God is so good. I love the fact that no matter what is going on in the world He never changes and His mercies are new every morning. God is still in control. Now that I am getting old, or rather now that I AM old, I can look back and see how His hand has led us and has brought us to where we are today. I am so eternally grateful for His keeping mercies. They keep us where we need to be.
When I look back and see how God led a poor country girl, who had to tape her shoes together with black electrical tape to keep the soles on long enough to walk the stage when I graduated high school, to where I am now, it’s been a miracle to be where I am today. I grew up on the wrong side of the railroad tracks, the poor white trash whose parents moved out when I was 15 or 16, and wasn’t destined to amount to anything. God, in His infinite mercy, led a church bus worker to knock on my door and invite me to church. I am so thankful that man was faithful to his ministry. It is hard to imagine where I would be today without his faithfulness. I went to that church and found a family that accepted me and loved me to Jesus. From there I went to Bible College.
I remember the decision to go to Bible College was hard. I had a good job with the phone company, and I was making great money. I remember praying, “God if you want me to go to Bible College, let someone offer to buy my car.” I had not offered it for sale or mentioned I wanted to sell it. I kid you not, the next morning I went into work and sat at my desk, and a co-worker came up to me and asked if I wanted to sell my car. I remember looking at her and fussing at her, “Why did you ask me that?” I had my answer. I quit my job, sold my car, and went to Bible College in Nashville, Tennessee.
My dad told me I was crazy to quit such a secure job. I went on faith and scholarships. I had no way to pay for school. Every time a bill came due, money would come in from one source or another. At one point I thought I would have to quit school, but God had other plans. Money came in and paid my bill. Anonymous people would send me money. I didn’t even have to ask or beg. It was such a walk in faith. I found a job on campus so I didn’t even need a car.
I remember my Dean of Women saying at orientation, “If you came to find a husband, you came to the right place. When you need groceries, you go to the grocery store. If you need a good husband, you came to the right place.” I had to laugh. I had no interest in finding a husband. I wanted to go to the mission field. God had other plans. A year went by and I met Paul. I may not have gone to Bible college to find a husband, but there I found the best.
My husband’s faithfulness to God and his dedication is such an inspiration to me at times. We definitely have our moments, and it’s not roses all the time. I remember once coming out of church and fussing at each other. Straight out of church and we are arguing and fussing all the way to the car. Who does that? We got in the car and as we looked at each other I said, “Paul this isn’t our car.” We had gotten in the wrong car! Whatever we were arguing about was lost in the laughter and in our hurry to get out of someone else’s car before they saw us.
Laughter doeth good like a medicine and we have had some of that in our 40 years. Anyone that knows my Paul knows he is a joker. I used to get so tired of hearing the same old jokes over and over and over. Now, I just think I am glad he is still around to drive me batty. I listen to him breath at night and thank the Lord for his presence and the fact that he is still breathing. We are now old, and have to be grateful for everyday above ground. God has been so faithful and wonderful to us.
We were dirt poor, raising 4 kids, but we never did without. God provided all the way. Not in the way we wanted sometimes, but He was so faithful and forgiving. The road has been rough at times, and not without tears, but God was and is faithful. We have not been so great at times, we have fallen, and definitely wanted to give up at times, but He never failed us. He has led us all the way. We have 4 wonderful sons, 3 of which are in the fold, but we are so thankful for God blessing us with 8 children. 4 here and 4 in heaven.
Looking back, I remember thinking I would never survive raising 4 boys. The things they did! Or I should say, what wouldn’t they do? They laughter and joy and eye rolls were unending. If I had a nickel for every eye roll I survived, I would be a millionaire. It went by too quickly. I try now to savor every experience with my boys because it will be all over before I know it.
Last year I started a blessing jar and would write down every blessing that came our way. It’s amazing to look back and see all of the blessings that we were given. When I look at our past, where we came from, to now, the blessings are so many. If there is any testimony I could give, it would be to the faithfulness of God to lead two people from opposite ends of the country (Rhode Island and Alabama) to meet and marry and have a life together with Him at the helm, it would be to recant the faithfulness of our God to love and keep us along the way.