I’m so moved by the goodness of God… Here is my offering of thanksgiving, sharing my story:
“Lord, I’d sure like to be married. But I will follow and serve You whether I’m single for the rest of my life or married.”
I prayed this prayer in my early 40s. I’ve been single, never married for my entire life.
Yes, I had a high school boyfriend and a few college boyfriends along the way. They just didn’t seem to fit in with my calling. I felt a strong calling to Christian ministry in my teen years.
Yes, I’ve heard all the advice one can possibly hear that insensitive people throw out to single people! The worst ones insinuate that I must be doing something wrong or that God must not be happy with something about me.
Dating life seemed to worsen with age so I just decided I’d had enough painful experiences that it was time to STOP, take a break and just focus on ministry, so that’s what I did.
I have served 3 churches and have been serving as a mission pastor in the church I serve currently since 2006. When I arrived here I was deep in conversation with a teen from a previous church about the suffering she was enduring in her home. Before I knew it she had nowhere to go and I heard God asking me to take care of her at least until she could graduate high school. I cared for her for about a year until her abusive father left and it was time for her to mend her relationship with her mother. I took her back home and I sensed the Lord calling me to open my home to more kids like her so I called our local department of social services.
I became a licensed foster parent and before I knew it I had cared for 17 kids in 7 years!
All throughout this experience I was pouring my heart and life into the ministry of foster care and missions. I LOVE all of this! It’s wonderful!
Before I knew it over a decade had passed and I had a few men ask me out and I declined explaining that I was content and made the decision to stop dating long ago.
One fall night I found myself praying to God asking for a husband. Then, my gaspac heating system went out. It was time for a new one.
“God, I have this big old house because You called me to do foster care. You know I don’t have the money for this. Please help me!” I searched high and low and FINALLY found 0% financing, so I had a new gaspac put in and I make payments on it now.
That same year I prayed a similar prayer in the spring, “God, my roof is leaking. I paid a company $400.00 to seal it up and they say it will last for a year. You know I don’t have money to pay for a new roof.”
One day I get a message on Facebook from a deaf guy that asked me out while we were in college. “Hi! Do you remember me?” the message read. I was lying in bed next to my oldest adopted daughter (we were having one of those late night chats). “Hi! Yes I remember you. I remember you asked me out to a dance and I declined.”
“You’re so mean!” my daughter said. We chatted a little more and I made it clear that I have 4 children, I love my career and I’m not willing to relocate for a man. “I’m settled here so we probably just shouldn’t talk.” I said.
We’re now married!
Two people in their 40s who each never married, no biological children, and now we’re married!
And because he had paid off his house we were able to pay cash for a new roof! It doesn’t stop there! We’re getting new windows put in this month! Our current windows are original to the house that was built in 1907! Don’t even try to imagine our heating bills!
All adoptions in our household are finalized with our three children and now we’re focusing on being a family, working our jobs and raising the kids well.
Ok God, I’m taking notes! You always step in and provide for me what I need when I need it. I trust You and will serve You even when things seem desperate financially, emotionally, spiritually, etc… Please forgive my anxiety over earthly things! The things I desire most come from You anyway! Thank You God! You are Good even when my mind wanders into places of doubt and darkness. May I be a bearer of Your goodness to others in Jesus name, Amen.
Inspiring story that reminds us that God’s miracles happens. Thank you 🙏
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WOW – interesting life, Jeni Martin. We love you and so glad that you are here in Asheboro, happily married, and serving the Lord with us at First Baptist. Blessings to you, Joe, and all the foster children you have adopted and helped.