I was the youngest of four siblings. My father was Catholic but my mother was not religious. When I was ten, my parents divorced and the family was split up. By my late teens, I no longer believed God existed.
Just before college, I became pregnant. Shortly after, my fiance and I were in a car accident. He was killed instantly and I was hospitalized with facial injuries. My son was born safely and I began to raise him as a single mother.
Two years later I met my husband, Lennie. We got married three months after our first date which, of course, was ridiculous. He was a free-spirited hippie with no sense of responsibility and I was a depressed, angry mess, so no bargain either. We had a son together, so now we were four. But neither of us had a commitment to the marriage, and divorce seemed inevitable.
Then Lennie became a Christian. I thought it was just another hippie phase. I had become a very hostile atheist, so he didn’t dare talk to me about God. He started going to church and taking the boys with him. That made me angry, so one Sunday I went with him just to spite him. (Now what sense did that make?) The first Sunday school class I attended was on the passage about wives submitting to their husbands. I was committed to women’s liberation and thought these people were living in the dark ages.
Soon after that, the pastor’s wife called and invited me to attend a Billy Graham movie and then go to their house for coffee and dessert. That was the last thing I wanted to do, but somehow “sure” came out of my mouth. I remember pulling the phone away and looking at it, wondering how I could have said it.
I went, and although I thought the movie was corny, sitting in their home later I saw that the pastor and his wife had something in their lives that I did not have. She asked me if I would repent and follow God if he made himself real to me. I said that I probably would if God really existed, but I was convinced he didn’t. For me, God was in the same category as Santa Claus. She suggested praying, “God, if you are there, I want to know.” I didn’t see that ever happening either, but one day as I was carrying a basket of laundry, I suddenly blurted out that very thing, again astonished that I had said it.
But God did hear that prayer. I continued to attend church and listen to the sermons. One Sunday the pastor gave an altar call, something he hardly ever did. I hesitated at first, but when he gave a second call, I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ as my Savior. Lennie was one surprised husband! So was I! We were baptized together in a pond.
One Sunday, the message at church was about what the Bible had to say regarding divorce. We were stunned. But the Lord had given us a strong faith in his Word. If it said it in the Bible, it was true. On the way home I said we were going to have to stay married for the rest of our lives. I told Lennie that he could be my cross to bear and I would be his. He agreed.
Thankfully our pastor said that God had a better plan for our marriage. He gradually made our marriage into a beautiful relationship. This past January 29th, we celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. All glory to God for such mercy, love, and grace.