Creating Hope…One Page at a Time

Biography

Stephanie grew up in Tallahassee, Florida and currently lives in Waleska, Georgia. Since she is a formerly grieving mother and a survivor of suicide, Stephanie is able to use real life experiences to illustrate the transformative Power of the Lord as a Christian Writer/Public Speaker. As the wife of a college football coach, she pours her heart into her role as Team Mom. She expresses her desire to help the team by fundraising, photography, emotional support, and prayer. Her extensive background in private club and non-profit management adds to the experiences she pulls from. From this heart for others, she draws upon a deep reservoir of hope that is contagious, inspiring audiences across all demographics.

Stephanie is married to Tommy and has two children in Heaven as well as a stepdaughter, Nicki, who lives in California. She also has hundreds of football “sons”. She enjoys volunteering, photography, bible study, travel, exercise and reading.

Her Story
STEPHANIE SCOTT’S HOPE

My hash tag reads #hopeshaping. That’s how integral hope is in my life now. Integral means “necessary to make a whole complete; essential or fundamental.”

 To me hope is synonymous with God. Holding on to hope is how I face every bend in the tumultuous journey called life. So, it’s the message I spread. But it wasn’t always that way as I had to learn to hope.

I am no stranger to loss…

My life started as an eagerly anticipated daughter of very loving parents in Tallahassee, Florida on February 15th 1967. Until I was 5 or 6, my memories are full of adventures on my grandfather’s homestead, elaborate birthday parties, and trips to Disneyland. I remember feeling safe, secure, and loved.

But this idyllic early childhood became a nightmare when my mother’s mental illness started raging out of control. My fear of her manic rages had me hiding my little brother in the woods behind our house. I made up stories for him and pretended we were playing out our favorite books. This is where I learned to escape into books when I felt frightened, alone, and unworthy.

The only time I felt connected to God was on the rare occasions when I was taken to church. The light from God coming through the stained glass windows seemed to touch my core for a short time.

My mother’s subsequent violent suicide my freshman year in high school sent into motion years upon years of paralyzing guilt. I felt it was on my watch due to her psychiatrist telling me I was responsible for her. She had tried to kill herself many times in the years before but I still was not prepared for the devastation this wrought.

In Tallahassee in the 1980s there was still such a stigma attached to mental illness and suicide. My Mother’s “shame” became mine as friends fell away one by one.  At 14 years old my faith plummeted into the depths of despair.

While my high school years are a blur in my memory banks, what I can recall is how prevalently I was devalued and devalued myself. The way I dealt with it was not to deal with it. Escaping the pain became my primary objective. 

With this mask firmly in place, I entered Florida State University in 1985. The girl who’s Mother had done that scandalous thing ceased to exist. Thus my baggage stowed out of sight. Or so I thought. You only had to see all the stuff piled up in my car to know that I had unresolved issues!

Joining Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority and quickly becoming an officer gave me the first sense of belonging that I had experienced in years. Unfortunately, this is where I started learning to value myself by external sources.  

It was during my tenure as Philanthropy Chair that I discovered a true heart for helping others. But who was helping me including myself? I did not have the emotional maturity to acknowledge how God was working in my life even then. The many forms of my escapes included almost everything from those books to school, work, hotels, and therapy.

Believing in princes on white chargers, I then escaped to Georgia with my first husband a semester before graduation from FSU. His cruelty and infidelity signaled the death knell of a marriage built on shifting sands. Divorce was yet another loss to absorb.

Career had became my god as I rose to the top of my profession as a Private Golf Club Manager at one of the most prestigious clubs in the country. Charity events were my bailiwick while I covered my inadequacies with altruism.

Things seemed to take a turn for the better when I met my husband Tommy and his daughter. Here was a man I could trust and a daughter I could love like my own. My world stopped spinning on its axis…for a while.

But the next tragic saga began with the premature birth of our only living child, Wyn, soon after our marriage. Despite a valiant battle, his life ended in my arms 25 days later. The affect of feeling his last breath deep in my soul was catastrophic. And every shovel of dirt on his grave was symbolic of the way I covered my heart from further pain.

It was like I buried all the compounded pain with my son.  Tamped it down like it like it never existed. Then covered it with concrete, spread layers and layers of fertile soil on top, and cultivated flowers.

The thing about emotional concrete is that buried pains can seep through the cracks and the porous nature of emotional soil though. A miscarriage the next Christmas followed by very early menopause dashed every dream I had left.  My soul was as barren as my womb.  At the point I decided such a life was not worth living and attempted suicide myself, I did not have even a glimpse of the hope that lay ahead.

I am no stranger to hope…

Tommy is a college football coach and when I began to embrace this life is when I began to live.

It was when I decided it is not about what happens to you but what you do with it that my faith progressed from non-existent to a mustard seed. A spiritual garden was what I began to cultivate. The bible joined my library and church became more than a place to wear my new shoes. Jesus became more than a mythical creature but actually my friend. And the “vengeful” God of my childhood was transformed in my mind to just who He really is. I felt peace for the first time since those idyllic early years.

I joined a women’s bible study and truly found the joy to be had in connecting with other women in faith. The trust I had lost in God and others was being rebuilt brick by brick.

The foundation I started in memory of our son flourished with 17 football scholarships in 7 years. This garnered the attention of Fox 5, Georgia Public Broadcasting, and Gwinnett Prep Rally Show.  To this day I am still in contact with some of my recipients so like “sons”.

My journey finally truly found its groove when I became Team Mom for Reinhardt University Football in 2013. Taking photographs, fundraising, and giving any support and love possible were and are as rewarding as any career I could imagine.  Finding one of God’s purposes for my life is better than the pot of gold at the end of any treasure map.

My fledgling faith began to rapidly grow as I starting praying for each “son” by name.  Prayer cultivates love. My husband used to be a high school football coach and when he was I took on some of the same roles with the team during the dark days. I had a Reinhardt University player ask me what was different about my relationship with the high school players and them. I answered that it was my Faith and that I loved more. You cannot intentionally pray for someone without feeling love. My prayer life literally breathes for me.

Instead of being “sonless”, I have become “Mama” to hundreds of “sons”. I realize that if I had Wyn as a young man running around right now that I may not have the heart I have for other people’s children.  Their walks with the Lord have been positively impacted by the work the Lord has done through me. And some of them come from broken homes and tragic circumstances themselves. Their reliance on God helps bring about the success our team has enjoyed.

Booker T. Washington said, “If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.”   The fulfillment of all the hopes and dreams I’ve had in my life is to have lifting others up as my daily focus.  My identity now comes from being a child of God rather than from outside focus.

In this vein another pivotal point of my journey came when I was asked to speak on a volunteer basis about suicide at a woman’s conference in 2015.  A young woman approached me afterwards and said that I had given her hope. This hope was enough to have her abandon her own plan to end her life. This showed me that the messages I have about redemption and hope are not limited to football players. And I felt more led than ever to help others through what I had been through.

To this end I started my Christian Public Speaking ministry by attending a She Speaks Conference put on by the Proverbs 31 Ministries in the summer of 2016. And followed this up with working with a P31 Speaking Coach.

Currently my focus has been on writing and I have been attending Reinhardt University as a Creative Writing Major. And have participated in an intensive She Speaks Studio and a Breathe Writing Retreat with Suzie Eller.

I now pursue my personal relationship with Christ with a zeal that is hard to reconcile with the grief stricken woman I had been.  I am discovering how triumphs over tragedy through hope can help other women.
The magnitude of my losses is being eclipsed by the blessings they have brought into my life. As a consequence, I am fortunate enough to be passing these blessings on through being a Team Mom and Christian Writer and Speaker.

I now pursue my personal relationship with Christ with a zeal that is hard to reconcile with the grief stricken woman I had been.  I am discovering how triumphs over tragedy through hope can help other women.

The magnitude of my losses is being eclipsed by the blessings they have brought into my life. As a consequence, I am fortunate enough to be passing these blessings on through being a Team Mom and Christian Writer and Public Speaker.

What I have learned from all this is finding meaning and purpose in tragedy and loss IS one of life’s greatest blessings!  The prevailing message in this is hope.

Value Statement

Stephanie Scott’s experiences in the triumphs over tragedy and loss with hope make her qualified to guide women in this tumultuous journey called life. As a recovering escape artist, she is transparently relational with audiences.
Throughout her faith filled presentations women are influenced to:

Live fully in the present instead of the pain of the past or fear of the future
Be inspired to hope where it has been absent
Be assured of God’s Love that has previously been questioned
Be strengthened by confidence in the Truth of Scripture
Be motivated to affect positive change in thoughts and priorities

 

Stephanie Scott’s Statement of Faith

Adapted from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes

  • I am convicted that the Bible is the inspired, flawless, authoritative Word… solely of God. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
  • I firmly believe in one God existing as Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19)
  • I know in my heart of the deity of Christ (John 1:1), His virgin birth (Matthew 1:18, 25) His sinless life (Hebrews 4:15), in His miracles, His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood (Hebrews 9:15-22), His bodily resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-8), His ascension to the right hand of the Father (Acts 1:9-11) and His eventual return in power and glory (Hebrews 9:27-28).
  • I trust that for the salvation of lost and sinful men (women), regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential. (John 3:16; John 5:24; Titus 3:3-7)
  • I am certain of the present ministry of the Holy Spirit, by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life. (John 14:15-26; John 16:5-16; Ephesians 1:13-14)
  • I am convinced of the resurrection of both the saved and the lost, they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation. (Matthew 25:31-46; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
  • I have no doubt of the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ. (Philippians 2:1-4)