Caroline Swithinbank’s Surprising Twist | Changing Seasons…Unchanging God

12 Jul

ice creamAre you single, single again, or spiritually single? Come and join other “somehow single” women for fellowship, encouragement, and ice cream Saturday, July 20, @ 2:35 PM–Click for more information or visit the Women’s Ministry cart for more information.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” –1 Peter 5:7

If, “…thoughts of becoming the reclusive “cat lady” plague your mind, or anxieties about the future economic demands of caring for yourself on one income begin to clutch at your throat…stir up your mind and heart to recognize the ways in which you, as a redeemed woman (who happens to be unmarried),…respond, speaks volumes on behalf of the church” (CBMW.org)

The following article shows God’s plans and glory are revealed in His time…

Caroline Swithinbank’s Surprising Twist3-21-13Wedding

In my mid-sixties, the Lord increasingly impressed Jeremiah 29:11 on my heart. As a lifelong single woman, my joy was in my professions—laboring in the Mustard Seed Christian bookstores and helping families raise their children. I felt God’s blessing in both occupations. I had the benefit of sitting under great preaching, Sunday school classes, mission conferences, and small-group Bible studies. I was happy . . . but still, in the recesses of my mind, I wondered: Didn’t God have someone—just one man—for me?

But life goes on. In 1999, I returned to England to care for my mother who had cancer. In spite of a one-year prognosis, she lived many more wonderful years during which we enjoyed a tranquil life together. While in England I participated in a local struggling Baptist church teaching Sunday School, ferrying “the oldies” to services and doctor’s appointments, etc. Very fulfilling, but still . . .

Then things became more challenging. After thirteen years, my mother quickly declined and in 2011 went to be with her Savior. My one surviving brother was hours away in Wales dealing with his wife’s diagnosis of breast cancer, so I had to tie up everything myself: executing the will, preparing the house to sell, and actually selling it. I had decided years ago that after my mother’s passing I would return to Pennsylvania, so I had to determine what treasures to jettison and which to pack.

While packing one day, Bruce—with whom I had been frequently corresponding—called from America. This was a man I’d known for thirty-eight years. We’d shared many experiences in the past, and I felt a unique spiritual and interpersonal kinship with him. He loved the Lord—and apparently me, too—because during this call he proposed marriage! I did what any sixty-seven-year-old-never-been-married-woman would do. I said, “Yes, yes. I accept, but I’m much too busy right now to think about it. We’ll talk later.” Little did I know how much busier I would get.

My mother died in August. I moved from England to Pennsylvania the following March. I broke my back in April. And in May, I got only a seven-hour reprieve from the rehab unit to get married, processing down the aisle of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in a wheelchair. (Don’t even ask about the honeymoon!)

Yes, the Lord knew His plans for me, and He does indeed want us to prosper—but in His timing and for His glory, with or without a spouse. My fundamental joy, contentment, and satisfaction in life reside in doing God’s will. I thank God for my husband, but he cannot bring me the ultimate sense of transcendent wellbeing that submitting to God does. I want to say with Paul that I am content in all circumstances and trust that He always has plans to prosper us—and not to harm us—to give us a hope and a future.

No matter your particular circumstances, be prepared for God to surprise you, too!

via True Woman | Caroline Swithinbank’s Surprising Twist.

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One Response to “Caroline Swithinbank’s Surprising Twist | Changing Seasons…Unchanging God”

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  1. Caroline Swithinbank's Surprising Twist | Changing Seasons <b>…</b> | Church Ministry - July 12, 2013

    […] Church Ministry Source- Google Blog Search- Womens Ministry […]

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