God's Brave Women - Joy's Story
On a cold wintery day in 1947, a young mother of five stood on the porch of her two-bedroom duplex. She was surrounded by her little ones, and as she watched their father walk down the railroad tracks for the last time, she wept. He had done this before, but this time he would never return. She whispered to heaven, “God, I will trust you to help me.” God heard His Daughter’s precious prayer and honored her faith. As the months passed by, miracles began to happen for the family on a daily basis. Food was always provided. Clothes came in. They continued to have all they needed. And they knew God was with them.
One evening after walking home from church, the mother tucked all her children in bed. Three boys were in one bedroom, while the two girls slept in their mother’s bed. It had barely quieted down, when a loud noise came from the front room. A blast of frigid air filled the small home and fear began to creep into the mother’s heart as she realized what was happening. Someone had just broken in! Heavy footsteps headed towards the girls’ bedroom. The mother told the girls to put their heads under the covers and be brave. “God will protect us,” she said, as the footsteps stopped at the side of their bed. The mother declared at the top of her lungs the promises of God, reciting Psalm 91 and claiming His divine protection. “God, you promised me you would protect me and my children. So, whoever is in my bedroom make them leave in Jesus’ name!” Without saying a single word, the person moved over to window, opened it and climbed out. As the mother got out of bed to close the window, she could not stop thanking God for His protection and faithfulness. She shoved a sofa against the front door, checked on all of her children and climbed back into bed praising God for the miracle that had just happened. That night my sister and I saw LOVE cast out fear. We saw what God could do. And as we lay down next to our mother, our hearts were full of peace. We knew He would always come through for us.
"That night my sister and I saw LOVE cast out fear. We saw what God could do. And as we lay down next to our mother, our hearts were full of peace. We knew He would always come through for us."
Throughout my childhood these types of miracles were common in my life. My mother was a single parent, but her faith in Jesus set such a crucial foundation for my life. She lived out her faith, and from an early age I saw God’s great power and love make itself known. His promise of protection and provision always stayed with me. He was a miracle-worker, and I clung to what He had shown me. Little did I know I would need to remember these truths as I stepped into my own marriage and motherhood.
Life had harsh difficulties, and as I grew older, they continued to find me. For a time, I chose to wander away from my daily walk with God. I tried doing things on my own, but the intense insecurities began to grip my heart as I faced similar struggles like my mother had. I had two small children less than two years apart. The demands of taking care of a family multiplied as I coped with a husband who drank too much. We were left with not enough money to buy food for school lunches or pay the rent. Even though he was present in our home, I still felt alone and often afraid. I didn’t know what to do. I was frustrated and at the end of myself. It was in those moments that I began to remember what God had done for my mother.
I was twenty-eight years old when I ran back into the arms of my faithful heavenly Father. Even when I felt far away from Him, He was right there next to me, building my trust in Him. This same God, who gave confidence to my mother, was now here for me. I began to claim His promises over my family’s life. I began to believe in His power to work miracles. One morning when the bread for school lunches was gone, I cried out to God. It was Wednesday, but we wouldn’t get paid until Friday. I didn’t have enough food for my children and my mind began to worry. Still, I clung to the truth that God would supply all of our needs. If He said it, He had to make it come true.
Later that day as I drove with my son, I stopped behind a bread delivery truck. Suddenly a whole rack of bread fell out from the back of the truck, right in front of my car! The light changed green and the truck began to drive away. My son hopped out, picked up the rack of bread and hurried back in the car. We tried to find the bread truck so we could return it, but we couldn’t find it anywhere. It was like it completely disappeared! As I drove home with a rack full of bread, I looked at my son and smiled. God had done it again. He abundantly answered my prayer in a way only He could.
"We can be brave women, wives, mothers and friends. We can allow the world to see He still answers prayers."
I’ve been serving my awesome God for over forty-seven years now, and all I can say is this… His promises are always true. He has restored my heart, my marriage and my life. He has given me confidence in who He is and what He can do. He can be trusted and, as His blessed children, we can all know He is forever for us. His faithfulness can make us courageous, even in the hardest and harshest of circumstances. We can be brave women, wives, mothers and friends. We can allow the world to see He still answers prayers. He is still a miracle-working God!
Joy and her husband, Gary, celebrated 50 years of marriage in 2017 and currently live in Lake Nona, Florida. They are the parents of 2 adult children, 3 grandchildren and 6 great-grandsons, who are the delights of their lives! Joy has served as an ordained minister and women’s ministry director for several churches throughout the years, making it possible for her to develop the “Women in Touch” program that is still used nationwide. She is passionate about helping women stand bravely on God’s promises, while seeing His greatness work in them. She holds a h.c. doctorate in Christian Counseling with over 25 years of experience in pastoral counseling, mentoring and coaching and has recently founded the Joy Counseling Center located in Orlando. She loves to offer her volunteer work to the low-income sector, particularly at a local orphanage. You can connect with Joy and learn more about her center @ www.thejoycounselingcenter.com