but God…..

1978
Tim was really growing spiritually. Looking back, I know my comment about not wanting to be a preacher’s wife weighed heavily on him, and even though the Lord was “still” dealing with him about surrendering to full time ministry, he never mentioned it to me or discussed it with me. It makes me sad to think about it. It makes me sad that I was not willing to live as a bold Christian.  BUT, I’m glad God didn’t give up on me or stop dealing with Tim because I was an immature, selfish, uncommitted Christian.

One Sunday morning on the way to church, Tim told me that he felt like the Lord was calling him to preach and that he was going to publicly make it known. I was ashamed that I was so backslidden that I didn’t even know that God was dealing with him. I turned my face to the window and cried silently and asked God to forgive me. I asked Him to help me be willing to be a pastor’s wife. He changed my heart right then and there! I realized that there was nothing else for me to do! Doing anything to hinder Tim’s decision was no longer an option! I would follow Tim and support him no matter where the Lord sent us!

That was 37 1/2 years ago.  I have not regretted one minute of our time in ministry!  I am so glad for God’s patience toward me.  I can’t think of any other place I would rather be than serving the Lord in one of His churches!  Have their been challenges?  Of course!  We are human and we serve humanity!  But the blessings and rewards far out weigh the challenges!

I’m looking forward to growing old with Tim as we work together for the Lord!

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unwilling,

1966 was a spiritual turning point for our family. Under Bro. Ginn’s ministry at the Big Bone Baptist church, we learned about some of the deep doctrines (teachings) found in the Word of God. Doctrines like the total depravity of man, the unconditional election of God, the limited atonement of Christ, the irresistible grace of God, the perseverance of the saints (these 5 known as the doctrines of God’s grace), the Trinity, the omniscience of God, the omnipresence of God, the omnipotence of God, the sovereignty of God, salvation, hell……….and I could go on and on and on.

In 1975, “all hell broke loose” at the church. I don’t even know all of the details and don’t care to know them. What I do know is that Bro. Ginn ended up having to resign. Several members, including my family, left with Bro. Ginn and became members of the First Baptist Church of Harrison, Ohio, desiring to be sent out as a mission church in Florence, KY.

The following details came from the history of the Grace Baptist Church in Florence, KY’s web site here: http://gracebaptistflorence.org/our-history/

“In March 1975 a group of members from the Big Bone Baptist Church of Union Kentucky joined the First Baptist Church (of Harrison, OH) and asked to be a mission until such time that they saw fit to organize. Their first meeting was in the home of Marvin and Margaret Howard on Skyline Drive or March 31, 1975. In the fall of that year they bought a house on Mt. Zion Road in Florence, Kentucky. This work was organized on January 10, 1976 with 42 charter members. They called Robert Ginn who had been their mission pastor to be pastor of the Grace Baptist Church. A new building joining the old was constructed and started having services in it on August 3, 1980.

Bro. Ginn remained as pastor until December 31, 1991 when his resigned to retire.”

So, let me backtrack a bit.

I don’t remember when it happened, but at some point we moved from the farm house on Big Bone Road in Union, KY into another farm house on Long Branch Road in Union, KY. This house belonged to one of the families who were members at the Big Bone Baptist Church.

The house had no running water and no indoor toilet. But, as a kid, I loved the house! There were some GREAT climbing-trees around the house and I would climb one in particular ALL the time…..as high as I could! There was a barn and there were cattle in the field that belonged to the owners. We used to walk the fields, go through some woods to get to the house of the owners. They had a girl there that was my age.

We used to spend time in the creek below the house when it was hot. My sister, Kim, ended up with a crawdad in her shirt pinching her one day! I don’t imagine that kept us from going back, however! We would also go down and slide on the frozen-up creek in the winter.

One year, while we were waiting at the bottom of the driveway for the school bus, my brother, Joey had his coat up over his head and walked off the side of the bridge over the creek! He broke his right patella (knee cap) in half and had to have stitches in his head!

One time, Kim was in the pasture with the cows, down on all fours, mooing at the cows. Unbeknownst to her, further out in the field, a bull was pawing the ground and getting ready to charge her with his head down. Fortunately, mom was around and saw what was happening and ordered her out of the field!

One day, Joey and I were running through the house, which we were not supposed to be doing. He had done who-knows-what to me and I was in hot pursuit of him. He ran through mom and dad’s bedroom, which had a door on either side of the bed. As he ran in one door and out the other, I rounded their 4-poster bed and one of the posts at the foot of the bed broke off in my hand! Mom “let dad handle” the situation when he came home from work! I just knew I was going to get the belt used on me! However, it was worse than that! He made me lay across my bed and he whacked me a couple of times with the bed post! YIKES! I don’t remember that it hurt so much, but that I was humiliated! I’m sure that would be considered child abuse now! 😀 But, I learned a lesson! 😀 I do remember that he hated doing it as he gave me a kiss good night and sent me to bed, I could see tears beginning in his eyes and his lips quiver! WOW! It probably hurt him worse than it did me! Actually, I’m sure of it, now that I’m a parent!

I had a white, long-haired Spitz dog that was stolen while we lived there. I had Snowball ever since she was a pup and I was maybe a year old! Everyone that saw her wanted her. She was either stolen, or she wandered off to die somewhere.

1969
I believe we moved from the farm house on Long Branch to a ranch home at 859 River Road, Hebron, KY in 1969 where I began the 9th grade in Conner Junior High School. It may have been that I started in the 8th grade, but I don’t remember for certain. It’s neither here nor there.

1970
I never was in with the popular crowd at school. I did OK in school, grade-wise. I could have done better, I know, but I was not disciplined in studying. I would cram for exams. I don’t remember mom and dad ever talking to me about my grades. The only thing I remember is that we got a certain amount of money depending on what our grades were on the report card.

This was the year that Tim and his family moved into our neighborhood, about a quarter of a mile up the road. He had 3 siblings and we are all pretty close in age. Tim is almost a year older than me. My brother is in between Tim’s 2nd and 3rd siblings, which are both boys. My sister is 11 months older than Tim’s baby sister.

I’ll never forget the first time Tim got on the bus. He walked to the back of the bus (which is where I usually sat) and sat in the seat next to me. Well, when I got off the bus after him Mrs. Roark (the bus driver) asked me if I had a new boyfriend! I told her in no uncertain terms that Tim was NOT my boyfriend, and furthermore, he “stank!” I have NO idea where that came from, except that I had my eyes on one of the other guys on the bus and wanted to make sure my feelings for Tim were made clear to him. Like I would EVER have a chance at being HIS girlfriend! ALL the girls were head over heels for him!

Before long, Tim and his siblings would come to the house to play softball with us and the neighbor kid. We would also play football, LOL! Eventually, I started taking notice of Tim!

It took a while, but on March 13, 1971 Tim and I became an item! 😀 We were inseparable! He would come down and we would do homework together. I always tried to get in his classes, at least the ones I could handle, LOL, which did NOT include Chemistry, Calculus or German! 😀 We would meet under the steps in between classes. NOW we sat together EVERYWHERE we could, including on the bus! We walked up and down River Road with a short-wave radio in one hand and holding hands with him.

We broke up once for a short time when I thought I liked someone else! How dumb I was! It didn’t take me long to realize what I was missing! We got back together, much to his mother’s dismay, since I had been the one to hurt her son. When Tim mentioned at the dinner table one night that I wanted to go back together with him, his mother said, “over my dead body!” After all these years of marriage to her son, I can honestly say that she does NOT still feel that way towards me! She KNOWS how much I love her son! I’m glad she has forgiven my teenage fickleness! But, more importantly, I’m so glad Tim forgave me!

June 3, 1973
High School Graduation from Conner Senior High School. In the fall, Tim headed off to college at the University of Louisville. I went to work. I would send money every couple of weeks so he could ride a greyhound bus back to see me! I would go to the bus terminal in Covington, KY to pick him up in my 1969 white Corvair that dad bought for me after high school. We would always eat at the Skyline in Covington.

There was no question in my mind of IF we would get married. The question for me was WHEN! Before Tim came into the picture, I was considering being an elementary school teacher. But, I gave that thought up and replaced it with wanting to get married and starting a family with Tim. As the years rolled on and he was away at college, I began to think it wasn’t going to happen!

Christmas 1975 changed all of those thoughts when Tim gave me a pre-engagement ring for Christmas! I was beside myself with joy! My parents, on the other hand, even though they liked Tim, did not want me being “unequally yoked” with a lost boy. So, they were not overjoyed with my engagement.

unwilling,
It is sad to say, but I never talked to Tim or asked him if he knew where he would go when he died. I was not growing in my Christian walk. I also knew that our pastor, Bro. Ginn, would not marry us. At some point during Tim’s time at U of L, he had asked me what I would think of him transferring to the Louisville Theological Seminary. In my rebellion and Christian immaturity, I told him that I did NOT want to be a preacher’s wife! WOW! How bold I was! How stupid I was! Looking back, I’m sure God just laughed!

Tim didn’t mention seminary again. He also did not mention to me that he had asked God to save him one night in 1972 as he walked back home from my house. I know I did not have much influence in his decision as I was living totally for myself, not God.

I don’t know whether I was getting flack from mom and dad about marrying Tim or not, but I finally talked with Tim during one of our many long-distance conversations while he was at U of L. I asked him if he was saved. He told me he was. I asked him where we would go to church once we were married. He said we would go to my church, Grace Baptist Church. I was satisfied, but mom and dad were doubtful.

May 8, 1976
Tim ended the year at U of L on May 7th and we got married by the justice of the peace the next day in our apartment that I had moved into in April. He kept his word to me and we went to Grace on Sunday and headed out on our honeymoon on Monday.

At some point, he made a profession of faith and was baptized. He became the church treasurer and we taught the kids in SS class. He finished up his Accounting degree at Northern KY University.