God, our Father, please help me write this. I love You and want to be a good witness for you. I thank you for keeping me all these 84 years.
Times have been hard, but I never wanted to give up. I loved the feeling of your reminding me to hold on. I am so sorry for the times I was not waiting for your reminders of what you had done for me.
I realized I was in need of more of your truth to be taught to me. But the others around me were in the same shape as I, and they were not able to teach me more of your truth.
Through all the dark days and hangups, I finally realized I couldn’t depend on anyone but You. I realized finally that all of us need those rough times in our lives in order to feel a greater need for You. Thank You.
As I look back over the past six decades, I’m glad that I kept in your word, for therein is the only true help we can find.
In the beginning of my journey here on earth with You, times were really hard. It was the Great Depression. My mother died when I was two, and without her to guide me, it was difficult. My dad tried to raise us three little girls. We were so poor that we had to live in tents in a graveyard at times, living on mostly gravey and bread made by hand. But we survived. And we were not the only sharecropper families there in East Texas.
It was a struggle for our father, but being young children, we didn’t notice it much. We just knew we were poor. Later on in life after I came to know You, poor didn’t seem too bad, since Your word taught that we do not “live by bread alone, but by every word” of Your mouth.
As I got older, I wanted to work, but jobs were hard to find. I got my first job at 15. That would have been in 1941. It was working in a laundry in Corsicana, Texas for 22 cents an hour.
Time went on, and I became of age to wed. So after the War was over in 1945, I married, not knowing what true love was, but willing to learn to be a good wife and mother. Then you gave me the greatest joy of my life. You blessed me with a firstborn son. Right out of your best mold. Created in your image. Thank You!
My son brought great joy to my heart. When he was five weeks old, we were lying down in the sun, and I was reading to him. I did not know You or have your word at the time. My neighbor across the path came over to visit us. And she spoke to me of You. I had never heard much about You at 21 years old.
But You had prepared me to receive Your word from her because of the wonderful thing that happened five weeks earlier at childbirth. I was under the sleep that the doctor had put me under, and I had this dream. There was a kind of swinging ladder to heaven, and people were going up this ladder two together, but I was going up alone. When I reached the top, there was ONE of You holding your hand out to help me get off the ladder. I then woke up.
That gave me the truth about there being just one God. Ever since that day, when I read Your word, I can see one God–even when it reads “and Jesus Christ.” Once you get the revelation, you can see it.
Well, the great son you gave me also has the truth about one God. He has a wonderful brain, Father, and I am so happy to serve You with him.
As time went by, I longed for a baby girl. I so wanted the two children to be not so far apart. By then I had read about Hannah and how she prayed for a child, a boy baby. And God answered her prayer. So after waiting a year and a half, I knelt by the bed, and I reminded You, Father, that You had given her a boy child, Samuel. Now I am asking You for a baby girl. And the very next month she was on the way.
At that time I was very shy and had never talked to any one about You. I had studied and gone to church, but I was so shy. I remember that while I was in the middle of giving birth to her, You stopped everything and asked me if I had witnessed to anyone about You. And, of course, I said no. You very distinctly told me that if I was not going to be a witness for You that the baby would not finish coming. So I started saying, “Yes, Lord. Yes, Lord, I will.” And suddenly, I was wide awake, and I asked Dr. Mamulia if he knew You. He thought for a minute that I was out of my head. And I said, “But do you really know Him?”
And he said, “No, Louise, I don’t really know Him.” The nurse was very angry with me, but I was really not afraid anymore to speak out about You.
The next morning the doctor asked me, “Louise, do you remember what you said to me last night?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Oh, she was just out of her head,” the nurse interrupted.
And then the doctor said, “Oh, no, she wasn’t.”
The night before, after I asked him if he knew You, I crawled off the table with no help. You made me so strong at the time. You gave me a beautiful son and daughter, and I thank you. [Written by my mother, Louise Billups, last week. I am so blessed to still have her and be able to talk to her everyday. Love your mothers while you still can…]