Diane Paddison is the Founder and President of 4WordWomen, the former executive for two Fortune 500 companies, and is an author and speaker.
Kathleen Cooke: Diane you have been a successful executive and leader in the corporate marketplace for many years. You have dealt with many challenging business situations and issues, but when your personal family is suffering and going through difficulty, life and work takes on a whole different dimension.
What the one thing you have learned that gets you through life’s challenges?
Diane Paddison: It is amazing how the trial of my daughter, Annie, being in 24×7 pain for over three years has been a catalyst for growing my faith. Before Annie was struck with this debilitating pain, I read my yearlong YouVersion Bible study each morning. After Annie, dealt with this horrific situation for over a year, I wanted to encourage her when she opens her eyes each morning. I couldn’t think of a better way to show her God and I loved her, than to summarize my YouVersion Bible study and text is to her each morning. God had driven my understanding of scripture through this trial.
Kathleen: I, too, love the YouVersion Bible App. In fact, my devotional, “Hope 4 Today: Stay Connected to God in a Distracted World” is in the audio plan section in English and Spanish. Devotionals are great tools to help us stay engaged with God and His Word. 4WordWomen has a great devotional as well, Be Refreshed: A Year of Devotions for Women in the Workplace, and I was honored to be a contributor to it.
Do you have a favorite Bible verse that has brought you strength in times of suffering?
Diane: “Our hearts ache, but we always have joy,” (2 Corinthians 6:10, NLT).
I have never gone through anything as horrible as watching my daughter, Annie, suffer through forty months of debilitating pain. Oh, I’ve experienced suffering before…a divorce, a rebellious teenager, the loss of my parents…but this tops it all. Through it all, I have seen miracles that can’t be explained but that it was God. During this time, I must remember God’s promises , “Why am I discouraged? Why so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!” (Psalm 42:11, NLT).
Kathleen: 4WordWomen offers members a great mentorship program and events around the U.S. . They connect women, teach women leadership skills, and encourage women in their faith. You have also written several insightful books for career women. Is there an opportunity recently that you are particularly excited about as 4WordWomen continues to influence women globally?
Diane: One of the exceptional women God has blessed me with the opportunity to meet is Angela Ahrendts, Vice President Retail and On-line, Apple. There is a total God story behind the opportunity to build a relationship with an amazing godly woman, wife, mother, and arguably one of the most influential women in business in the world. As God would have it, now I am meeting with the Christian Employee Resource Group’s leaders at Apple. I am blessed to have the opportunity to meet these women and encourage them through 4word’s work. This opportunity’s influence is immeasurable.
Diane Paddison is Founder and President of 4WordWomen. She is a Harvard MBA graduate, a former global executive of two Fortune 500 companies and one Fortune 1000 company and serves as an independent director for two corporations and four not-for profits. She is passionate about mentoring and providing women with opportunities to build community. Her book Work, Love, Pray, casts a vision for success in life and work to growing numbers of women of faith in the workplace. She believes mentorship is a lifestyle and speaks on life/work balance, mentoring, and leadership and has been featured in numerous publications and media radio shows, podcasts. She and her husband, Chris, and their four children live in Dallas, Texas. Diane encourages women to find out more about 4WordWomen at 4WordWomen.org or connect with her on Twitter or Instagram @4WordWomen, or FaceBook: 4Word