Susan Hoekstra started AFFIRM Ministries to minister to those who struggle with feeling validated.
Born into Polish-Catholic heritage and raised in the racially tense streets of Detroit, Susan Hoekstra, at the age of 13, came to faith in Jesus at a local youth group. She also had a dream of leaving her low socio-economic background and becoming a professional clarinetist. She did it, earning music scholarships and degrees, teaching students, and giving performances across the country. In addition, she held high-profile positions in arts administration and public events while raising two daughters.
From a distance, it appeared to satisfy until her professional dreams didn’t come true in the way she hoped and her marriage shattered. The twists and turns of her journey included financial insecurity, sexual abuse, adultery, family addictions, violence, divorce, the death of both parents and a long list of heartaches. Often, she felt unnoticed, ignored, lacking a fan club to give her the validation she needed.
Yet, God kept noticing her, kept pursuing her even. He brought people into her life that saw her brokenness as a temporary condition and introduced her to the mercy of God. Getting a firm grasp on His mercy allowed her to look at herself and others through new eyes. Her determination to discover “who she is” resulted in discovering “whose she is.”
Throughout this journey, she began songwriting, leading small groups, teaching bible studies, speaking at women's retreats, writing, and lay counseling. She has been featured in Just Between Us magazine, Christian Devotions and is a featured guest on PROCLAIM FM radio and numerous podcasts. She is host of THE NOTICE - God stories live, and THE NOTICE podcast. Her book A FIRM GRASP - Feeling validated in a notice-me world explores the need for acknowledgment and approval and how the God of mercy satisfies! In Spring of 2022, she and her husband purchased MAPLE RIDGE Place, a 14 acre property that has become the home of Affirm Ministries and Freedom Farm Ministries, offering workshops, one on one mentorships, praise gatherings, equine therapy, gardening and more. Together, these ministries hope to remind us all that it is HIS presence which brings us healing.
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