Reflecting Imago Dei: Josh and Holly Styrcula’s Story
by Dale Reeves
Josh and Holly Styrcula strive to live by this principle in their home and in their jobs: Becoming the image of God by reflecting his light through eternity. It is their family mission statement and this God-centered directive hangs on the wall in their home as they raise their six-year-old and eight-year-old boys. If you have never thought about having a vision statement for your personal life and for your family, I would challenge you to do that this year. Josh and Holly say there are three components to making their mission a reality: They want to study God’s Word, share it with all generations, and be his hands and feet. They do so as they parent and as they impact those they come in contact with through their jobs. Holly is a realtor, and Josh is a certified financial planner, and they love helping people improve their lives.
Spiritual Roots, Making Connections
Josh and Holly grew up with very different spiritual backgrounds. Holly was raised in a Catholic home and as a child Josh’s family belonged to a very conservative congregation in the non-instrumental Church of Christ movement. Neither of them really owned their faith until after their college years. Holly says, “I didn’t even have my own Bible that I read until I went off to college.” They have been a part of Christ’s Church for the past year and a half. Because they had been involved in small groups at a Church of Christ in the past, it was very natural for them to sign up for the Rooted discipleship experience when it was offered in the fall of 2018.
Josh and Holly had been looking for a church where they could really feel connected to others. Two teenage girls from Christ’s Church, Katie Garwood and Taylor Doan, had done a great job babysitting their boys and they could see the strength of those two families from Christ’s Church. Then, when they visited, Holly says, “We could feel the Holy Spirit in this church. Very quickly, we felt very comfortable here. Christ’s Church is the perfect mix for us of being biblically based but also culturally relevant . . . a great church for today’s time.” Holly has been involved in the moms’ group, and Josh has made connections through Man Church events and the NFL football game parties in Rick Dolezal’s basement. Josh has also served in our children’s ministry.
Serving the Community
Josh is a veteran, having served in the army national guard for nine years. He says he has always had a passion for public service. This past fall Josh campaigned for a position on the City Council of Mason. He ran and received the most votes in the November election. He was sworn in December 1 for a four-year team as a member of Mason City Council. When asked why Josh wanted to serve in this role he responded, “Holly and I prayed about it a lot before I ran for office. I just felt like I was supposed to represent God’s light. I want to be a reflection of God in that environment because it can be a difficult place.” Additionally, Josh also serves as a member of the Mason Kiwanis Club.
Previously Josh served on the zoning board of appeals and the planning commission, and is hopeful that he can contribute to helping people respond to different stressful situations. He has a heart for helping small business owners, and loves seeing a diverse group of people come together for the common good. In the same way that Josh and Holly have felt connected at Christ’s Church, Josh wants to help people in the Mason community feel a strong sense of connection. Josh states, “As Christians, it’s about wrapping our arms around everyone. We should be breaking bread with others who are different than we are. I’m not in this for political gain, I hope that by just being with others, God’s light can shine through me and people can say, ‘There’s something different about that guy.’”
Imago Dei is the Latin translation of “Image of God,” as found in the creation story in the book of Genesis: “Then God said, ‘Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.’ So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:26, 27, NLT).
We have been created with unique abilities, absent from all other creatures on earth, that mirror the divine nature of God—and it is our privilege to reflect God’s character to others. It is for that reason that Josh and Holly have the statement Imago Dei on their wall in their home so that their children can see it when they come down the stairs. Josh doesn’t view all of his work as compartmentalized, but rather as integrated under this banner of reflecting God to others. He believes that collaboration with others in every area of life is key. Holly summarizes, “Everything we do, whether at home, church, or in business, becomes a reflection of God! We desire to be a reflection of God to others.”