How The W Conference Began

Marcylle serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Foundation Management Services, which is a home health care management organization she founded in 1995.  She has been a registered nurse for over 40 years, and at heart, is a patient advocate and mentor to up and coming leaders. During her tenure in home health care she has had held many positions including field nurse, director, administrator and owner/president of a highly successful multi-agency home health company.

Since this time, Marcylle has been actively involved with state and national home care associations, spoken nationally on a variety of leadership topics, received her Master’s in Leadership and currently serves on the board for Lubbock Christian University.

Although Marcylle’s leadership both with agencies and in the home care and hospice community is instrumental to the success of FMS, her favorite role of all is that of a wife, mother of 5, and grandmother of 5 and counting.

Marcylle Combs, W Conference Founder

At The W Conference 2016, you said that your transition into working full time was not the easiest. Could you share a little more of that with us?

Well - In 1986, we had just moved to Lubbock, Texas and Craig, my husband, was in graduate school when his job just kind of dissolved. Back then, my view of the perfect ‘Christian’ woman was that you had kids and stayed home. You might work a little part time, but your primary job was to raise children, to help mold them, keep them, and support them. But his job began to just disappear, and then I got pregnant with my 4th child.

So I started working part time as a nurse in homecare. Then the fulltime job as a manager of that company came about, so we decided that if I just went to work full time for 6 months we would be better off. Shortly thereafter, Craig went to work part time for UPS, so we were able to tag team. I would take the kids to school in the morning & he would be off in time to pick them up. Really for the next year, year and a half, I just kept thinking “this is not where I’m supposed to be. This is not what a ‘good’ Christian mother would do.” I was discouraged.

I was also getting lots of comments from lots of people within the church that said “You’re working?? I can’t believe you’re working …” I felt completely unsupported.

I finally said to myself, “I don’t think I’m ever going to get to go part time again… I don’t think there’s an end to this.” So I stopped battling it. I embraced where I was. I prayed and prayed and prayed and said “Well God, if you have me here, then I am going to have to lay down some things, and I am going to make my boys, my work, and my patients my ministry.”

That was ‘87 or ‘88, and I can’t say that everything became gloriously easy after that, because it really isn’t easy to work fulltime and to have little kids, with a husband who was in school and working part time, but it worked for us. It was worth it. There were, and still are, tradeoffs. It doesn’t mean that life isn’t great, it just means that you cannot have everything; there is personal sacrifice. So I had plenty of personal things to work through and pray through, but really the kids turned out well - so here we are!

So if this conference was formed out of these difficult times, what are some of your hopes for women coming to The W Conference? 

Well, I have always felt and still feel that working women are not really supported in a way that they need to be supported by society & sometimes even the Church. I felt like they (we) needed a place where we are loved and supported and accepted and encouraged for who we are.

I don’t know where each woman is when they walk in our doors, but I want them to feel acceptance & love through our space, the atmosphere, the details and the speakers. I want the speakers to be transparent – were all in this together, lets act like it.

I want the women attending to walk away with knowing they are loved, but also that THEY CAN DO IT! You can work and you can raise a family and you can have a life and it doesn’t mean it’s going to fit in a box! Sometimes life doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t fit in a box, and it’s really hard. And there is no reason why – it’s not because you’re a bad person, it’s not because you’re not walking with the Lord, it’s not because you didn’t do your bible study this morning. It’s simply that God wants us to trust him. You can’t change the circumstances, so you get to change your attitude & hold God’s hand & walk forward.

God doesn’t say that He’ll make life easy, He says that He will never leave us. I want them to walk away supported & encouraged, seeing themselves as God sees them, trusting Him a little more, and choosing to enjoy where He has each of us right now.