Wendi Stewart Colaiuta loves a good story. Especially the deeply meaningful ones, with a rich mix of bold and tender moments, joy and sorrow mingled. The ones that open our eyes to value unexpected beauty. There are deep lines in her forehead from straining to really see others, to read their faces, hear their words and understand their hearts. She loves people! She longs to connect with each person living and telling their story. Even more so, she stands in awe of the One who orchestrates each masterfully woven detail.
It is not surprising that Wendi cherishes engaging, heart to heart conversations. Those intimate moments lingering, pondering, listening, wrestling life and truth and questions, finding shared and genuine connection and lasting encouragement. She looks for any opportunity to speak GOD’s truth into the lives of other women. To surround them with compassion, the extra mile to meet practical needs, and love that overflows. She often warns new friends that they are stuck with her! Her attachments run deep. She is hard to get rid of!
Wendi is equally passionate about her family. Her husband, daughter and son who share her earthly journey toward a heavenly Home. Heart to heart conversations with them are her favorites! When her husband adds the myriad of stories from his glory days, those family times are priceless! Her husband of twenty-one years, especially, is a much-needed balance for her sometimes too-serious, sometimes “wacko-redheaded” moments. All three of them cheer her on, rejoice with her, let her cry, or make her laugh! They are generous with hugs! She is jealous for each of their hearts and prays regularly for the LORD to make Himself continually real to them in unique and personal ways!
When Wendi questions what exactly it is that she does with her days, the LORD often whispers simple yet profound reminders to her: “you’re forgetting that you do this really wonderful thing of just noticing!” Bearing witness to His majesty in the beauty of His creation and in His creatures, as well as the beauty His creatures create: the intricate details of a flower no bigger than a thumbnail, sunlight dancing on the shore like a sea of diamonds, the bright green of new growth in the oldest trees, or the “love letter He paints in the sky” with every sunrise and sunset. Sweeping dynamics in music that move the listener, captivating lyrics or prose or poetry that tell a story, breathtaking photography that captures light and shadows, architecture and design that exquisitely marry soft edges with solid structure and intriguing lines and colors, or words that speak the ache of a heart. Tenderness that melts any harsh feeling to nothing, kindness that transcends any barrier, quiet stillness or full throttle determination, the beauty in sorrow, or the thrill of triumph. These only scratch the surface of the wealth of beauty around us – beauty that still us . . . and beauty that thrills us! All of it telling the most incredible stories! Stories that bear witness to our Creator. His handiwork never ceases to amaze her! His graciousness, kindness, and enduring faithfulness in pursuing the hearts of those He created, in whatever way He knows will grab their attention! His amazing ways simply stagger her!
Despite her love of words, Wendi fails to fully describe her deep and growing appreciation that she is a redeemed child of God! He is Almighty GOD, Creator of the universe, her Savior and LORD, her coming victorious King … and she. is. HIS!!! He claims her as His own and has every day of her life written in His book before one of them came to be. He has created her uniquely and wondrously! And He is helping her to discover the complex and marvelous story He is giving her to tell! Her own story of JESUS, of being #heldandbeloved by Him!
Wendi Stewart Colaiuta has considered it a privilege to come along side of women of all ages and all walks of life, to dig into GOD’s Word together, teaching Sunday School and leading Bible study groups for over 30 years. She loves listening to their stories, surrounding them in their heartaches, wrestling questions and discovering new treasures of GOD’s truth side by side! Awed by His Person, steadied by His truth, and wrapped in His love, Wendi shares insights from her personal journey here on her blog The Cover of His Presence and on Instagram (@coveredbyHisPresence). A transplant from the northern hills of Pennsylvania, she is finally happy to call southeast Florida “home,” where she lives with her husband and two busy high schoolers.