When I was a child I grew up learning about God through our strong commitment to attending Sunday School on Sunday mornings and church three times a week plus many revivals and camp meetings held frequently in my home state of Oklahoma. I’m not sure I remember the theme of God’s personal love for me but I definitely knew that it was His will for me to obey His truths. This was driven home to me time and again as my parents were very stern in their discipline. We had many rules to live by and I was very fearful of breaking those rules as the punishment could be severe and always humiliating.
My parents had a very strife-filled marriage where they were often physically and emotionally abusive toward one another. This carried over in the relationships I, along with my four siblings, had toward each other. My mother had suffered severe physical abuse from her drunken, atheist father growing up and the consequences of that experience clouded her adulthood and our childhood. She never found peace about this until the last year of her life on earth.
On the other side of my family I had a very colorful and joyful grandpa who had a 200 acre farm in the mountains of Arkansas. He was the most positive example of a Christian believer that I have ever met. He and Grandma were very committed believers and every visit we made to their house included evening devotions where everyone in the house ceased their activities and joined together in the living room for Bible reading followed by kneeling in prayer. My grandfather’s impassioned prayers for his children and grandchildren remains very vivid in my memories to this day.
At 13 years of age I attended a Youth Camp where I heard a powerful sermon directed to my age group and I witnessed sincere worship by the youth at this camp. I moved beyond my fear of God and longed to know Him personally. I committed my heart to the Lord at this service. I came back each night to the services and it changed my attitudes and my desires for worldly thinking.
I stopped trying to be the most popular girl in the Junior High School I attended and chose friends who did not ask me to compromise my faith. I became very active in the local church by singing in the youth choir and traveling with our youth leaders who held revivals throughout the state of Oklahoma. Every summer I attended the youth camp and drew nearer to God. By the time I was a junior in high school I definitely knew I had a special calling upon my heart to enter full-time vocational ministry. I chose to attend Central Bible College in Springfield, MO in 1973. There I met Stephen and as they say, the rest is history.
There have been many trials and testings along the way and temptation is never far away, but God has kept me faithful to Him from my youth to the present. Praise God for His marvelous, keeping grace!
Because of God’s calling on my life I have served the Lord alongside Stephen. It is my greatest desire to know the Lord and His will for my life and influence as many as possible to have a personal relationship with Him.