by Kaylin Kaupish and Celeste McCauley
For more than 75 years, Guideposts has told the stories of powerful women of faith. Whether they endeavored to make it to Broadway, care for their loved ones, or make their community a better place, these women share their inspiring tales of overcoming obstacles and making their dreams come true.
We take a look back at 20 amazing women who have graced the cover of Guideposts magazine. For more inspiring stories, subscribe to Guideposts magazine.
Fueled by her unflappable faith, the country music legend—who has graced the Guideposts cover four times— has never been afraid to aim high. “How did someone like me, born in a cabin on the banks of the Little Pigeon River in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, end up where I have in life? The answer is both complicated and simple. I like the simple part. I dreamed big and I prayed big,” she told us in 2020.
“Standing on top of the Olympic podium,” said Gabby, “with the gold medal around my neck and my hand on my heart, hearing ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ I felt overwhelmed with gratitude. To my teammates and my coach. To my family, especially my mom and my sisters and brother, who made so many sacrifices for me. And most of all, to God. Right from the start my life has been shaped by his Word. And usually that Word came through Mom, a serious student of the Bible.”
In 2014, tennis great Serena Williams told us: “I picked up the game at an early age. I picked up on something else too, something that goes far beyond tennis. The idea—the belief, really—that life is about learning.” That’s why, win or lose, Serena relies on prayer during her matches.
Chrissy Metz’s story is one of resilience. “Some people call me an overnight sensation,” she told us in 2019. “I play Kate in the hit TV series This Is Us, and now I have my first feature film, Breakthrough, coming out this Easter. But I wouldn’t exactly call my success ‘overnight.’ More like 365 nights and days—multiplied by a dozen years.”
After a medical discharge ended her military career prematurely, Sandy Blair wasn’t sure what she would do with her life. “Like many veterans, I struggled to gain a foothold as a civilian,” she said. “I couldn’t find work. After years of structure and camaraderie in the military, I felt alone and adrift. I endured a period of homelessness and sank deeper into despair.” Then a phone call changed Sandy’s life—and set her on a rewarding new path.
Wherever her amazing career takes her, Jennifer Hudson never forgets where she came from. “Even after I grew up and my career took me far from Chicago,” she said, “I’d still go back there. When I had my big audition for the movie Dreamgirls, a huge opportunity, you know where I went to pray? The steps of the church where I’d been going since I was born, the church where I found my voice.”
Do you know someone living with mental illness? Glenn Close does. “If you can give something a name, you can stop being afraid of it and start dealing with it,” she said. “I should know. There is mental illness in my own family.” In her 2010 story, Glenn shares what it’s like having a loved one who has bipolar disorder.
After years of struggling with life's storms, the popular ABC News chief meteorologist and TV personality finally found the courage to face up to her crippling depression. “I’ve covered every natural disaster from Katrina on,” she said. “Hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, wildfires—I’ve reported on them all, and one thing I’ve seen firsthand is how people rebound, no matter the devastation.”
After losing her dog, Maddie, actress-singer Kristin Chenoweth wasn’t sure if she was ready for a new rescue dog. “I could hear the boisterous barking before I even opened the door,” she said of her visit to a rescue shelter. “Inside there were wagging tails and yearning expressions, eyes begging for an owner. Was it too soon?” But Kristin lives by a motto she learned from her mother: "You never know, honey."
ESPN reporter Holly Rowe has faced challenges but found support, and prayers, from unexpected people. “For the last two years, I’ve had a constant companion, one that’s made me feel embarrassed and scared and vulnerable,” she told us in 2017. “Yet it’s also opened me up to people and experiences more wonderful than I could have ever imagined. Cancer. It’s more than a diagnosis, more than a disease. It’s a journey, one that some of you have been on too, though perhaps not as publicly.”
Ordinary Women of the Bible is a one-of-a-kind series that brings you page-turning stories enriched with biblical and historical facts, which allow you to see how God called on everyday women to work His will. These groundbreaking stories are a thrilling way to experience God’s love and power.
Misty Copeland is no stranger to rejection. “I’d gotten a late start in ballet,” she says. “Some dancers begin their training as young as age three. I took my first lesson when I was 13. Not at an elite dance school either, but at a Boys & Girls Club, something unheard of in professional ballet.” Yet the dancer went on to become the first black principal ballerina in American Ballet Theatre's 75-year history.
“The first time I ever sang a solo in front of people was at church,” Carrie said. “I must have been six or seven years old. It was so scary, all those grown-ups listening to me. But the minute I opened my mouth, it wasn’t just me doing it. Something welled up inside me, something I couldn’t keep for myself. Sometimes you don’t realize how powerful a gift is till you share it.” The award-winning country singer reveals how her small-town upbringing shaped her faith, career and family life.
ESPN sports broadcaster Maria Taylor has seen ups and downs in her life and career. “I’ve made tons of mistakes—some of them even on air,” she told us 2018. “I’m not immune to criticism or self-criticism. But it seems more important than ever to remember just who we are and what bigger purpose God intends for us.” This is why Maria relies on faith to guide her career and life decisions.
The Tony Award-winning actress said her faith was strengthened by portraying Harriet Tubman, the heroic abolitionist in the biopic Harriet. “To really master a role, every actor tries to find a way into the character she’s playing,” Cynthia said. “To play Harriet, I had to understand faith at its most elemental level. To understand her faith and courage, I needed to probe my own faith and call on it.”
Cynthia Gandhi Dobbs always felt American—until it was time for her to become a citizen. Now she wondered if she were leaving her Indian culture behind. “More than a year ago, I began the naturalization process, sitting through interviews with immigration officials, undergoing background checks and filling out forms,” she told us in 2019. “I felt certain this was what I wanted to do. So now that the ceremony was just two days away, why was I so nervous? Why couldn’t I even decide what to wear?”
Kate Mulgrew’s mother has always been her biggest supporter. “I never would have tried being an actress if not for her belief in me,” she said. “Other parents might have scoffed at my dreams or pushed me toward a more practical path, but Mother encouraged me all the way.” Then when her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the Star Trak: Voyager star took on her toughest role yet: caregiver.
Television broadcaster Robin Roberts has interviewed countless people over there years – world leaders, sports legends, heroes... But there was someone she always wanted to interview. "There’s one interview I’ve always wanted to do, one person I wish would sit down with me on the show, except she’d be embarrassed by the attention and insist there were far more deserving folks,” Robin said in 2012. “That’s my mother, Lucimarian Tolliver Roberts. She’s led a remarkable life. Believe me, she’s truly deserving.”
Jan Rader is fire chief in a West Virginia town where the rate of drug overdose is tragically high. “Firefighters are tough and stoical by nature,” she said. “The men and women in my department do their jobs with commitment and professionalism. Still, the work takes a toll. We all mourn for our city.” Yet Jan remains hopeful in the face of her city's—and the country's—health crisis.
“I am no mathematician,” said Taraji. “That you can count on. I actually flunked math in college when, in a misguided effort to become someone I was not, I declared electrical engineering as my major. Me, an engineer? What was I thinking?” However, this move led the SAG award-winning actress to pursue her acting career and eventually play Katherina Johnson, a brilliant NASA mathematician, in the film Hidden Figures.
Carrie Ann Inaba believes in the power of prayer. “Sometimes people ask me, ‘Carrie Ann, you’re always smiling that big smile on TV. Where does all that positivity come from? I’ll let you in on a little secret. I pray before work,” said the popular TV personality and Dancing with the Stars alum.
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