Michelle DeRusha has written a book about women heroines of the faith. Women like Ruth Graham, Corrie ten Boon, and Harriet Tubman. She has challenged her readers to write about their own Heroines of the Faith. I met mine 46 years ago in a little village in South Carolina known as Providence. God has a sense of humor for sure.....I just realized how "providential" this village was in my life.
When I met Reba Gillam Evans and her husband, P.C. Evans, they were living in two rooms of their once large farmhouse. They were living on Social Security....maybe $500 a month. Mr. P. C. had once owned one of the few stores in the area, farmed over hundred acres in vegetables which he sold up and down the East Coast, owned a barbershop, the first motel in Sumter, SC and been on Governor Olin B. Johnson's staff. Now he had dementia all his assets were gone and no one was sure what happened to them. We called Reba, MaMa. She was my husband's grandmother. She kept P.C. at home until he got violent and she had to put him a nursing home. She stayed nearby and visited often.
When P.C., Grandaddy, died, MaMa came to live with her daughter, my mother-in-law, next door to my husband and I and our three young children. She moved ninety miles from home and lived life as she always had... quiet, unassuming, cheerful, and uncomplaining. She now lived on $200 a month most of which she contributed to her daughter to help with electricity and food. She quietly read her Bible daily and prayed and went to church but she didn't preach to anyone.
My husband, a farmer, and I, a doctor's daughter from Washington, D.C., got into financial trouble in the early years of our marriage. I was devastated. What would happen? Would be lose our new home? Would we lose the farm? The sky was falling. Everyone had advice for us. All MaMa said was, "God will take care of you." "What has God got to do with this?" I hissed back at her. I was churched but unsaved. Not connected to the vine.
Eventually both my husband and I formed a relationship with God and His Son, Jesus. We had many We had trials and sorrows but through it all I knew MaMa was praying. I have three godly children who are in church and serving God today thanks to MaMa's prayers and her godly example. My children are raising their children in godly homes. All have accepted the Lord and been baptized. They are finding their way as teenagers in God's kingdom. All because MaMa prayed. She never worked outside the home, she had a mental breakdown and went to the State Hospital when she was menopausal, she lived with her in laws until they died. MaMa lived dependent on her daughter until she went to be with the Lord in her nineties. She went to the nursing home without complaint when her daughter felt she could no longer take care of her.
I am NOTHING like MaMa. I am loud, I complain, loud and often, and I really do NOT have her servant's heart. (Did I mention she washed a million dishes at my mother-in-laws?) But when I think of a spiritual heroine her image comes to mind out of all the godly women I know. Why? Because I watched her up close for twenty-five years and I believe her prayers have born more fruit than all my works.