She immigrated to the United States. joined the Marines, earned a master’s degree, and became the first black woman to be elected to statewide office in Virginia. Lieutenant Governor Winsome Sears shares her incredible story of faith and freedom – detailing how God’s hand has been on her life every step of the way. She also shares about overcoming racial division, education issues, and the value of every human life.
there’s sometimes I’m getting ready to deliver a speech, and I’m starting to get nervous. And 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. Welcome to the focus on the family. Broad cares. Helping families thrive. That’s lieutenant governor winsome Sears from Virginia, sharing about how God guides her every day and he’s done so throughout her life. You’ll hear more about that today. On Focus on the Family, your host has focused president and author Jim Daly, and I’m John Fuller. John. I had a great visit with the lieutenant governor at the state offices there in Virginia. Winsome Sears came into office last fall in and historic election. In fact, she is the first female lieutenant governor in the state and the first black female elected statewide office. She is quite an impressive woman with a really interesting storey, but the most important thing in her life is her faith in Christ as she’ll be sharing. I think our viewers air really going to enjoy this. I’m really looking forward to seeing this conversation, Jim, along with our viewers. And here now is Jim Daily with Lieutenant governor winsome Sears on Focus on the Family. Lieutenant Governor, welcome to focus on the family. Thank you for having me. You never picture yourself talking with you because I remember listening to Dr Dobson the other folks in the studio and I just it just listening to the people. Your guests would just do something in me, and it was always such a blessing. And and now here I am feeling that I so appreciate that that’s the goal for us, you know, sharing people’s storeys, their lives, and it touches people’s hearts. Today we’re on your turf. We’re here in Richmond, Virginia, and you have an amazing storey. I’m so looking forward to spending a half hour with you and really unfolding that. Let’s start there. You’re born Jamaica. Yes. Morning Kingston to make in the capital. And your mom and dad said, Hey, we’re gonna go to the U. S. Described that adventure. Probably felt like an adventure. How old were you when that decision was made? And how old were you when you got here to the U. S. So? Actually, my Jamaica had gained independence in 62 1962 from England. But then my father decided to come August 11th of 1963 permanently his first shot. And, you know, you ask him which I did. Why would you come then? Because he came just 17 days before Martin Luther King Jr gave us. I have a dream speech. 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 asked into the country and go through the documentation to prove you are who you say you are in the background cheques and all that, and then you have to wait And he said, because this is where the jobs and the opportunities were. How interesting. If I know the storey, right? And correct me if I’m wrong. I think he came with a dollar 75 in his pocket. Actually, he couldn’t remember if it was a dollar 50 or dollars. 75 actually spotting him a quarter. I mean, that is courageous. Well, you know, when you’re desperate and you want to find an opportunity, you will do what it takes because he could not go home a failure and he figured America for America. For him was the promised land. Interesting. Is that amazing? And you know, of course, his daughter grows up to become lieutenant governor. Say it. Say it this way. In the capital of the former Confederacy. Yes, that’s progress. That’s absolute progress. And so that’s why when I was on the campaign trail, I said, two 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? Yeah, well said, You know, I really appreciate that. Let me let me come back to the Storey because it’s so compelling. I love it. You had a grandmother who loved you and was a believer, and she poured into your life. There are so many storeys like that good old grandmothers who just take care of the family that we have time Describe her, though. Give me her attributes. She was a short woman, probably 51, but she seems so big to me and Mrs Earl. She was 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 help have grand mothers and fathers to help them? Why does she have to help everybody? And when she came to America, she would buy shoes and clothes and bring him back for the kids. And And I saw her one time. This man was high on marijuana in Jamaica. Just his eyes are blood shot. 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 gave him a place to stay, clean them up, found him a job and got him into adult learning. Yeah, so that he could be literate and Yeah, What a great storey. Her death really impacted you. How old were you when she died? I was 18. I had just turned 18 and I was living in America. She was living in America, but she had gone back home for maybe 10 years prior. 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 and 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 if the purpose of living is to die, then all the love she never love, 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 going to stay here and I’ve got rules, you gotta come in by a certain time. You’ve got to do this by certain tyre. You get it 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, And But then I happen to look on her table coffee table and she had on a Jet magazine, and I opened it up and it fell to a page. And there, whether the Marines, the few the proud, the Marines and I said, That’s it. I need some discipline, and she and they will give me the discipline. I need a reason to live. So I came back to America, Join the Marine Corps. Wow. I mean, that was a big decision for you at that age, where were yet spiritually did her death make that kind of spiritually impact on you, Or where did God start to say, Hey, Winston Member, Me? Well, you know, I was saved when I was 12. 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. You know, I’m in church pretty much my whole life, right? And this visiting minister, I suddenly hear the gospel for the first time, and I say to him after everybody is dismissed, I I asked him, Tell me more about this man because I just want to 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. You know, we’d see our grandmother kneeling by the bed with the sheet over her head like a tent. But nobody really lived that way. And so, you know, it didn’t last very long. But there was a part of me that always knew certain things were writing sort. Things were wrong. I did the wrong things. Anyway, her death didn’t help it. So that to get a reminder where you know, Scripture says any any person it’s given to him that he has in his hand, you lose. And even as a child making that commitment, how you kept Now I can tell you I could feel him hounding me. But I wasn’t ready yet. You know, Maybe if I had been disciple DS, then maybe I’m sure. But I wasn’t disciple, actually, until I had three Children. I was what, 25? Yeah, And it was the Lord who one day, my youngest daughter, she was one year old at the time. And it was Sunday. She was standing at the door of the storm and the storm door, and I saw the light that shines the sun just shining right through our 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. And I said to myself, Oh, no, she’s not And I found a church. I licorice split. I was looking for church here, church there And then I finally found a church and I was disciple. Yeah, what a great storey. Let me let me dig into your move toward politics. I’m not sure. What did you do in the military? Let’s get that for that was Electrician’s on diesel mechanic because my grandfather said, You know, they can take everything from you, but they can’t take away your trade. So get a trade. And he grew up during the Depression. And so that he’s had a college degree is wonderful. But get a trade. That’s a diesel mechanic. I’ve got a truck. I need your help. But now, moving toward politics. So, what age were you? You said your grandmother was involved in a chaotic So when did you have an interest in well, Jamaicans are very heavily into politics. I don’t know why. It’s just how we are in. Do you know that that prime minister destroyed Jamaica’s economy, took about a whole generation 40 years for it to come back and they voted him back in, but only after he apologised for destroying Jamaica. But you know, you think of the things going on today, and now you’re the lieutenant governor, and you know it’s important for people who can be to be active into pursue. Look, I think holy things in that arena, you know, this communism stuff. That’s socialism stuff. It doesn’t work. Yes, sir. Where we continuing to try? Don’t know it. I know that, you know, I’d be God, right? I mean, it’s like we’re the last ones on Earth to try, try And but actually we did try it. We tried it back in the early 16 hundreds when we first came, remember? And so that the concept that some people work harder than some and everybody reaps the benefits. It’s not fair when some one of the things that I’ve noticed in your leadership and your life experience on I identify with this difficulty has a way of shaping you. And I think oftentimes in a good way, it gives you character. It’s kind of what Paul says that suffering leads to. You know, eventually you’re in character and in their context, your daughter had a tragic accident. You lost your daughter. Yeah, but I mean, I’d rather not go through those experiences. But apparently the Lord knows best. How described the circumstances of that. How old was she when she passed? She was, And I try. It’s not that I’m even trying not to remember. It’s I think the Lord has given me a certain amount of great so that I don’t recall too much. But she is yours about 25. 26 when she died. And the Lord made sure to say to me she she didn’t die? No, because I would say when she passed away, passed away to wear when she left, left where he would say to me, finish the sentence s o. She was bipolar. And and she stopped taking her medication. And the funny thing is, though, that about a month before they left for heaven. You’re too grand. My two granddaughters. Yeah, Faith was the youngest granddaughter. She was five and she would say, Crema, we’re going to get a big house. Jesus is going to give us a big house and I kept one of what is this big house? And finally my daughter dropped her, drop them off one night for Bible study and Faith was praying and she said, Thank you, Jesus for the big house. And when I heard that, I said, Okay, they’re moving and Dijon. My daughter hasn’t told us where she’s going, and Faith was drawing the big houses. And I said to my daughter when she came the next day, where you guys moving to faces, you’re going to have a big house and she’s I don’t know what she’s talking about. She says, Jesus is going to give you all a big house. Where you going? Well, I know now that my granddaughter, five years old, she didn’t know the word mansion she meant mentioned, 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 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 what the voice said. And the next day, the next day they were gone on home, all three of them in an auto accident and an auto accident. That’s, um, that’s, you know, that’s that’s something we just passed by. That’s an incredible experience. No, but the Lord know that it would have 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 and, you know, three months after their funeral, by the way, I was collapsing everywhere. It just, you know, Yeah, the Lord giveth and the Lord take it, and I remembered all that, but I’m human. And if if Jesus can cry, then I can cry to again. I just 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 you see that they’re very superficial or they walk away. They walk away from the Lord. And that almost happened to me because I remember, you know, just grieving so hard. Yes, I know my granddaughters. And it’s not as if they had cancer. You know where I had time to say goodbye. It was just a knock on the door that your daughter is dead. Your granddaughter is dead and your other daughter, granddaughter, is on life support. You know, so but because he had spoken to me and and he kept speaking to me. Actually, throughout that time, for example, that night meant we went home after we took the other granddaughter off life support. And, you know, maybe we had two hours of sad. I and I awaken the next morning and I thought, Well, what am I going to 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. And then finally, he said, What do you have here on Earth that’s better than heaven? And then he repeated it again. What do you have here on Earth? That’s better than heaven? And then he was gone. Mm. 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. Crystal clear. Very clear. Come on. Heaven’s going to be far better than this Earth. It’s a great reminder for all of us to think about. And it’s what? And if the Lord is wrong in taking my Children, then where do I go after that boy? That’s where he’s wrong, Right? In his timing says Times, Right, What really strikes? Because I lost a friend late yesterday s O. Even what we’re talking about is resonating with me. I hate to make the shift, but our time is kind of limited. And I want to talk about your role in politics and where you’re at and what you see. 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 supremacist. That’s the first thing you said to me. And I was like, what? But it talked to that issue of bigotry that occurs for you because you’re a black conservative woman. I like to say I’m a black Christian woman. That’s even better Crime a Christian was a black woman happens to be black and a woman. 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, then it means that I’m helping to foster independence and other black people. Immigrants Woman Well, look at me and say, Well, if Winston could do what 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 didn’t know I never wanted to be lieutenant governor. This was Laura’s idea. This is really critical because so often our passions kind of spill over, and we, as Christians can kind of lean in to our flesh and fight this battle with worldly tools. I’m constantly battling that myself, you know, being able to exhibit the fruit of the spirit. Love, joy, peace, goodness, mercy. They’re not effective worldly tools. But God uses those tools to change a heart that he does. There’s sometimes I’m getting ready to deliver a speech, and I’m starting to get nervous. And 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. I just view my life differently. I and it’s been a long way for me to come that finally I understand 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, you know, that he wanted. As as Moses said, Lord, if you’re not going, don’t send me. And that’s what Lord, if if if what I say in my speech, if you don’t hear if you’re not listening than I have wasted my time. If you’re not, you don’t approve of what I’m about to say. I have wasted my time. It just doesn’t matter What an amazing place to start to think. Put that in your thought before you speak. It would be a far better nation if everybody no matter the vocation. I’m not always good about I’ve got some zingers that and you know, I’ve got some really good things. And in the Lord says to me and And what what do you do after that? After you say that, then what? Then what? Let me ask you specifically with Virginia, because there was, ah, wave here. People that were really upset about schools, what schools were teaching. That was something that the national media picked up on. And Governor Glenn Yang Akan came in under that you, as lieutenant governor, came in on believe even the district attorney. The Attorney General? Yes, we were all of the same. We run separately. The governor doesn’t. Yeah, all different his running mate, and neither. So we all were singing from the same hymnal, which is so when you look at that and you look at the theme that education played in Virginia, what was happening there And why did it catch fire in Loudon County and across the state? Well, I’m the former vice president of the State Board of Education here in Virginia. And I know 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 co vid really allowed parents to see that, because now they’re the Children are sitting before televisions will not help. Yes, sometimes the television screen or the computer screen and they’re seeing the curriculum. You know that those schoolwork come up and they’re realising, but that doesn’t make any sense. And why are they teaching them this about this kind of race? In that kind of race, you know, there’s a way to teach about history in terms of not demoralised, demoralising the Children. But this is not the way that they were teaching it. Everything was about racism. And if everything is racism than nothing, is racism and you cheap and those true times when people are genuinely hurt by racism And, you know, we have a saying in church, and its I may not be what I’m supposed to be, but I ate 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, I couldn’t be here, right? I mean, in your, you know, your election was historic. Is the first African American woman. Well, the first woman period to be like, Well, that’s another one. Great. It’s beautiful, but you know, No. Okay, so you made history. Well, that’s one day. Now you have to govern. Yeah, a lot of saying. So what now You have to cover. And how are you going to govern? Are you going Tiu be righteous, or you gonna join everybody else? You know, let let’s touch on that for a moment. Because, you know, with the Supreme Court on the issue of life, the Dobbs case again, a disproportionately impacted group is African American Children. They died a much higher rate through abortion. And yet it’s almost like Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger has achieved her vision, which was for minority babies to be targeted. Yes, and yet we sit back, and we don’t even recognise that. Speak to that issue of life and death through abortion And what the the country’s battle is all about to there? Yeah. You know, unfortunately, black mothers are aborting their babies in unheard of numbers. You know what, 50 60% when we are on Lee? What? 13% of the population. It’s just the k k k. Could not have been more pleased on just drinking heavy statement to bring it home. If I were to say, I’m going to try to make it law that Onley black women could have abortions on Lee black women. Suddenly we would say to ourselves, Wait a minute. That means Onley black babies, They’re going to die. Why don’t they want black babies to be born, you see, so we can see that there is a wickedness about that. And unfortunately, we’re not listening and we’re allowing that to happen. And I don’t know, I can’t explain it, except we do have to pray that the Lord removed the veil from their eyes and they and he has. But people are deliberately making the decision and they’re very proud of making the decision to aboard their Children. We have to make a decision. Either life is life or it’s not. I mean, what is what is the mother having Is it a lizard? Of course not. That’s baby. And this thing struck me where the Lord really brought this passage home to me. Someone 39 where David says you 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 that would eventually grow and grow and grow to the size that itwas How did he know that it was? There was nothing there, 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 sidle blast as it’s dividing as the cells are dividing, that’s what it looks like. They’re needing together. And you couldn’t know that again until you had this powerful microscope. Yeah, let me let me hit this. And then we’re at a time, and I so appreciated spending a few minutes with you when you you look at that issue, many, some in the Christian community will say, Well, this is now political issue. I’ve all said, and Dr Dobson always said, That’s a moral issue that’s been pulled into the political arena. What’s your best argument against that kind of thinking that they say, Well, listen, abortion is really a political issue in the church. Shouldn’t be involved in political issues. There’s so much of the moral that spills over into the political and all. Everything just about starts is a moral issue. And either something is right or it’s wrong. It’s really that simple. How do we know that theft is theft while the 10 Commandments tell us that? How do we know murder is murder? The 10 Commandments? You know just about everything. And so what do we know about property rights? Well, we know it from the 10 Commandments. Don’t move the boundary stones, Right? We know so much from all that. Well, this has been terrific. And I think people hearing that they go wow when she running for president, remember? I wasn’t born here, right? Well, you’re doing a great job again. I just love the discussion of how to blend, You know, being active in the political sphere with your Christian commitment and you’ve done it so well and will be asking people to pray for you and just use you and Christians all over in politics needed because it’s a very sometimes lonely road 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 and we’re going to be held accountable. And thankfully, we have a God of love who helps us game. And I’m so glad you’ve been able to sit with us and focus on the family. When you used to listen for all these years, great to have the cassettes give him away. Good to be with you. Thank you, Lieutenant Governor Winston Sears on focus on the Family. And that’s a recent conversation recorded in Virginia. A lot of energy and a lot of fun there. Jim. Yeah, John. It was a very good visit, and I appreciated her love for focus and her strong convictions to do what’s right. We need to pray that all our government office holders will seek to do what’s right in the side of God. Wouldn’t that be refreshing? I also appreciated her eternal perspective, reminding us that life Here’s short, but we need to remember what we’re going to. For those who know the Lord, we have so much to look forward to in heaven with Christ for eternity. And you know, we finish 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. That programme provides alter sound machines and training for pregnancy centres and allows for women to see a high definition image of their child in the womb. And we know the data. 56% of abortion minded women decide to keep their baby after saying their sonogram and receiving counselling. Your gift of $60 today will save the baby’s life, so I want to encourage you to call and do that today. Yeah, now is the time to seize this pro life moment in the culture. Call and donate our numbers 800. The letter A in the word family, 800 to 3 to 6459 or stop by the episode notes and will have the links. Therefore, you on behalf of Jim Daley and the entire team. Thanks for watching. I’m John Fuller inviting you back next time, as we once more help you and your family thrive in Christ.