SHARING MY STORY by Marilyn Bennett
Early in life, my life verses were Proverbs 3:5-6, KJV, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.”
I was married in 1967 to the man I believed was to be my life partner. In fact, our prayer was, “Give us enough troubles to keep us tender and enough of success to know we walk with you, God.” We were active in church ministry. We delighted in serving God. We felt God had blessed us with each other.
My husband spent the first year of our marriage on a Naval destroyer off the coast of Viet Nam. When his time serving his country was up, the Captain did not want him to leave until their ship had docked in Long Beach. He didn’t wait. The Captain didn’t understand how badly my husband wanted to be home with his young bride. We had written to each other every day. He spent our first year of marriage sleeping in the bottom of a ship and I spent it in my childhood bedroom. We recorded letters to each other every day, so we could hear each other’s voice.
The very day after he arrived home, we got the word that his ship had been cut in half by an Australian carrier. My husband would have been sleeping where 70 men lost their lives. He certainly felt God had rescued him for a purpose.
After our first child was born, we wanted to purchase a house. Houses were expensive, so we decided to buy land and build our own. In 1971, San Jose had a building moratorium, so we bought wood from an unfinished apartment complex and hauled it over the hill to Santa Cruz. We stored the wood on 5 vacant lots owned by friends from church and picked the best wood with which to build our house. After our house was finished, we sold the rest of the wood and basically built our house for free.
When our daughter was old enough to enter Kindergarten, she needed a coat. We did not have enough money to buy a coat, so we prayed. That morning, my husband drove by a garage sale and felt the urge to stop and look. There he found a new coat her size which he bought for 50 cents. Another miracle.
When our daughter turned twelve, she had to be hospitalized twice for asthma and we almost lost her. I slept on the floor by her bed so I could hear her breathe. The Lord saved her life, and we were able to bring her home after several weeks. Doctors told us she would grow out of it, but she never did. She was never able to participate in normal teenage activities like her friends but she grew close to the Lord.
Our son and youngest daughter were healthy. The doctor told us this was unusual in a family with allergies, so we thanked God. Later, however, our son was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and had 12 inches of his intestine removed. He has been through a lot, but we thank God that he can work and lead a fairly normal life.
God has blessed and been near to me all of my life and God continues to show He is near me, mostly through music. When a song comes to my mind in a powerful way, I know God is trying to get my attention. That day or the next, the words of that song strengthen me for a particular trial. This has happened so many times that I keep a diary.
This week I was having trouble sleeping. I was missing my late husband so much that I was crying. I had just returned from my brother’s funeral service and I asked the Lord to help me sleep. Suddenly the song “Until Then” flooded into my mind. I found peace as I sang that song, but then another song took over.
“Let me call you sweetheart” was the song my husband sang to me on our second date while we were with my sister and brother at the Melodrama theater in Monterey with the Antique Car Club. This man got down on one knee and began singing that song in front of everyone. I turned beet red. I am turning red again just remembering that day. I imagined (though I do not know for sure) that my husband, sister, and brother in heaven reminded me of that wonderful memory.
God is good like that. God answers our prayers if we pay attention. God loves and cares for us. “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.”
We are thankful to Marilyn for sharing her story. We all have a story to share of God’s work in our lives. Would you be willing to share yours? You can write it, or we will help you write it, or we can interview you and film you sharing your story. Your story can bless someone else’s life.