened to bring them back to their Heavenly Father.
What is your definition of a well-watered woman?
When I think of a well-watered woman, the first three verses of Psalm 1 come to mind. A well-watered woman delights in the law of the Lord. On it she meditates day and night (1:2). She is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and her leaves do not wither. In all that she does, she prospers (1:3). By God’s grace, she is firmly planted in the Word, bearing good fruit for His name’s sake. No fruitful tree can grow on its own; it is the planting of the Lord, and in her growth He is glorified.
How do you give Jesus the first moments of your day?
Tony Reinke once shared, “If Satan can disrupt your devotions, he can disrupt your day. As soon as we wake up, we are in immediate warfare for our affections and attention.” Knowing that I am waking up in the middle of a battle for my thoughts and affections motivates me to start my day with preparation and intention. That said, I try not to do anything before uttering a prayer of gratitude and a plea for God’s help. I walk downstairs, grab a cup of coffee, and sit down to do my Bible reading before my littles wake up. Scripture reading is interwoven with prayer as the Spirit stirs my heart with affection, prompts me to rejoice with gratitude, and brings about conviction in my heart.
Before my oldest daughter bounces down the stairs, I review whatever passage of Scripture I’m currently memorizing. When the girls wake, our devotions continue over breakfast as we read from their children’s Bible and review their memory verses (with gummy vitamins for incentive, obviously). Their devotions model my own on a much simpler level, though I will say, they are able to memorize verses more quickly than me! All of these disciplines help to prepare us for the battle waging over our hearts’ affections that we face in the day ahead.
What sort of spiritual season do you find yourself in now? What verses are you clinging to in this season?
I’m constantly leaning on Isaiah 46:9–11:
Remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,
declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
calling a bird of prey from the east,
the man of my counsel from a far country.
I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;
I have purposed, and I will do it.
My mentor in college prayed these words over me after a really disappointing breakup. At the time, I didn’t really understand why she was talking about birds flying across the country and God’s plan from the beginning, but the more I come to know Scripture, the more I take comfort and rest in passages like these that clearly lay out God’s sovereign care for His people. Charles Spurgeon said, “The sovereignty of God is a sweet pillow you can lay your head on at night.” It is a beautiful truth, not only that God is in control over all, but is also working everything out for your good, and His glory. This sweet doctrine is medicine for the soul that you can take in any season of life.
On Mother’s Day of this year we found out we miscarried our third baby. When things started to unfold, these verses bubbled forth as immediate encouragement. It is a comfort to know that God is in control of all things and that he will bring about his purpose for his people for the praise of His glory. These verses remind me that He is God, and I am not. That he knew the struggle I am presently facing long before the day actually came about. The reason His predictions come true is because they are His purposes, and because He himself performs them. Everything that has happened or will happen is purposed by God to happen. In the context of knowing the character of God—His kindness, faithfulness, justice, mercy, grace, wisdom, holiness, and more—the doctrine of His sovereignty brings me great comfort and rest, especially in the most trying circumstances.
What intentional daily habits help you remain rooted deeply in the Word of God?
Some daily habits that help me remain rooted deeply in the Word of God include prayer, going to bed early, rising early, beginning and ending my day with time in the Scriptures, memorizing and reviewing verses throughout the day, pushing back on distractions (like social media), being deeply involved in our local church, nurturing friendships with women who are also pursuing Jesus, attending women’s Bible study, filling my ears with the Bible on audio or podcasts that stir my affection for the Word, like Help Me Teach the Bible with Nancy Guthrie, or Knowing Faith by the Village Church Institute.
Who is a "well-watered mentor" or example in your life, and how has she helped you become a well-watered woman?
About two years ago, my Grand Jerry—the spiritual patriarch of our family—passed away. We all felt a particular concern for his wife, Grand Ann, as he was not only her best friend and pastor, but her caregiver as well. She'd be the first to tell you that she forgets a lot these days, but the one thing she remembers is the Word of God. Just a few days after he passed, she quoted Habakkuk 3:17–19 in the Amplified version (her favorite) for memory
"Though the fig tree does not blossom and there is no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive fails and the fields produce no food,
Though the flock is cut off from the fold and there are no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will [choose to] rejoice in the Lord; I will [choose to] shout in exultation in the [victorious] God of my salvation!
The Lord God is my strength [my source of courage, my invincible army];
He has made my feet [steady and sure] like hinds’ feet and makes me walk [forward with spiritual confidence] on my high places [of challenge and responsibility]."
She lost her husband, yet God’s Word was her song of rejoicing. This was the same exact verse she had clung to exactly 31 years before (to the day), when she lost her oldest son to suicide. As I listened to her quote Habakkuk’s words I thought, “Am I living a life worthy of this faith-filled legacy?” The legacy that traces its way from Abel to Enoch, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Samson, David, Habakkuk, and many more of the great cloud of witnesses whose lives testify to God's saving grace. If we are in Christ, this is our legacy, and Grand Ann, a truly well-watered woman, reminds me that I must saturate myself in the promises of God in order to remember and not forget whose I am.
What books are you currently reading, or have recently read, and would recommend to our community?
I am currently reading The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs. The Lord is using it to reveal areas of discontent and unbelief in my life, and simultaneously encouraging me to submit to God’s disposal, wisdom, and sovereign care. Here’s a snippet: “A contented heart looks to God’s disposal, and submits to God’s disposal, that is, he sees the wisdom of God in everything. In his submission he sees his sovereignty, but what makes him take pleasure is God’s wisdom. The Lord knows how to order things better than I. The Lord sees further than I do; I only see things at present but the Lord sees a great while from now. And how do I know but that had it not been for this affliction, I should have been undone. I know that the love of God may as well stand with an afflicted condition as with a prosperous condition. There are reasonings of this kind in a contented spirit, submitting to the disposal of God.”
If you could tell every woman on this blog one piece of wisdom, what would it be?
Really simply, love God. It’s been my experience that so long as I love God, the other things I desire to do well in my life (like growing in godliness, loving Brooks, parenting well, serving in our church, evangelizing, etc.) shake themselves out pretty organically. I think this is why Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment” (Matt. 22:37–38).