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Focus on the Family Broadcast

Overcoming The Odds: Lt. Gov Winsome Sears

Overcoming The Odds: Lt. Gov Winsome Sears

Lieutenant Governor Winsome Sears shares her incredible story of faith and freedom – detailing how God’s hand has been in her life every step of the way. She also shares about overcoming racial division, education issues, and the value of every human life.
Original Air Date: July 11, 2022

Preview:

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: There’s sometimes I’m getting ready to deliver a speech and I’m starting to get nervous and sh- Lord, you- you know what, Lord? You sent me and I just have to speak to you. And as long as I speak the truth, then I’ll be all right.

End of Preview

John Fuller: That’s Lieutenant Governor Winsome Sears from Virginia, sharing about how God guides her every day. And he’s done so throughout her life, as you’ll hear on today’s Focus on the Family. Your host is Focus President and author Jim Daly, and I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, I had a great visit with the Lieutenant Governor at the state offices in Virginia and, uh, Winsome Sears came into office last fall in a historic election. In fact, she is the first female Lieutenant Governor in the state and the first Black female elected to statewide office. Uh, she is quite an impressive woman with a really interesting story. But the most important thing in her life is her faith in Christ, and it comes out just about every time she gets a chance to talk. And you’ll hear that as we discuss, uh, these things with her today. I think the listeners are really gonna enjoy this.

John: Mm-hmm, yeah. I’m looking forward to hearing the conversation. Jim, along with our listeners and viewers, here now, Jim Daly with Lieutenant Governor Winsome Sears on Focus on the Family.

Jim: Lieutenant Governor, welcome to Focus on the Family.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Thank you for having me. I… You never picture yourself talking with you, because-

Jim: (laughs)

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: … I remember listening to Dr. Dobson-

Jim: Right.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: … and the other folks in the studio and just listening to the people, uh, your guests would just do something in me. And it was-

Jim: Ah.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: … always such a blessing, and- and now here I am-

Jim: Yeah. (laughs)

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: … doing that.

Jim: I so appreciate that. That’s the goal for us.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: (laughs)

Jim: You know, sharing people’s stories, their lives, and it touches people’s hearts. Today, we’re on your turf.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Yes.

Jim: We’re here in Richmond, Virginia.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Yes.

Jim: And you have an amazing story. I’m so looking forward to spending a half-hour with you and really unfolding that. Let- let’s start there. Uh, you were born in Jamaica, and-

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Yes, born in Kingston, Jamaica, the capital.

Jim: And your mom and dad said, “Hey, we’re gonna go to the US.” Describe that adventure.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Yeah.

Jim: It probably felt like an adventure. How old were you when that decision was made?

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Yeah.

Jim: And how old were you when you got here to the US?

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: So actually, my- uh, Jamaica had gained independence in ’62, 1962 from England. But then my father decided to come August 11th of 1963 permanently. Um, his first shot and, uh, you- you- you know, you ask him, eh- which I did, why would you come then? Because he came just 17 days before Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his I Have a Dream speech.

Jim: Yeah.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: So it was the height of the Civil Rights Movement. And I said to him, “It was a bad time for us, and why would you ask to enter the country and go through the documentation to prove you are who you say you are, and the background checks and all that, and then you have to wait.” And he said, “Because this is where the jobs and the opportunities were.”

Jim: Ah, interesting. If I know the story right, and correct me if I’m wrong, I think he came with, uh, $1.75 in his pocket?

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Actually, he couldn’t remember if it was $1.50 or $1.75, so-

Jim: (laughs)

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: … I’m actually spotting him a quarter. (laughs)

Jim: Oh my good- I mean, that is courageous.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Well, you know, when you’re desperate and you wanna find an opportunity, you will do what it takes, because he could not go home a failure.

Jim: Yeah.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: And he figured America, for… America for him was the promised land.

Jim: Interesting. Isn’t that amazing?

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Yes.

Jim: And you know, of course his daughter grows up to become Lieutenant Governor in Virginia.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Imagine that. No, uh, uh, say it- say it this way, in the capital of the former Confederacy.

Jim: Yeah.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Yes.

Jim: That’s progress.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: That’s absolute progress, and so that’s why when I was on the campaign trail, I said to people, “Listen, if we don’t acknowledge that God has brought us a mighty long way, he might just take his hand off of us, and what do you do then?”

Jim: Yeah, well said.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: You- you know?

Jim: I really appreciate that. Let me- let me come back to the story, because it’s so compelling. I love it. You had a grandmother-

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … who loved you, and-

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Yes.

Jim: … was a believer.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Yes.

Jim: And she poured into your life. There are so many stories like that-

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Jim: Good old grandmothers, who just take care of the family that way.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: They have time, you know? Your-

Jim: Describe her though. Give me her attributes.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: So (laughs)… So she was a short woman, probably 5’1″, but she seemed so big to me.

Jim: (laughs)

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: And, uh, Mrs. Earle, she was a- a force to be reckoned with, and she was very political, but she had a kindness about her that we as grandkids, you know, we were very jealous. Because we were thinking, “Doesn’t anybody else have grandmothers and fathers to help them?”

Jim: Oh.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: “Why does she have to help everybody?”

Jim: Uh-huh.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: And when she came to America, she would buy shoes and clothes and bring them back for the kids, and- and I saw her one time, this man was high on marijuana in Jamaica. Just his eyes were bloodshot, I mean, high out of his mind. And he had been that way for a long time. And she saw him and brought him home with us, and- and gave him a place to stay, cleaned him up, found him a job, and got him into adult learning.

Jim: Hmm.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Yeah, so that he could be literate and, uh, yeah.

Jim: What a great story.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Yeah.

Jim: Her death really impacted you.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Oh, yeah.

Jim: How old were you when she died?

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: I was 18. I had just turned 18, and I was living in America. She ha- was living in America, but she had gone back home, uh, for maybe 10 years prior. And when I saw her June of that year, yeah, when I saw her June of that year… No, March. I saw her March. And she was fine, but she said to me, “You’re not going to see me alive anymore.” I said, “Don’t say that there’s nothing wrong with you.” And she said, “No, I don’t think you will.” Well, in the meantime, I came back to America because I was just visiting in, uh, Jamaica. Came back to America. Went to my college, got my curriculum ready, my books ready, everything to start that August. But she died that July. But I looked at her in the casket and I thought, “If the purpose of living is just to die, then all the love she’d ever loved, what’s the point of it?” And I just went into a deep spiral, and I said to my mother, “Well, I’m just going to stay in Jamaica and die.” And I meant it, and my mother said to me, “Well, if you’re just gonna stay here and die, I’ve got rules.” (laughs)

Jim: (laughs) That’s pretty good.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: You got to come in by a certain time, you’ve got to do this by a certain time, you’ve got to… and I said to myself, “Well, I’m going back to America, because nobody tells me what to do in America. And I’m 18.” You know?

Jim: Yeah.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: And… But then I happened to look on her table, coffee table, and she an- a Jet Magazine. And I opened it up and it fell to a page, and there were the Marines, the few, the proud, the Marines. And I said, “That’s it. I need some discipline.” And she- and- and they will give me the discipline I need-

Jim: That’s amazing!

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: … and the reason to live. So, came back to America, joined the Marine Corps.

Jim: Wow, I mean, that was a big decision for, uh, you at that age, at 18.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Ah, yes.

Jim: Where were you at spiritually? Did- did her death make that kind of spiritual impact on you, or where did God start to say-

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Yeah.

Jim: … “Hey, Winsome, remember me?”

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Well, you know, I- I was saved when I was 12.

Jim: Right.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: And I remember that day so clearly. It was a visiting Sunday School teacher in Jamaica who did that for me, because he talked about Jesus in a way I’d never heard before. And you know, I’m in church pretty much my whole life.

Jim: Right.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: And this visiting minister, I suddenly hear the Gospel for the first time. And what happens? Uh, I say to him after everybody is dismissed, I- I ask him, “tell me more about this man, because I just wanna know why would somebody die for someone they don’t know? I wouldn’t die for anybody and- and what kind of love makes you do that?” So I accepted him, I had to. He loved me like that. And but then, nobody in my family really lived that way. And you know, I- we’d see our grandmother kneeling by the bed with the sheet over her head like a tent, but nobody really lived that way. Um, and so, you know, it didn’t last very long.

Jim: Yeah.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: But there was a part of me that always knew certain things were right and certain things were wrong. And I did the wrong things anyway. Her death didn’t help it.

Jim: It’s a good reminder, where you know, scripture says any- any person that’s given to him, that he has in his hand-

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … he will not lose.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Yeah.

Jim: And even as a child, making that commitment-

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Yeah.

Jim: … and how he kept wooing you.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: 12 years old. Now, I can tell you, I could feel him hounding me, you know?

Jim: (laughs) Yeah.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: But I wasn’t ready yet, you know?

Jim: Right.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Maybe if I had been discipled, then maybe I-

Jim: Sure.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: I’m- uh… but- and I wasn’t discipled actually until I had three children.

Jim: (laughs)

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: I was, what? 25? Yeah.

Jim: Right.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: And it was the Lord who one day, uh, my youngest daughter, she was a one-year-old at the time. And it was Sunday. She was standing at the door of the- of the storm- and storm door. And I saw the sun just shining right through her, and it’s like a voice said to me, “She’s going to grow up not knowing me, and she’s going to blame you.”

Jim: Huh!

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: And I said to myself, “Oh, no, she’s not.” And I found a church, I- lickety split. I was looking for church here, church there. And then I finally found a church, and I was discipled.

Jim: Yeah. And what a great story. Now, moving toward politics-

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Yeah.

Jim: … so what age were you? You said your grandmother was involved in politics.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Yeah.

Jim: So when did you have an interest in-

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Well, Jamaicans are very heavily into politics. Uh, I don’t know why, it’s just how we are.

Jim: Huh.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: And do you know that that prime minister destroyed Jamaica’s economy? Took about a whole generation, 40 years for it to come back and-

Jim: Huh.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: … they voted him back in but only after he apologized for destroying Jamaica.

Jim: Boy, I- you- you know, you think of the things going on today, and now you’re the Lieutenant Governor.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Yeah.

Jim: And it- you know, it’s important for people who can be to be active and to, uh, pursue I think holy things in that arena.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Yeah. Well, you know, this communism stuff, this socialism stuff, it doesn’t work.

Jim: Yeah, so-

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: I- I-

Jim: … why are we continuing to try it?

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: I- I don’t know.

Jim: It’s crazy. (laughs)

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: If I knew that, you know, I’d be God. (laughs)

Jim: Right. I mean, it’s like we’re the last ones on Earth to try it.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: To try it. But actually-

Jim: And it’s not worked.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: … we did try it. We tried it back in the early 1600s, when we first came, remember?

Jim: Yeah.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: And the- the concept that some people work harder than some, and- and everybody reaps the benefits, it’s not fair.

Jim: Yeah. Winsome, one of the things that I’ve noticed, um, in your leadership and your life experience, uh, and I identify with this. Difficulty has a way of shaping you.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Mm-hmm.

Jim: And I think oftentimes, in a good way, it gives you character. It’s kind of what Paul says, that suffering leads to, uh, you know, eventually leads-

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Perseverance, and yes, and character.

Jim: … to perseverance and hope and faith. And in that context, your daughter had a tragic accident, and you lost your daughter.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Yeah, but I mean-

Jim: Just-

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: … I’d rather not go through those experiences.

Jim: Right.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Um, but apparently, the Lord knows best.

Jim: Ho- how? De- describe the circumstances of that, and how old was she when she passed? And-

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: She was, uh, and I try… It’s not that I’m even trying not to remember. I think the Lord has given me a certain amount of grace so that I don’t recall too much.

Jim: Hmm.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: But, um, uh, she- I- she was about 25, 26 when she died and, um, and the- the Lord made sure to say to me, “She- she didn’t die,” you know?

Jim: (laughs)

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Um, because I would say when she passed away, and passed away to where? When she left, left where? He would say to me, “Finish the sentence.”

Jim: Huh.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Uh, so she was bipolar and- and, um, she stopped taking her medication. And, um, the funny thing is though that about a month before they left for heaven, um-

Jim: Your two granddaughters went too, in that accident.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: My two granddaughters, yeah. The- Faith was, uh, the youngest granddaughter. She was five, and she would say, “Grandma, we’re gonna get a big house. Jesus is gonna give us a big house.”

Jim: Huh.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: And I kept wondering, what is this big house? And finally, uh, my daughter dropped her- dropped them off one night for Bible Study, and Faith was praying, and she said, “Thank you, Jesus, for the big house.”

Jim: Wow.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: And when I heard that, I said, “Okay, they’re moving, and Dejon, my daughter, hasn’t told us where she’s going.”

Jim: Yeah.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: And- and Faith was drawing the big houses, and I said to my daughter when she came the next day, “Uh, where are you guys moving to? Faith says you’re going to have a big house.” And she said, “I don’t know what she’s talking about.” I said, “she says Jesus is going to give you all a big house. Where you are going?”

Jim: (laughs)

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Well, I know now that my granddaughter, five years old, she didn’t know the word mansion.

Jim: Hmm.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: She meant mansion, but instead, she kept saying big house. And the day before they left, she had asked a question of me. She was sitting on my right leg, my hip. And she- I- I- I don’t know to this day what the question was, because I just remember after she asked the question, a voice filled the room and said, “What are you going to do if she dies?” And so I just studied her face. I studied the nose, the curvature of her eyes, I just studied her, because of what the voice said. And, uh, the next day, the next day, they were gone on home, all three of them.

Jim: In an auto accident.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: In an- an auto accident, because-

Jim: Winsome, that’s- you know, that’s not something we just pass by.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: (laughs)

Jim: That’s an incredible experience!

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: No, but the Lord knew that it would’ve devastated me, that he and I have this wonderful relationship where he talks to me about so many things, but this, he kept from me.

Jim: Yeah.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: And you know, three months after their funeral, by the way, I was collapsing everywhere. Just, you know, yeah, the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh, and I remembered all that. But I’m human.

Jim: Yeah.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: And if Jesus can cry, then I can cry too, over Lazarus. (laughs)

Jim: Well, again, I- I just- I- I connect with that difficulty in that you learned so much. I know so many people, I’m sure you do too, that they don’t have deep suffering. And sometimes in those people-

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Hmm.

Jim: … you see that. They’re very superficial.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Or they walk away.

Jim: Yeah.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: They walk away from the Lord, and that almost happened to me because, uh, I remember you know, just grieving so hard.

Jim: It’s your daughter!

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Yes, I know the Lord, and my-

Jim: It’s your two granddaughters!

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: And it’s not as if they had cancer, you know-

Jim: Right.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: … where I had time to say goodbye. It was just a knock on the door-

Jim: Yeah.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: … that your daughter is dead, your granddaughter is dead, and your other daughter- granddaughter is on life support. But because he had spoken to me, and- and he kept speaking to me actually throughout that time, for example, that night when we went home after we took the other granddaughter off life support and you know, maybe we had two hours of shut eye, and I awakened the next morning, and I thought, “Well, what am I gonna do? What do I do now?” I wasn’t talking to the Lord. But he said to me, “Get up, get dressed, and focus on the children you have remaining.” And he just kept going.

Jim: Uh-huh.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: And then finally, he said, “What do you have here on Earth that’s better than Heaven?” And then he repeated it again.

Jim: Wow.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: “What do you have here on Earth that’s better than Heaven?” And then he was gone.

Jim: Mm-hmm. It’s so true. It’s hard though. It’s hard to process all of that, but how amazing that the Lord gave you that crystal question.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.

Jim: Crystal clear.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Very clear.

Jim: Come on, Heaven’s-

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Yeah.

Jim: … gonna be far better than this Earth.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Yeah, and-

Jim: It’s a great reminder for all of us to think about.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: And that’s what- and see, if the Lord is wrong in taking my children, then where do I go after that?

Jim: Boy, that’s the ultimate trust.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Either he’s right or he’s wrong.

Jim: Right, and his timing’s his timing.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: That’s right.

Jim: Boy, that really strikes me, because I lost a friend, uh, late yesterday.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Oh!

Jim: And so even what we’re talking about is-

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Oh.

Jim: … resonating with me. I hate to make this shift, but our time is kind of limited, and I wanna-

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: (laughs)

Jim: … talk about your role in politics, and where you’re at, and what you see. Uh, I think the first time we met, I walked through the door right there, we met in this room. And you said, “Hi, I’m a white supremist.”

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: (laughs)

Jim: (laughs) That’s the first thing you said to me, and I was like, “What?”

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: (laughs) Yeah.

Jim: But talk to that issue of bigotry that occurs for you-

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Yeah.

Jim: … because you’re a Black conservative woman.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Uh, I like to say I’m a Black Christian woman. Uh-

Jim: That’s even better. How about a Christian, who’s a Black woman? (laughs)

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: … or I’m a- I’m a Christian who just happens to be Black and a woman. The- the thing about all of that is there are certain people who derive their power from keeping us at each other’s throats, and because I destroy that narrative that Black people are victims and they can’t be, then they come after me because they must, because if they don’t-

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: … then it means that I’m helping to foster independence, and other Black people, immigrants, women, will look at me and say, “Well, if Winsome can do it, I can do it too.” And in fact, that’s what’s happening. And so, I’m threatening their power. But it’s not me they’re fighting. It’s the Lord, because I did nev- I never wanted to be Lieutenant Governor. This was the Lord’s idea.

Jim: The- this is really critical, because so often, our passions kind of spill over-

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … and we as Christians can kind of lean into our flesh and fight this battle with worldly tools.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Yeah.

Jim: And I’m constantly battling that myself.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: (laughs)

Jim: You know, being able to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, goodness, mercy, uh, they’re not effective worldly tools. But God uses those tools to change a heart, doesn’t he?

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Yeah. He does. Uh, there’s sometimes I’m getting ready to deliver a speech and I’m starting to get nervous and- sh- “Lord, you- you know what, Lord? You sent me and I just have to speak to you.”

Jim: Yeah.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: And as long as I speak the truth, then I’ll be all right.

Jim: Yeah. (laughs)

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Uh, I just view my life differently. I- and it’s been a long way for me to come, that finally I understand, uh, that everything that I do is going to burn up, except the good. And it has to be the good that God wants. You know, I’d hate to get to Heaven, and it turns out that I did something good, but there was something better.

Jim: Wow.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: You know that he wanted. And it’s like, a- as- as Moses said, “Lord, if you’re not going, don’t send me.”

Jim: Yeah.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: And that’s what I- Lord, if- if… If what I say in my speech, if you don’t hear, if you’re not listening, then I have wasted my time. If you’re not… If- if- you don’t approve of what I’m about to say, I have wasted my time. It just doesn’t matter.

Jim: What an amazing place to start, to think- to put that in your thought before you speak.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Yeah.

Jim: We’d be a far better nation if everybody, no matter their vocation did that.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Well- well, now- now, I’m not always good about that. You know, ’cause-

Jim: (laughs) That’s good too.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: … I’ve got some zingers, that I-

Jim: (laughs)

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: And- and- and you know, I’ve got some really good things. And- and the Lord says to me, “And- and what you- what do you do after that?”

Jim: Yeah.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: “After you say that, then what? Then what?”

Jim: Yeah, that’s wisdom. Let me ask you specifically with Virginia, because there was, uh, a wave here of people that were really upset about schools-

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … what schools were teaching.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Mm-hmm.

Jim: That was something that the national media picked up on. And- and, uh, Governor Glenn Youngkin came in under that. You as Lieutenant Governor came in, um, and I believe even the District Attorney.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: The Attorney General, yes. We were all of the same mind.

Jim: Yeah, so-

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: We run separately; the Governor doesn’t choose his running mate-

Jim: Yeah, all different. Yeah.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: … and- and neither… So we all were singing from the same hymnal, if you will. (laughs)

Jim: Which is amazing. So when you look at that, and you look at the- the theme that education played in Virginia-

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … what- what was happening there, and why did it catch fire in Loudoun County and across the state?

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Well, I’m the former vice president of the State Board of Education here in Virginia. And I know-

Jim: Huh.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: … where to look for the scores. And so it has gone downhill, even since I was in- in that position. And the problem is our children aren’t learning, and COVID really allowed parents to see that, because now their- their children are sitting before televisions… Well, not tele- yeah, sometimes the television screen or the computer screen. And they’re seeing the curriculum, you know, that the schoolwork come up. And they’re realizing, “That doesn’t make any sense, and why are they teaching them this about this kind of race and that kind of race?” You know, there’s a way to teach about history in terms of not demoralizing the children. But this is not the way that they were teaching it.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Everything was about racism, and if everything is racism, then nothing is racism.

Jim: Huh.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: And you cheapen those true times when people are genuinely, uh, hurt by racism. And you know, we have a saying in- in- in church, and it’s, “I may not be what I’m supposed to be, but I ain’t what I used to be.” And that’s America. In fits and starts, she’s getting there. She may not be what she’s supposed to be, but she certainly ain’t what she used to be, otherwise-

Jim: Yeah.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: … I couldn’t be here.

Jim: Right. I mean, and you’re… you know, your election was historic, as the first African American woman.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Well, the first woman period to be elected to-

Jim: Well, that’s another one then.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jim: That’s great.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: And-

Jim: That’s beautiful.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: But you know, none of- okay, so you made history. Well, that’s one day.

Jim: (laughs) That’s the Lord saying, “So what?”

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Now you have to govern, yeah. The Lord is saying, “So what? Now you have to govern.”

Jim: Yeah.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: “And how are you going to govern? Are you going to be righteous, or are you gonna join everybody else?”

Jim: You know, let- let’s touch on that for a moment because, uh, you know, with the, uh, Supreme Court on the issue of life, the Dobbs case-

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

Jim: … again, it- a disproportionately impacted group is African American children.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Yes.

Jim: They die at a much higher rate through abortion. And yet, it’s almost like Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger, has achieved her vision.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Yeah, and the KKK.

Jim: Which was for minority babies to be targeted.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Yes, yes.

Jim: And yet, we sit back, and we don’t even recognize that. Um, speak to that issue of life and death through abortion and what the- the country’s battle is all about today.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Yeah. You- you know, unfortunately, uh, Black mothers are aborting their babies in unheard of numbers, you know, what? 50-60%? When we are only, what, 13% of the population?

Jim: Right.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: It’s just- uh, uh, the KKK could not have been more pleased.

Jim: Wow, uh, that’s such a heavy statement.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: And just to bring it- to bring it home, if I were to say, “I’m going to try to make it law that only Black women could have abortions, only Black women.”

Jim: Yeah.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Suddenly, we would say to ourselves, “Wait a minute, that means only Black babies are going to die. Why don’t they want Black babies to be born?”

Jim: Yeah.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: You, see? So we can see that there’s a wickedness about that. And unfortunately, we’re not listening and we’re allowing that to happen, and I- I don’t know. I can’t explain it.

Jim: Yeah.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Except we do have to pray that the Lord removes the veil from their eyes. And they- and he has.

Jim: Yeah.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: But people are deliberately making the decision, and they’re very proud of making the decision to abort their children.

Jim: Yeah.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: We have to make a decision, either life is life, or it’s not. I mean, what is the mother having? Is it a lizard? Of course not. That’s a baby. And this thing struck me where the Lord, um, really brought this passage home to me, Psalm 139, where David says, “You’ve saw my unformed body,” and I thought, “Wait a minute, unformed, unformed?” How did David know that there was not a little tiny baby there-

Jim: Right.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: … that would eventually grow and grow and grow to the size that it was? And how did he know that it was- there was nothing there?

Jim: Right.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: You know, and it was because of course, the Lord told him, because we didn’t know that until the electron microscope showed us what that looked like. And then he said in that same chapter that, “You knit me together in my mother’s womb.” And when you look at the cytoblast as its dividing, as the cells are dividing, that’s what it… It looks like they’re knitting together.

Jim: Interesting. (laughs)

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: And you couldn’t know that again, until you had this powerful microscope.

Jim: Yeah. Well, this has been terrific, and I think people hearing that, they go, “Wow, when’s she running for president?” (laughs)

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Uh, oh, no, I can’t. Remember, I wasn’t born here. (laughs)

Jim: That’s right. You’re from Jamaica. Well, listen-

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Jamaica. (laughs)

Jim: … you’re doing a great job.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Yes.

Jim: Again, I just love the discussion of how to blend, uh, you know, being active in the political sphere with your Christian commitment, and you’ve done it so well and we’ll be asking people to pray for you. And just that-

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: I need it.

Jim: … the Lord use you, in such a beautiful way.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: And Christians all over in politics need it, because it’s a very sometimes lonely road.

Jim: Hmm.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: And the other side, they don’t quit, and we can’t quit either, because we know that we are on the side of right.

Jim: Yeah.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: And we are going to be held accountable. And thankfully, we have a God of love who helps us.

Jim: Amen. I’m so glad you’ve been able to sit with us on Focus on the Family, when you used to listen for all these years.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Thank you. Yes, yes.

Jim: Great to have you.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Have the cassettes still.

Jim: (laughs)

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: (laughs)

Jim: Give them away! (laughs)

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: (laughs)

Jim: Good to be with you.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears: Thank you.

John: Lieutenant Governor Winsome Sears on Focus on the Family, uh, from a recent conversation recorded in Virginia. And, uh, there was a lot of fun and energy in that, Jim.

Jim: Oh, she brings the energy, John. And it was a very good visit. I so appreciate her love for Focus, and her strong convictions to do what’s right. Wouldn’t it be great if more people in government had that as a goal? Let’s do what’s right. I also appreciated her eternal perspective, reminding us that life here is short, but we need to remember that we’re going to something, right? For those who know the Lord, we have so much to look forward to in Heaven, and with Christ for eternity. That’s amazing! Uh, you know, we finished the discussion by talking about pro-life issues, and I want to give you an opportunity to do something really great on behalf of pre-born babies through Option Ultrasound. And the program provides ultrasound machines and training for pregnancy centers and allows for women to see a high-definition image of their child in the womb. 56% of abortion-minded women decide to keep their baby after seeing their sonogram and receiving counseling. So your gift of $60 today will save a baby’s life, so I encourage you to call us and donate now.

John: Yeah, now is the time to seize, uh, this very pro-life moment in our culture. Call and donate. Our number is 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. 800-232-6459, or visit focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller inviting you back as we once more help you and your family thrive in Christ.

Today's Guests

Help Save a Baby's Life!

Donate today, and you will help provide ultrasounds to mothers who might otherwise not have access to them. This is an essential step at giving these babies a chance at life. More than 50% of women who receive an ultrasound and counseling choose life! Every $60 you give helps save the life of one innocent baby.

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Headshot image of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. Patti Giebink

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Author Wendy Speake smiling as she holds up her book "The 40-Day Social Media Fast"

Mrs. Wendy Speake

With a background in Hollywood as a trained actress, Wendy Speake ministers to women as a bible teacher by applying the power of drama, poetry and comedy to the study of Scripture and real-life application of biblical truths. She has co-authored two books with Amber Lia titled Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses and their latest, Parenting Scripts: When What You’re Saying Isn’t Working, Say Something New. Wendy is also the co-author (with Kelli Stuart) of Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom.

Cover image of the book "The 40-Day Sugar Fast"

The 40-Day Sugar Fast: Where Physical Detox Meets Spiritual Transformation

Welcome to the 40-Day Sugar Fast, a fast that begins with us giving Jesus our sugar and ends with Jesus giving us himself–the only thing that can ever truly satisfy our soul’s deep hunger. On this 40-day journey you’ll learn how to stop fixating on food and other things you use to fill the voids in life and instead fix your eyes on Christ. Anyone who runs to sugar for comfort or a reward, who eats mindlessly or out of boredom, who feels physically and spiritually lethargic, or who struggles with self-control will discover here not only freedom from their cravings but an entirely new appetite for the good things God has for us.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 1

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 2

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

Debra Fileta has identified the four seasons of marriage that correspond with our natural seasons – spring (new life and new love), summer (things get hot!), fall (showing our true colors), and winter (long days ahead). In this interview, she will help couples better understand the four seasons of healthy relationships, what to expect during each one, and how to carefully navigate them for a stronger marriage.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage.

Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of a Healthy Relationship

Every relationship goes through four life-changing seasons: Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Each season plays an important role in taking your relationship to the next level. And depending on how you navigate each season, your relationship will either flourish and grow, or it will slowly die. Whether you’re single, dating, engaged or married, join licensed professional counselor and relationship expert, Debra Fileta as she takes you on an eye-opening psychological and spiritual journey through the four seasons that she has observed in every healthy relationship.

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

Dr. Lee Warren is a neurosurgeon who has faced many heavy challenges in his life – from serving in the Iraq War to removing deadly brain tumors to experiencing the loss of a teenage son. He’ll share about his difficult quest to find answers to some of life’s toughest questions, while holding onto his faith in God and the sure hope of heaven

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. W. Lee Warren

Dr. Lee Warren

W. Lee Warren, M.D., is a brain surgeon , inventor, Iraq War veteran, and author of I’ve Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon’s Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know, winner of the Christian Book Award®. His previous book, No Place to Hide, was included on the 2015 U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff’s Recommended Reading List. Dr. Warren has appeared on The 700 Club and the CBS Evening News, and his writings have been featured in Guideposts magazine. His Dr. Lee Warren Podcast, which is heard in more than 60 countries, helps listeners use the power of neuroscience, faith, and common sense to change their lives.

Cover image of Dr. Lee Warren's book "I've Seen the End of You"

I've Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon's Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know

This gripping inspirational memoir grapples with the tension between faith and science—and between death and hope—as a seasoned neurosurgeon faces insurmountable odds and grief both in the office and at home.

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

Jodie Berndt loves to pray for her children. She’s been doing that for the past thirty years. Now she helps other parents to talk to God, asking for the salvation of their kids, and for wisdom, self-discipline, purpose, a future and much more. She offers fun and practical encouragement that moms and dads can put to work immediately in their daily lives as they prepare their children for a life in Christ.

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt is a public speaker, a Bible teacher, and the the author of 10 books. Find out more about Jodie and get some free resources (including printable prayer cards and calendars) at her website, jodieberndt.com.

Cover image of Jodie Berndt's book "Praying the Scriptures for Your Children"

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

You will discover how using the Bible to shape your desires and requests opens the door to God’s provision—and frees us from things like worry and fear in our parenting! This expanded edition of the bestseller features updated content on issues like technology and identity, and comes with new material designed to invite children into the family prayer circle. Purchase now and receive 10% off your product.

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

Rhonda Stoppe describes her early motherhood challenges of raising a son, which was intimidating to her. She found help through group of older women mentors. She urges moms to see their role as ministry in shaping sons to be good and godly men. Rhonda outlines several practical suggestions to moms about spiritual training, how to communicate with boys, and supporting the father-son relationship as a wife.

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

Drawing upon 35 years of experience as a mentor, pastor’s wife, and homeschool mom, Rhonda Stoppe offers encouragement and guidance to women as an author and public speaker. She is popularly known as the “No Regrets Woman,” as she is especially passionate about helping women live life without regrets. Rhonda’s books include Moms Raising Sons to Be MenReal Life Romance, and The Marriage Mentor, which she co-authored with her husband, Steve.

Cover image of Rhonda Stoppe's book "Moms Raising Sons to be Men"

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

Mothers of boys have the special calling to shape future men of God. Popular speaker Rhonda Stoppe, mom to two sons, knows this opportunity is a challenge, a joy, and probably the most important work of a woman’s life. Drawing from years of experience, this inspirational resource will revive the faithfulness and fortitude a woman needs to partner with God as they shape the character and heart of a future godly man.

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lia’s story, you’ll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

Mr. and Mrs. Guy and Amber Lia and Mrs. Jean Daly

Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom, blogger, public speaker, and co-author of two best-selling books. Her husband, Guy, is a former TV, feature film, and VFX development and production executive who has worked on popular TV shows and films. Guy and Amber own Storehouse Media Group, a faith- and family-friendly TV and film production company based in Los Angeles,

Cover image of the book "Marriage Triggers" by Guy and Amber Lia

Marriage Triggers: How You and Your Spouse Can Exchange Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

A husband-wife team offers practical advice for married couples to end the cycle of reactionary arguments by examining the most common issues that trigger disagreements and apply God’s Word to radically transform relationships.

What to Do When You're Not Okay - Part 1

Life can be pretty stressful. Between work, relationships, and other obligations, the pressure builds, and we lose sight of who we are. Counselor Debra Fileta helps you better understand your emotions, assess your mental, physical, and spiritual health, and intentionally pursue a path to wellbeing. In dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, Debra understands the importance of self-examination as well as the benefits of seeking professional help. She offers biblically-based advice, tools, and encouragement to help you get on a path toward healing and wholeness.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage. Debra resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, John, and their four children.

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

In Are You Really OK? author and licensed counselor Debra Fileta challenges you to get real with who you are and how you’re doing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically so you can recognize where you need growth and healing.

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

As a pediatrician, Dr. Meg Meeker has seen thousands of girls come through her office through the years. They struggle with eating issues, sexual identity, social media…and many other challenges in this toxic culture. Dr. Meeker will encourage parents to invest love and time in their daughters and develop their character to give them the best opportunity for a bright future, all rooted in a spiritual foundation. The discussion also includes healthy feminism vs. toxic feminism

Mrs. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker is a pediatrician who is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading authorities on parenting, teens and children’s health. With appearances on numerous nationally syndicated radio and TV programs, her popularity as a an expert on key issues confronting families has created a strong following across America. Her work with countless families over the years served as the inspiration behind her best-selling books which include Strong Fathers, Strong DaughtersStrong Mothers, Strong Sons and The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers

Cover image of Dr. Meg Meeker's book "Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture"

Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture: 11 Steps to Keep Her Happy, Healthy, and Safe

Meg Meeker has been a pediatrician for more than thirty years, is a mother and a grandmother, and has seen it all. She knows what makes for strong, happy, healthy young women–and what puts our daughters at risk. Combining that experience with her famous common sense, she explains the eleven steps that will help your daughter–whether she’s a toddler or a troubled teen–to achieve her full human potential.

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Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
say about Life?” You’ll discover and understand the stages of pre-born life and that babies are more than
just a clump of cells!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Thank you for committing to pray for the pre-born!

Sign up below for your free seven-day prayer guide. This daily guide will help give direction to your prayers for the pro-life movement. We will be praying with you! 

Focus on the Family

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