I am Lesley Sturm — a wife, mother, speaker, author, and teacher.
When I was just three years old, I tragically lost the lower 2/3 of my right foot and leg in a lawn mower accident. I underwent dozens of reconstructive surgeries during the 35 years following the accident. My spirit, soul, and body have been dramatically impacted by the journey I have walked with this physical challenge. Today, I can say my life is not only beautiful in spite of these challenges but is beautiful because of all God has done in me through these challenges. I have lived my life determined to not be held back by hard things. Something had to change as I experienced increasingly unbearable chronic pain, dangerously compromised circulation in my foot, and the many physical limitations that left me alone on the couch more than anywhere else. After much prayer and a multitude of counsel, I made the difficult decision in the Fall of 2016 to follow the recommendation of my medical team by having my leg amputated below the knee in exchange for a more vibrant life with a prosthetic leg. I now live with new freedom.
In 2020, I began experiencing shortness of breath and chest pain during exercise and while under stress. After one particularly significant episode while teaching in 2022, I was taken from my school to the emergency room of a local hospital. The following day I experienced a myocardial infarction (commonly called a heart attack). The discovery of this incident led to a stress test, followed by an echocardiogram, followed by a cardiac catheterization procedure, which confirmed I had an anomalous coronary artery. I was born with a congenital heart defect in which my left main artery was in a different position than normal and would become compressed under stress due to placement, which resulted in blocked blood flow to half of my heart. My cardiologists and surgeon explained that most people never know they have this condition until they have a major heart attack. I was so blessed to have the warning signs and opportunity to address the problem. Within a few weeks, I had a single coronary artery bypass via open heart surgery in order to deliver sufficient blood supply to my heart. All my life, God had protected me from something I didn’t even know to ask Him to oversee. He answers prayers we don’t even know to pray.
On both my best and worst days, God has been with me. He has lifted me up and graced me to keep moving forward. I have found strength and profound peace in the pages of my Bible. I love reading God’s Word and helping others discover freedom and joy through a life surrendered to Christ. Nothing is too big or too bad for God to redeem. Sometimes, our greatest challenges are not actually the giants we face but the way we perceive the giants we face. Surrendering our perspectives to the Holy Spirit and asking Him to help us see things the way He sees things gives us confidence to face any giant victoriously. He will fight for us when we put our trust in Him.
I hold a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s degree in Education Administration. I was an educator in public and private schools for more than 12 years — several in elementary, a couple at the college level, and my favorite few in middle school. I was a children’s pastor and children’s ministry director for several years before having my own children. I love helping the young and old discover who God created them to be and equipping them to take steps toward their own calling.