I was very surprised and pleased when my husband asked me to consider having a special page for ladies. I have been praying and planning for it and hope it will be a blessing to many of you. I do not know yet what will be covered, but I hope to have some things that might inspire you in your everyday life as Christian ladies. My life's verse is Philippians 4:13, and I know that with God's help we can have a wonderful place for you. God has brought me through many trials and has always been faithful in providing for me, and He can do the same for you.
I was born in Alabama. When I was about 13 years old, my parents were divorced. This was devastating to me. I was not saved at the time and did not have Jesus to turn to for comfort and healing. Although I was not saved, I made my mind up right then and there that that would never happen to me. My mother and I moved to Illinois where my older brother was working, and we lived with him. I enrolled in high school and met a nice young man who was a little older than me. We dated for several months, and he asked me to marry him. We were married, and I finished high school by going to classes at night in the local junior college; but it took me a long time to finish, and I would never advise anyone to get married before completing her education.
We had two children, two wonderful little girls. Neither my husband nor I were saved. This was in the early '60s. One day someone stopped by and asked me if we had a church home. He explained that he was doing a survey for his church. He took our name and address and left. We noticed that every week someone would come to visit from that church. They were very friendly. Not long after that, two men came to visit. One was Dr. Don Sisk, and he led both my husband and me to the Lord. This was before he went to the mission field of Japan where he served for many years. He is now at West Coast Bible College in California. My husband and I started that very next Sunday going to church. We were baptized and became faithful to all the services of the church. It was not long before we were going soul-winning, too. Our girls were saved at an early age. I am so thankful that all my children and grandchildren are saved.
I think one of the most important things we did for our children was to send them to a Christian school. They graduated from high school and then Bible college. All their children are in Christian schools and my oldest grandson is now a youth pastor. God really has blessed our family.
In 1988 my husband had a massive heart attack and lost over 50% of his heart. The doctor told me that if he should live for two years after the heart attack it would be a long life for him. We were very concerned and prayed that God would provide healing. He recovered and was able to go back to work. We talked about what would happen to me if God took him home early, as I was too young to qualify for Social Security benefits. I had been working as a secretary and wanted to get into accounting. I was with a small accounting firm which had to close their business. My boss was very kind to me and wrote a letter of recommendation for me and also helped me with my resume. He helped place everyone working in the office in other positions. I sent out 12 resumes and had responses to eight. I saw a blind ad in the Chicago Tribune and sent them my resume along with my letter of recommendation. I was asked to come for an interview with the Personnel Director. The interview seemed to go well, but I was asked to come back again and be interviewd by the Vice President of Finance. He asked me to come in again and be interviewed by the President. I went back and was surprised to find that the President was a lady. She had laryngitis, and I only had about five minutes with her. I was given the position and worked there for eight years.
In 1996 I woke up one night and my husband was not in bed. I went to check on him and found him in the kitchen, sitting at the table struggling to breathe. I called 911 and they came immediately. He had to have a five-way bypass surgery. He recovered from that and went back to work.
The winters were very severe in the Chicago area and not good for someone with congestive heart failure. We decided to move to Tennessee. I gave my resignation in January in order to get the house ready for the market and prepare for the move. In February he had another attack of congestive heart failure and was not able to return to work. Neither of us were working, as we tried to get him on disability. It took many months, almost a year, to get him on disability. God provided for us and met our needs. I would have gone back to work, but could not because I needed to take care of him. There were many times when the burdens were very heavy; but we learned to laugh, and this made them lighter. God has promised us that He will not put on us more than we can bear.
He passed away in 2002. I was talking to one of my friends and she reminded me that King Hezekiah prayed and asked the Lord for added years, and he was given 15 years. My husband was given 14 years. God does hear and answer prayers.
When my husband passed away I was totally exhausted. I felt that I needed time before making any changes in my life. Mark 6:31a "And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while." I prayed about it and decided that I would not make any changes in my life for at least one year. I was having my own "retreat" right at home. I prayed, read my Bible, and just walked with God. Of course, I attended all the church services and continued singing in the choir. James 4:8a "Draw nigh unto God, and he will draw nigh to you." As I spent time reading and praying, God definitely did draw nigh to me. I have never felt closer to the Lord than at that time.
The year would have been up on December 5. I spent that Thanksgiving with my daughter in Indiana. We were talking and I told them that I was feeling that something was missing in my life. My son-in-law said, "Mom, when you are ready, you let us know and we will find a nice man for you." He meant a nice Christian man from their church, I am sure. I came home, went to church, and on Sunday night during the invitation I prayed, "Lord, send someone for me." The next night my phone rang and it was Mrs. Sisk, the wife of Dr. Don Sisk. We talked for a while and I told her that the year was almost up. She then told me that Dr. Sisk had something he wanted to talk to me about. I thought he was going to offer me a job. He told me that he knew someone who was interested in me and asked if it would be all right for him to call me. I thought that it would be very nice to have a Christian friend to have fellowship and go out to dinner with. I was not thinking of anything more than that. I agreed that he could call me. The next night he called and during the course of the conversation, I told him that I had made a commitment to myself not to make any changes in my life for a year after my husband's death. He asked when it would be a year, and I told him "Friday." He said, "I will call you next week." He did call, and we started our "whirlwind" dating. I say "whirlwind" because it was exactly that. His schedule was very busy; but whenever possible, he would call and we would go out to dinner. I lived in a small town and didn't want my friends and the church to know we were dating, so I asked him if we might go some place other than Athens. He agreed and we went to Pigeon Forge, Atlanta, Nashville, Knoxville — anywhere but Athens — just for dinner. He was telling everyone about me and showing my picture to everyone. I was only telling my family and my pastor and making them promise not to tell anyone. They kept their promise. We were engaged before anyone at my church even knew we were dating.
We were married on August 7, 2004. It has been a very special relationship for us. It will soon be our sixth anniversary, and I can say that it has truly been wonderful. I travel with him to most of his meetings and enjoy it very much. He allows me to choose to go or stay home. I am really a homebody and enjoy staying home very much. Sometimes I opt to stay home. I have lots of hobbies to keep me occupied while he is away preaching.
I am so thankful for the way God has worked in helping me to find happiness and fulfillment again. Proverbs 3:5 has helped me a lot over the years. "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding."
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