By Jamie Shafer
For Stella Walker, a national vice president with Arbonne cosmetics, life has been about trusting the Lord, following his lead, and embracing the opportunities she has found in her path. And she admits with a laugh, “I’ve done more things by accident than on purpose.”
Walker has raised four children with her husband Barry, who recently retired after 39 years as a senior minister of Christian churches in Kansas and Texas. During those years, her life has also been about choosing the right priorities. “Having four children with very busy school activities, I wanted to be able to attend their sports and other functions. So sales in the way of home-based businesses was the career track for me,” Walker explains.
“Mixed in with home-based businesses, I was privileged to work at University Christian Church in Manhattan, Kansas, as their secretary and later at Manhattan Christian College for four years as their public relations and alumni director. Through those years there were always people in my life who made strategic differences in my faith walk.”
Walker has been with Arbonne for 21 years, achieving the national vice president level in 2005. With a humble tone in her voice, she says she grew into it over time: “It was simple, but it wasn’t easy.”
Taking the Next Step with God
Like most of us, Walker has gotten a clearer image of God’s purpose for her life as the years have progressed. Part of that has been returning to painting, using the talent God has given her to honor him. Another part has been an acceptance of the challenges that come when living on a mission for God. She recently wrote, “What I am learning and knowing is that when we finally figure out what it is we are doing on this earth and we see it so clearly, it comes with mountainous perils, opposition from every direction . . . cross-purposes tripping you from every side and corner. If you find that you are to be an instrument of peace—God’s peace—in this world, get ready for a showdown.”
The Walkers have experienced their share of tough trials. Their daughter was in a devastating car accident at age 14 and ended up marking her 15th birthday in intensive care, in a coma. By what they view as a miracle from God, their daughter survived.
Because she has been through the valley, Walker helps others, hoping she can “extend the grace she has been given.” She enjoys connecting with others through her Arbonne business, where she regularly mentors consultants, and when teaching about the Christian walk at women’s retreats, noting that others often seek her out when they are in tough spots in life.
She always had a Bible nearby when working in an office, and one Friday a friend called her at work, distraught about recent circumstances related to an unhealthy relationship in her life. Walker immediately set aside her plans and ministered to her friend over the weekend, watching as God began to heal her friend’s heart through Scripture.
She notes that her Christian friend “had a sin situation invade her life
. . . and it about destroyed her.” She continues, “Sometimes we just have to come alongside people with the Word of God to encourage them, and they and God join hands and he brings them into the knowledge of his forgiveness, love, and grace. It is a beautiful thing to behold. It is a privilege and something I could do every day if God allowed.”
Purpose in the Marketplace
“Huge things can happen for God in the marketplace,” says Walker. “You have to be armed with the Word of God, maybe hidden in a desk drawer for quick reference. A bright smile, honesty, dedication, promptness, loyalty, acceptance, openness, and willingness to be on purpose for God 24/7 are a few characteristics the Christian marketplace worker can exhibit all the time.
“People who need help will be drawn to you like a magnet. Of course, some will hate you. But marketplace Christians need to let their light shine and they will have a happy, healthy witness for our heavenly Father wherever they are and in whatever vocation they serve.”
Jamie Shafer is the communications director at East 91st Street Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. She and her husband, Eric, have two children.