By Laura Becker
The Carpenter &
Most jewelry designers would be upset to see women crying at the sight
of their jewelry, but that’s the reaction designer Susan Howard expects.
“When I see
a woman getting teary eyed over my jewelry, well that is the moment I
know it is a great piece,” Howard shares. Her jewelry is more than a
bauble or a charm; it is an outward expression of love, forgiveness and
joy, she says.
been designing jewelry for years when, in 1987, the jewelry store where
she worked was robbed - twice. The second time it was robbed, she
witnessed her employer being shot in the head. He did survive, but with
many injuries. This experience plagued Howard with nightmares,
flashbacks, anxiety and depression. The trauma affected every aspect of
her life. She just could not get over it.
God in an effort to heal. Priests encouraged me, but I still did not
feel that God was with me,” Howard recalls. She spent time with her
family, who gave her support and love, but still she struggled. Howard
says she tried everything from watching funny movies to seeing
counselors who put her on medication. The medication just numbed the
good and the bad feelings. “Through all this, though, I continued to
seek God,” she says.
blow. During those troublesome years, she discovered that her husband
was having an affair. Their marriage ended in a very messy divorce, she
says, leaving her with massive debt. Howard remembers, “I was left in a
terrible emotional and financial situation. I lost our home to
foreclosure and I did not know how I would ever repay the debts.” All of
this forced her to really search the Bible for answers. She felt that
she was the “Living Job.” She wound up praying a lot for others,
including her ex-husband. One of her turning points was the realization
that we all have our own free will and she started to pray for herself.
“Instead of 'Fix my husband, stop him from cheating,' I started to pray
for understanding and for healing for myself. We are only responsible
for ourselves and our relationship with Jesus Christ. That was what
started me on the path to an intimate relationship with Jesus.”
going to Bible studies, and one day when watching a Christian television
broadcast, she called in. “My eyes were opened to things that were
blurry before. That was when I called the 700 Club and accepted Jesus
Christ as my personal savior. I just couldn't carry my burden any
longer. The woman on the phone gave me a few Bible verses to read, one
being Isaiah 41:7.”
It reads, “So
the carpenter encourages the goldsmith and he that smootheth with the
hammer him that smote the anvil saying, It is ready for soldering and he
fastened with nails, that it should not be moved.”- Isaiah 41:7
reading that verse, I just sobbed. I didn't tell the woman from the 700
Club that I was a goldsmith. I felt as if God was speaking directly to
me! As if He was saying, 'Susan I know you, I heard you, and I am with
you.' My life truly changed! Jesus knew I was a Goldsmith and knew who I
that call, Howard found a great paying job as a goldsmith and, in time,
was able to pay off her debt. In the years following, she re-married and
had three children. But before she re-married, her pastor told her she
needed to forgive her ex-husband. “I wondered how would I ever do this.
But when I gave it over to Jesus, His forgiveness overwhelmed me and
wiped away the pain allowing me to forgive my ex-husband,” she shares.
Howard designs jewelry with a special message. “The purpose of my
jewelry is to help bring hope and a little comfort to people who are
suffering through difficult times in their lives,” she says. She is
hopeful that her jewelry can help soften hearts and allow others to be
led to call upon the name of the Lord for salvation as she did.
“God is my
manager! The largest jewelry manufacturer in the U.S. was willing to
produce my jewelry. I was so excited. But then God spoke to my heart and
told me to slow down. He told me to tell my story instead. That is what
will touch people’s hearts,” Howard says.
And, if you
ask Howard what God was telling her in Isaiah 41:7, she replies, “Jesus,
the carpenter, has been encouraging me, the goldsmith, ever since the
day I gave my life to Him!”
information, contact Susan Howard at (508) 675-4742 or via email at