During a recent "Church Boys" podcast in which she was promoting her soon-to-be released book about faith in politics, U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) recounted how she became a Member of Congress.
"I had a very unusual route in getting to Congress," the 73-year-old Catholic told hosts Billy Hallowell and Chris Field. "I have no reason at all to be there except for the hand of God."
Foxx grew up very poor in an isolated part of the Tar Heel State with no running water or electricity. Despite a "very difficult upbringing," she worked her way through college and later became the president of Maryland Community College before turning to politics in 1994.
That's when she became a state senator in North Carolina. But after nearly a decade in the statehouse, she was urged to run for Congress—something she struggled with a great deal—so she turned to God for guidance.
One night, while praying, she asked God for a sign about what she should do.
"I feel too humble to ask for a sign, but if You wanted to give me a sign, dear Lord, I'd appreciate it," she said she prayed. "Just one is all I need."
Almost immediately, she said, her phone rang. It was the pastor of her family's church, calling to say he was praying for her. She said she "burst into tears" because she knew she had just received the sign she had asked for.
With the Lord's affirmation, Foxx said she ran for Congress in 2004 and won. And she's been re-elected—typically with more than 60 percent of the vote—every two years since.
"I have strong faith and strong belief in God, and He had a reason for me being [in Congress]," she said.
Foxx attends a weekly prayer breakfast for House members, and in so doing, came to know the faith stories of other members of Congress. She compiled those stories into her book, God Is in the House: Congressional Testimonies of Faith.
"I began to hear other stories of members—they got there, again, in their feeling, by the hand of God," she said. "As I heard those stories over the years, it occurred to me that the American people ought to hear about it.
"For the most part, members of Congress are wonderful people, very caring, very concerned people. And most of them are people of faith, and so I began to collect their stories."
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