My life begins in a part of the South with a significant historical background predating the Civil War. My hometown of Columbus, Mississippi held the first State supported Elementary School, Franklin Academy. I attended there through the sixth grade. The Jr. High I attended was connected to the home of Stephen D. Lee from which it got its name. The High School, where I graduated, was given the same name and we called it Lee High. The first women's college in the United States was named Mississippi State College for Women and was the institution of higher learning for me.
I was born and raised in Columbus and had a small town upbringing that was delightful. My Mother was the first county health nurse in Columbus and later became Night Supervisor for Columbus Hospital in Obstetrics. My Father was a Minister of Music in a local Southern Baptist Convention Church. I am the second child in a family of six children. My parents are now at home with the Lord.
Committing to Christ
My Father led me to Christ. I don't know if it was his teaching me; his example; or the fact that we were always at church with Daddy, that laid the groundwork for my salvation experience. However, in my heart of hearts, the Holy Spirit confirms to me my Father's part in my salvation. I grew up in Church and learned as a small child about Jesus. In October of 1958 during a Sunday Evening Worship Service, I felt the tug of the Holy Spirit drawing me to receive Christ into my heart as my Savior. I went forward on a profession of faith and my Father left the podium to come and sit by me with his arms around me as I was introduced to the church. I followed in Believer's baptism the following Sunday Night.
My life was small town living as I followed the path of most young people and completed my education through the schools mentioned above. My major was to be in Music as I had taken 13 years of piano lessons. However, I lacked the background in Math to master Music Theory and subsequently changed to the field of Psychology.
In my first year of college, I made one of the greatest errors in judgment that I have ever made. I married a student from Mississippi State with no understanding of what I was doing and one year later gave birth to my first child, Elizabeth Diane. Shortly after that the marriage was dissolved because it should have never occurred in the first place. The blessing of that poor judgment was the birth of my child.
After completing my college education as a single mother, I married a hometown boy who was working and attending Mississippi State. After completion of his college, we were married. Still I had no comprehension of what I was doing.
A Big Move and Big Changes
We left our little hometown and moved to Atlanta, Georgia for his job. I had been promised and fully intended to return to my hometown within a year. Twenty eight years later, I am still in Atlanta, Georgia.
After 21 years of marriage and the birth of two precious sons, seven years apart in age, my husband left me for another woman much younger than I. At this time, my walk with God began to take a very different turn. My Father had just died, I was just home from major surgery then my husband walks out on me. There was a long, hard divorce with eleven court appearances. I shifted totally into "survival mode". I cannot begin to tell you how hard life was becoming. Never having worked since having children, having a very comfortable lifestyle, having a strong husband who handled his part very well, I was just in over my head.
I knew I could not survive what was ahead if God did not do a work in me. I sat down with God at my breakfast table and talked with Him and told Him in prayer that I knew He has to become as real to me as the "nose on my face" for me to survive what I knew was ahead. God told me He would be my Husband and the Father to my children.
The devastation my children and I felt was compounded by the additional wounding we received at our Church. We began attending a "Praise and Worship Church" so that my children and I could begin to heal. There we discovered the reality that God inhabits the praise of His people.
God was faithful. He never left me nor walked away from His responsibility to me as my Husband nor took His mighty Hand as Father off of my children. He did through me exactly as I had asked the night sitting at the breakfast table.
I went back into teaching in Church at our former Church and was working in the Singles Ministry in the eighth year of my being single. I began to think of the possibility of remarrying but had no prospects at all. But I surely never wanted to be divorced again. I began to pray for the answer to marriage without divorce. God then began to show me the mystery of the Covenant of marriage. I began to pray for a marriage that could not end in divorce and that he would be to me as Adam was to Eve - fashioned by God just for me. The more I prayed and learned the more I yearned for doing marriage completely God's way.
On one particular Sunday, a tall, handsome man was visiting our class. He was looking for fellowship as he was divorced and was new in that position and needed friends of like kind. I had always said that I would never date anyone I taught much less become involved with him. But on Good Friday of 1995, I met this gentlemen for breakfast. I had asked God how I would know who his intended would be for me. He said,"You will see Jesus in his eyes." As we shared breakfast, I looked up and gazed into his eyes and there was Jesus just as I had been told.
We married in June of that year in a "Covenant Marriage". Our marriage did no go the way we had planned. In fact it was several years of real testing that came close to destroying our "Covenant Marriage". We lost all remaining parents between us, my husband had cancer and the stressfulness has been constant but so has My Lord. But in fact, that was exactly the experience that made us face what it meant to be in covenant. I now look back and see whose Hand was in the middle of all of this and He has nailed pierced palms.
Through every step I have walked I have been learning. I have studied and prayed and sought to know all there was to know about the Covenant of Marriage. I havve seen such devastation from not obeying God by the pain my children endured.
I desire now to spend the rest of my life sharing the good news of this Covenant and living it by God's Grace. I know who is in this with me along with my husband. I know that God's Word that He imparts to your heart is always true. I know God's love is constant. I know that God desires the very best for me but only He knows what that is. I know I cannot break my vows to God or my husband. I know God will not break his part in the Covenant. I see if I had known these truths when I was first married at such a young age for reasons of my own, I would not have ever faced divorce. I know my Lord heard my heart and answered my plea.
Just as Christ says concerning this Great Mystery to His Church in the Song of Solomon, "I am my Beloved's and my Beloved is mine."