Shelley was raised Adventist, enjoyed church, sang in the choir, and did all the right things in church growing up.
However, in her 30s she decided to move in with her boyfriend. Despite making this decision, there was one area in her life that she would not compromise on: keeping the Sabbath. Shelly and her boyfriend held different convictions. Shelly would never work on Sabbath, so great financial strain and tension emerged in their relationship.
Finally, after living with her boyfriend for 10 years, Shelly was convicted through much prayer to go back to living single. She knew this decision would bring even greater financial hardship, but she was determined to move forward.
However, just at this turning point in her life, Shelley discovered that she was pregnant. So instead of moving out, Shelley and her boyfriend decided to get married. A few months later, they had their baby daughter, Emma.
The marriage was not easy. Shelley observed the Sabbath and determined to raise Emma as an Adventist. Some days her husband would not give her any money for food or expenses. On many occasions he would not even come home or participate in helping to raise Emma.
When Emma turned 5, Shelley began to pray earnestly that her daughter Emma would be able to attend the local Adventist school. She wanted Emma to study in a Christian environment where she wouldn’t have to compromise about the Sabbath and where she would learn more about Jesus daily. This was the same small school Shelley had attended through high school. Many parents wanted to place their children in this school, so Shelly knew that only prayer would help Emma get accepted.
While Shelly’s life has been scarred by mistakes, she has learned that God still cares and hears her prayers. The Lord has answered her prayer. Emma will attend the Adventist school this fall. Just as God has taken care of Shelly, Shelly knows He will care for Emma.
Joy Alexander, Office of the President, General Conference
Note: To view this week’s world church prayer requests, click here!