10 March 2013

Fearless Females: March 10 - Faithful Women

Please visit Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month at The Accidental Genealogist. 

March 10 — What role did religion play in your family? How did your female ancestors practice their faith? If they did not, why didn’t they? Did you have any female ancestors who served their churches in some capacity?
Faith in Heavenly Father was a very important part of my childhood and still is. I grew up in church and was there as often as I could be. I loved going. My parents made sure that we went, although things were far from an example of Christianity at home. My mother had been a Sunday school teacher for a time, but I have no recollection of it as I was just a very little girl at the time. Hypocrisy and gossip drove her from the church.

I answered the altar call when I was about eight years old at Orville Pentecostal Holiness Church in Anderson, SC after viewing the movie The Burning Hell. I have made many mistakes over the years, some pretty bad, but always I have believed in Heavenly Father and am blessed that He would have me back.

At my grandparents' home, it was a different story from the one at home. Grandma and Grandpa Spence were Christians as was my grandma's sister, Aunt Mae. When I had questions that I couldn't figure out and needed help, it was to them that I turned. My grandparents did their best to guide me even when I didn't want to do what they suggested. I did it anyway, even though it was against my nature to pray for my enemies. They said that I should. I had faith that they wouldn't lead me in the wrong direction. Heavenly Father was leading them, so how could they?

When I went to visit Aunt Mae, she watched the church shows on television. The one that I remember most was Oral Roberts, but there were others. I witnessed her reading her Bible, too. On that bookshelf that greeted us as we entered her home were many books of faith, many coming to her from the Oral Roberts organization. It was there that I read books like The Hiding Place and many others that I no longer remember, but the impressions were made on my young spirit.

I never heard my grandma or Aunt Mae say an unkind word about anybody, even those that deserved it. She and Aunt Mae suffered many hurts through their lifetimes and came through it all with such gentle, loving spirits. They were wonderful examples of faithful servants, great testimonies of what Heavenly Father can do when allowed to be a part of one's life.

My Granny Gunter was cut from a rougher piece of cloth than Grandma Spence and Aunt Mae, but was no less loving. The hurts she bore caused a wall to be built around her heart, but once I understood that, I was able to see her true heart. While I don't recall ever seeing her read a Bible or praying, or verbally expressing a faith in Him, she had a heart of gold. She did what she could to help those that needed her help, at times doing without just to make sure someone else didn't. What she might have lacked in society's view of Christianity, she brought forth in deed.  She accepted Jesus as her Savior before she died, so I know that I'll see all of my favorite women in Heaven when my time comes.

I look forward to that reunion very much!

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