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On June 1st, we had the blessing of having Samantha Stewart join our Stand In The Gap Ministry for Widows team. She was an answer to prayer for our team after watching God grow our widows program and realizing we needed to have another staff member to support the growing needs. 

I had the opportunity to sit down with Samantha and hear her story and what brought her to Stand In The Gap Ministries and why working with widows is important to her. We are excited to have her on board and cannot wait to see what God does through her obedience to serve and use her hurt to help others!

Who is Samantha, where did she grow up and what is important to you?

I am a native Oklahoman originally from Tulsa! I am the oldest of two girls and the daughter of a couple of hippies who were radically saved when I was about 5.

 I grew up in church and went to a christian school. I played softball, basketball and did cheerleading. I had a great group of friends and a few of us still talk and get together even after being out of school for almost 30 years.

 I went to college and studied to be a teacher. When I graduated I went back to the Christian school I graduated from and began teaching and coaching. 

I would love to hear about your family, your husband, how met and what your life has been like:

Jason and I met in high school. On his first day he randomly said hi and introduced himself to me and I would like to think that it was love at first sight, but it wasn’t until two years later that he started talking to me and asking me for help in Chemistry. He was a senior and I was a junior. We officially began dating in the summer of 1993. 

A little over 4 years later and we were married. We had a great life. We were involved in church and loved to travel (even if it was an overnight road trip). We had our daughter, Abby, after 4 years of marriage and that has been the most incredible adventure of our life! She is the perfect blend of all the best parts of Jason and I. Although lately she has reminded me much more of Jason. I kept teaching and coaching after having Abby and when she was old enough Abby started at the school where I worked. Our little family of three knew how to have fun, laugh and make memories together.

Each of us has been gifted with a unique sense of humor. This means that there was never a shortage of corny jokes and Jason had a unique talent for delivering some epic comment or one liner that perfectly fit every situation. We loved a good family road trip and would pack up at least once a year for some cross-country adventure. As Abby got older the adventures were more fun and it helped that we had family living in other states that we could visit while still making memories as a family. 

Would you mind sharing about your loss?

In May of 2021, Jason was not feeling good so we went to Urgent care thinking it may be pneumonia or bronchitis. He ended up testing positive for COVID and the doctors were concerned about something they saw on his x-rays and sent us immediately over to the main hospital to have more tests. Those tests led to a two day stay in the hospital. When he came home we began having conversations about getting through quarantine and our next steps with Oncology appointments as they had discovered a mass in his chest. After being home for about 5 days, he began really struggling with his oxygen levels and navigating all his other COVID symptoms. It became clear he needed oxygen support so we went back to the ER. He was immediately admitted to the hospital’s COVID unit and I was sent home to continue my quarantine. 

He spent about a week and a half on the COVID unit getting oxygen support and resting before it became clear that he needed much more support than they were able to provide. So they moved him to the ICU. Two days later he was placed on a ventilator. From there his body continued to struggle to fight and began to slowly shut down all the non-essential parts to ensure survival via machines. 

About a month later, we were faced with a tough decision between long term facility care and hospice. After prayer and hard conversations we decided to make a plan for hospice. Two days later he peacefully passed away. 

What are the biggest things God has taught you through your loss? 

I have learned that God is good even when life isn’t and God is always faithful even when I lose faith. I have also learned that I am stronger than I thought I was and I am capable of way more than I ever gave myself credit for being able to say, do and endure. 

I have also realized how much small fears played a part in my daily life before losing Jason. I am constantly aware when those fears pop up now and I have learned how to face them bravely knowing my Heavenly Father is with me every step of the way. Being single has meant that I have had the opportunity to learn new things everyday and I have even had to face things I never thought I would have to face. I have seen God’s goodness and faithfulness displayed time and time again in the big moments as well as the small moments.

What is your favorite Bible verse?

Psalm 23 has been like an anchor chapter. As I have walked through this journey of widowhood when I read this I feel peace, I feel my Heavenly Father walking with me. I can also see the green pastures and still waters and it makes me relax and rest knowing He is caring for me.

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

How did you learn about Stand In The Gap Ministries?

About 8 months after Jason passed away I found myself helping to lead the widows group at my church. I wasn’t expecting this to happen so quickly, yet something inside of me knew that I was supposed to help. I was being called to use what I went through to help others not only have a safe place to talk, but also provide a space to build community for those who did not and maybe still do not have what I was blessed to have. 

Someone at my church knew about Stand In The Gap Ministries and then we had a meeting to discuss using the ToolKit for our widows group. Through this meeting, I was able to meet Amy and the SITGM team. I was impressed with what they had to offer and the resources and support that our group would receive as a result. So with the partnership of my church we began our working with SITG Widows in February of 2023.

What brought you to apply at Stand In The Gap Ministries and what gave you the desire to become part of the team?

I have been in education for 20+ years. I loved where I was working because it was where my community was and I loved my job. But over the last year the Lord began to do a work in my heart for widows in my community and beyond. I wasn’t sure what a job helping widows would look like, but He knew and He was working out a way behind the scenes for just the right time. 

In mid-March of 2023 our Groups pastor as well as a friend met with SITGM to talk about mentorship and how to engage different church groups and members with the other areas of SITGM. From that meeting my two friends found out that SITGM Widows was hiring.  My friends called me and told me to apply. At this point I was reluctant because I knew what to expect from my job and I loved the people I was around everyday. They were my people, my support, and most importantly they had become like family. So I prayed and through my prayers and talking with a couple of people I decided to have a conversation with Amy not really thinking it would lead anywhere. Well, I was wrong because a little over a week later I was accepting a position with Stand In The Gap Ministries for Widows. I was excited and I am still just as excited every day! 

What is something that has surprised you since stepping into your role?

I knew that the Widow population in the US was underserved, however I had not really seen the statistics or heard about how states beyond Oklahoma view Widows. 

I have realized that there are so many people in Oklahoma and beyond that are also looking for resources for widows without having any readily available and yet I know so many more still need help!

What are you most looking forward to in regards to being a part of Stand In The Gap for Widows?

I feel like I am truly walking in the calling that God has placed on my life to help widows walk through grief and to help provide resources to a very underserved population of strong, amazing and resilient women. 

I am looking forward to growing our partnerships with churches and ministries across all the US and even branch out worldwide. We do not want any widow to ever feel alone.

Do you want to know more about to get involved and help widows today? Email us at and we will walk you through the next steps!

Stand in the Gap for Widows