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I married Rod because I believed God chose him to be my husband. I liked him, but cannot honestly say I loved him when I said, “I do.” All the men before him were abusive short-term relationships. He won my love with his patience, kindness, devotion, and willingness to sacrifice that he might do what is best for me. He is my obedient Samuel that God used to break my Saul character traits.

Rod worked for a college and ministered to children in his free time. I did not share his passion for ministry but contributed wherever I could. The church owned a 24-hour cable station that produced a 30-minute program for children. He had developed a character called Mr. Green Jeans who made appearances on the children’s show. I stopped teaching Sunday school after we married to assist him in the church’s ministries designed for children.

I was pregnant with our first child when a scandal split the congregation into several independent churches. The children’s pastors bought an RV and switched their focus to evangelism. Before they left, they gave Rod’s name to a church in need of a children’s minister.

In my experience, churches are not stable places of employment unless you are the senior pastor. With a child on the way, I was against Rod accepting full-time employment at a church, especially one in the process of looking for a new pastor. I suggested he offer to help as a volunteer until a pastor was elected. The new pastor could decide if he wanted Rod on his ministerial team. The board agreed but insisted on giving him $25 a week for gas.

Much to my dismay, the new pastor wanted him to stay. The church offered him $100 a week to remain in a part-time position that enable him to keep his full-time job. All he had to do was conduct two children’s services a week. I did not want him to be on staff, but he did not have to keep office hours and we needed the money for diapers and formula. I agreed to the arrangement but made it clear he was in ministry, not me.

I had made a mess of my life before I met Rod. But I truly believed God could fix anything, and he would come like a knight in shining armor to rescue me from myself. I thought it would happen quickly. From my point of view, it didn’t, and I felt abandoned by God. Looking back, I understand why. Healing emotional damage is a long, delicate process. I had experienced much healing before I married, but I needed much more. I received “much more” over the next thirteen-years Rod worked for the church.

The first hint that God wanted me to write flickered as I strived to help my husband. The poorly written and difficult to implement curriculum used by the church frustrated Rod. I wrote two teaching series for him to use in Children’s Church – The Ten Commandments and The Fruit of the Spirit. When he failed to teach the series as I had written them the prima donna in me refused to write another series.

The gifts and callings of God are without repentance. No one can say they earn something from God or claim he has shown partiality. He chooses people for ministry before they are born, and he does not change his mind. I could not escape the tug at my heart and the things God revealed to me when I was a teenager, but my failures and God’s slow response created doubt about his ability to help us. There were times I walked the fine line between sanity and insanity.

One Sunday, we were visiting another church. The guest speaker had the gift of prophecy. At the conclusion of her message, she asked us to come to the altar and said, “God wants you to know that changes are coming, and the changes are from him.”


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