I’m so glad you’re here! My name is Maria Furlough.
I want to help you get rid of that pesky fear that seems to follow you around wherever you go, I also want to help you find God centered confidence.
I get it. Part of you is probably thinking “no way, its not possible.” Trust me, I understand. This from the girl who used to walk through dark parking lots imagining killers underneath every car just waiting to get me and the girl who, for the better part of her life, slipped in and out of pools with intense precision as to let no one actually see her in a bathing suit. These are the parts of you I am here to help with. Because if God can save this girl, He can save anyone.
And listen, I’m not here to share my story so we can all stay stuck together. That would be a waste of our time. I am here to draw us deep into the Word of God to find that all the answers we need are right there.
My friends tease me because I can’t “do” small talk. I look like Elaine from Seinfeld doing the awkward dance every time I attempt to have a surface level conversation. I’ve come to accept this about myself and so straight to the heart is all I know how to do.
I want you to know I am here for you. On the pages of this site and in the heart of every ministry I do we will laugh, and we will cry (we might even dance a little and not awkwardly but like for real dancing), but we will be honest with God and each other about what we really struggle with. Then God has us right where He needs us to make true heart changes in us! Together we will discover that His Word comes alive with guidance and practical help.
We can do ministry together in several ways. Once a month I share blog posts (LINK) about what God is currently teaching me. I have found that if we keep our eyes and hearts open to what God has for us, there is always something new to learn. God’s Word is miraculous in that way. I also share a monthly newsletter (LINK) containing little tidbits to add some peace and encouragement into your busy weeks.
Honestly though? In person is my favorite! It is one of my greatest joys to go to churches and women’s ministries to speak. If I join you at your event I can promise you three things: 1. My talk will be centered on Scripture 2. I will be honest with you, I am the same on the stage as I am off of the stage. 3. You will leave with practical tools.
I believe if I cannot be with you in person, second best will be to have a book in your hand. With every word I wrote I prayed fervently for you. If you struggle with fear, worry or anxiety I wrote Breaking the Fear Cycle for you. Do you have a daughter? Have you always hurt over your own insecurities? I wrote one for you too! Its Confident Moms, Confident Daughters: Helping Your Daughter Live Free From Insecurity and LOVE How She Looks.
I didn’t meet Jesus until I was 20 years old. That means I spent the early years of my life amassing fear and insecurity, with little hope of believing that change was possible. I thought that was just me and there was nothing I could do about it.
On my 20th birthday my “someday to be husband” and I received a letter from my 13th year old brother Nick. In it he wrote, “Maria I love you too much not to let you know about God’s awesome love for you.” There was a Gospel track along with the letter. Remember those? In it there was a picture of too cliffs, we were on one side and God was on the other. The only way for us to get across with by accepting Jesus’s death for us as forgiveness for our sins.
Dave and I got down on our knees that night and asked Jesus to become the very center of our lives. We haven’t looked back since.
After college I went into full time youth ministry and guess where? In the same youth group in Connecticut at Black Rock Church that my brother was in when he wrote me that letter. God is right, you are never too young to make an impact on people’s lives.
I loved youth ministry. I loved discipling those kids through in-depth Bible studies, retreats, and missions trips. I not so much loved the “all nighter” events or getting ice cooler dunked by youth group kids, but ya know, I guess it comes with the territory.
My husband and I have not left ministry since. Sure, it has looked different through the years and raising kiddos became a ministry in itself, but no matter the life stage or busyness of schedules serving, and teaching God’s word remained a priority.
Now you can find me serving at Lake Forest Church discipling women and leading Bible studies, volunteering with a local missions organization Caterpillar Ministries, or running summer camp in Long Island Bahamas with the Caribbean Youth Network.
I love dark chocolate, bold coffee, and flash mobs. It is not uncommon for a dance party to break out in the Furlough family living room and I may or may not make it a habit to teach my kids (and their friends) choreographed dances.
I live right outside of Charlotte, North Carolina with my amazing family. My husband Dave and I met on the intramural flag football field at James Madison University in Virginia. We are overly competitive with one another, endlessly encouraging, and if it weren’t for his editing skills I wouldn’t be sitting here with you today.
I have five kiddos. Faith (11) is my oldest and my only daughter, she is everything I have ever prayed for. My next four are all boys and we are all sports, all wrestling, all jumping on the couches all. Of. The. Time. David (9), Aaron (7), and Sammy (4) bring more joy into my life than I ever imagined was possible. Then I have our sweet sweet baby boy Gideon Matthew who lives in the arms of Jesus. You can read all about how Gideon’s life changed us forever here. And if you are in the mood for a good cry grab a box of tissues and watch Gideon’s video (Created and edited by the afore mentioned brother Nick).
PHEW! That’s it, that’s all I’ve got. I’d love it if we can be friends now, hand in handing seeking God’s peace and fighting for confidence.