Spend a little time around Sherrie Anderson, the current Mrs. Lake Norman, and you’ll soon realize Faith is her true moral compass.
“Without it, I’m honestly not sure I would have survived all that life has thrown my way,” explains the mother of nine and wife of 32 years to husband James, who has navigated through tough times with amazing grace and resilience.
“Scripture tells us the Lord is our peace, and that’s what I cling to, especially when things felt hopeless and dark,” adds Sherrie. “While battling a chronic illness and at times wanting to give up, He is my strength, my shield, and my comfort. I credit the 25-plus years of being grounded in His Word for carrying me through these last 12 years dealing with illness, and the passing of my dad.”
Sherrie’s children range in age from 13 to 30 years old, one of whom is adopted and has lived on and off with her family since age nine. “He now lives with us full-time, has truly completed our family, and is a special part of our story.”
After struggling for nine years with an undiagnosed chronic illness, Sherrie was finally properly diagnosed with chronic Lyme Disease three years ago. Since then, she has made it a mission to advocate for others battling this disease, and works to bring much-needed awareness.
“Lyme Disease is one of the top misdiagnosed diseases in the U.S. today, and there are limited resources for testing and treatment options. Many treatments are not covered by health insurance, as often those that help most are considered integrative or functional medicine, and coverage isn’t offered for those types of services,” Sherrie explains.
After finally being diagnosed and undergoing treatment, Sherrie has joyfully been able to step back into ministry.
“I started byGrace Ministries 15 years ago on my 40th birthday,” she says. “We were living in New York, and my ministry was truly thriving prior to an accident that almost took the lives of our three youngest children. I had struggled for years with fatigue, and after the accident my health, both mental and physical, plummeted. That — along with caring for my ill father who was living with us at the time — unfortunately tabled the ministry for several years.”
Because of her health issues her family made the move south, and fell in love, calling the Lake Norman area home for over nine years now. Sherrie is thrilled to relaunch byGrace Ministries again, and recently held an event at the beautiful DuGaren Venue and Vineyards in Denver, NC.
“We have focused on launching locally for now, however, we look forward to expanding our reach once again in the near future!”
Sherrie encourages others to delve into God’s Word for themselves.
“The Word is not meant to be only educational, but also transformational,” she adds. “Learning that it’s OK to question and dig deeper is something I am passionate about.”
Sherrie also believes by touching the heart of a woman, you touch the heart of the home, and while byGrace originally started as a women’s ministry, it has grown into a ministry that includes both men’s and women’s studies. She’s open to travel for speaking engagements, and hoping to launch virtual events soon as well.
Another blessing, Sherrie’s time as Mrs. Lake Norman has afforded her the chance to reach others. She was encouraged by a previous pageant judge, who had been following her journey on social media, to consider running for Mrs. North Carolina. It would open doors to share her Lyme disease journey, and offer a platform for advocacy.
“While there’s not an official pageant for Mrs. Lake Norman, there is an application process for running for Mrs. North Carolina America/American, and each contestant can represent their chosen area of North Carolina,” explains Sherrie. “Since my family resides in the Lake Norman area — and I work this area in real estate — I chose to represent our beautiful Lake Norman community. It has allowed me to make meaningful, encouraging connections with others struggling with chronic illness, and has also provided fun opportunities to participate in community events such as Bliss By The Lake’s recent fashion show, judging the local Bandy’s Beauty Pageant, and other appearances around the community.”
Ever the entrepreneur, Sherrie also enjoyed 10 years of real estate experience in the Dallas-Fort Worth, TX, area. She took a hiatus to focus on homeschooling once her growing family moved to New York, but since relocating to North Carolina, she has enjoyed working in real estate once again.
“I love meeting new clients and helping them sell and find their dream homes in our beautiful community and beyond,” she adds.
After going through treatment, and learning how to manage her chronic illness, Sherrie has identified the importance of focusing on her physical health, which also boosts mental health.
“During the last three years I lost over 90 pounds and competed in three bodybuilding competitions,” she explains. “I’ve learned you must take care of yourself in order to better serve your family, and be the best version of yourself for work, and anything else you’re involved in. Learning to say ‘no’ and setting healthy boundaries without worrying what others may think has been one of my best choices. Realizing we can only pour into others out of what we pour into ourselves first is something I take seriously.”
“In a time where we are often overextended, it’s sometimes necessary to ask for help!” Sherrie reminds us.
Connect with Sherrie at Sherrieanderson.org, and on Instagram @sherrieanderson_mrslkn, for information on speaking engagements and byGrace Ministries.