Because this month is the Ruby Celebration of publishing Above Rubies for 40 years, I thought I would send you a few more testimonies that were written in the magazine back 40 years ago.
The following testimony is by Val Stares. Val has worked with me in the ministry of Above Rubies from the very first day. I remember sharing the vision with her and telling that we were going to get out a magazine to encourage and strengthen the wives and mothers of the nation. She looked at me with a blank stare! Well, her name is Val Stares!
I didn’t know that that very morning she had said to the Lord, “If Nancy Campbell comes up with any more of her great idea, I’m not getting involved.” Obviously, I was wearing her out! However, so much for her confession, she got involved and has faithfully worked in this ministry ever since. When we moved to Australia, she and her husband and family moved with us and she continued to help me in the ministry there.
When Colin and I came to USA, I handed over the ministry in Australia to Val and she has watched over it ever since, until this day. What amazing faithfulness. I cannot count my blessings to have such a faithful laborer in this great vision of strengthening the families of the world. God has raised her up as an anointed speaker to wives and mothers and she has blessed so many women and families.
This was the first testimony Val ever wrote about her early days as a mother. Val came into our church one Sunday evening and was miraculously saved and baptized the very same night. God miraculously changed her and her whole life was turned around.
WORKING MOTHER FINDS ANSWER
by Val Stares
As a young girl, my heart’s desire for my future was to have a husband who loved me and children of my very own. I felt capable and confident that I could love and care for them as good as, and if not better, than the next person. To be a successful wife and mother was my big aim in life.
Eventually, while on a working holiday in Australia I met my future husband. We married and built a new home in a suburb of Sydney. Life was exciting at this stage because our first baby was on the way. It seemed I had all my heart’s desires met within a short period. A husband, a new home, and a baby of our own.
One thing we didn’t have was very much money. In fact, we had struggles making ends meet so I worked until I was eight months pregnant. Because of financial pressures I went back to work when my daughter was six weeks old. Grandma came and lived with us and looked after our precious little girl, Natalie. Having my motherly mother with a “heart of gold,” our situation looked good. But it wasn’t true.
Because I left the house each morning at 6 a.m. and didn’t arrive home until 6 – 6:30 p.m. I saw very little of my baby during the week. I longed for the weekends when I could bathe, feed, and play with her. But for the first time I experienced something from someone very close to me which I’d never experienced in my life before. REJECTION!
My baby didn’t want to come to me. She wanted Grandma! At first, I smiled brightly and covered up the hurt by joking, but as the weeks went by I couldn’t hide my hurt. I was brokenhearted. My baby didn’t know why I worked. She didn’t know reasons why I was never home. All she knew was that her mother rejected her by not being there and so she rejected me and clung to Grandma.
What had gone wrong? Why was it that I had all I ever wanted, yet it wasn’t a bit like I ever dreamed it would be? Now life was a burden instead of a joy.
When my baby was eight months old we moved to New Zealand and started life afresh, but rather penniless. We again lived with my mother, this time in a two-bedroomed flat. I continued to work and we saved hard buying ourselves a small car and then eventually building another home.
We began to experience the same old pressures again, but by this time our responsibilities increased with the birth of our son. He was a very sickly child during his first 18 months and took a lot of attention, so I only worked part time while he was young. With sickness and lack of finance life was a big drag. I dreaded each new day.
Then I met Jesus! This meeting changed my whole life. I experienced a miraculous conversion and was never the same again. However, being a young Christian I didn’t know God’s word or His will for my life and so I continued to work with the excuse that I was my husband’s helpmate and was therefore helping him with finance.
One morning at our Bible Study we had a visiting speaker. She asked us to open our Bibles to Titus 2:5 and there I read that I was meant to be a “keeper AT home.” The Holy Spirit convicted me and that very day I handed in my notice. Because of holidays owing to me finished that very day. I left work at a time of great need as by this time we had our third child and were in a new home needing fences, drive, paths, lawns, and a garage.
Our Bible Study leader gave me a memory verse to learn and claim. Hebrews 13:5: “Let your conversation be without covetousness: and be content with such thing as ye have: for He hath said, ‘I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.’”
In the days to come I literally clung to this verse. Another verse in Philippians 4:19 tells me He will supply all my needs according to His riches in glory. I find this a fantastic verse. I don’t live according to my husband’s wages. I live according to His riches in glory!
I testify now that since I have stayed at home and become a mother and a wife in the true sense and learnt to trust God that we have never gone without. We have all our fences, paths, lawns, garage, bigger car, etc. All on one wage. We are well-clothed, well-fed, and much, much happier. We have never had an account which has not been paid in a reasonable time.
This Christmas for instance was our first without two wages coming in. We had a family gathering Christmas day, the first in eight years, plus during the holidays we showed hospitality in a way we had never done before. In the natural we couldn’t afford all this, but in God I learnt a valuable lesson.
My grocery account became rather large with the extra food needed so I took the matter to God and left it with Him. So often I used to give Him my problems and then take them back again and have another worry over them. This time, however, I managed to leave it with Him. On Pay Day, my husband handed me his wages and no matter which way I juggled it the money just wouldn’t go far enough. I therefore decided to pay a small portion of my grocery account and pay more later. I informed the lady at the counter of my intentions and she said, “Mrs. Stares, your account had been paid in full.” Praise God!
He hasn’t always blessed me in such spectacular ways, but nevertheless I am fully aware of His hand providing clothing for us and the children which miraculously fit or match, the very things needed at the time. Food – the very thing we’ve run out of and so on. God continues to bless me as I become increasingly obedient to His will for me.
I would also like to share that being a working mother was most harmful to my children’s behavior, not being there to do the correcting of bad habits and teach them the right ways is something I could only blame on myself. I also laid a big burden on my mother who loved to help me, but not to do my job for me. I thank God for her understanding, patience, and love throughout those years when I didn’t know God.
I now find my life is totally fulfilled as a mother and a wife and as I reach out to others, to neighbors, and friends.
Picture: Val Stares, Nancy, and Pat Twomey together in Australia in March of this year. Pat is a wonderful mother and grandmother who has supported Val in the ministry of Above Rubies in Australia. She is also a dear friend and great woman of faith.