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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...



Connections: Audrey Clay

God Is Faithful

Art Clay, pastor and father of Assemblies of God General Treasurer Doug Clay, died unexpectedly from a massive heart attack at the age of 42. Doug was 9; his brother Rich, 14; sister Debbie, 18. Suddenly, the mother of the three, Audrey Clay, became a single parent. Now 79, Audrey recently spoke with Technical Editor Jennifer McClure on lessons learned as a single mom and the importance of staying connected as a grandparent.

evangel: While grieving the loss of your husband, you were also adjusting to being a single parent. Tell me about that time.
CLAY:
Of course there was my own loneliness, but my big concern was for my two boys. Art was very involved in their lives, as they were in his.

About a month after his death, somebody sent me a picture they had taken of him three days before he died. When I looked at that picture, that’s when the emotions hit. In that moment, I began to sob. But when I finished, I felt the Lord gently, but very distinctly, say to me, Audrey, it’s all right that you don’t understand, but will you trust Me? In that moment I said, “Lord, I will trust You,” and God’s peace enveloped me. The wonderful old hymn “’Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus” became my theme song.

God was truly a Father to all three of our children, even to Debbie who at the time was at Central Bible College in Springfield, Mo. My children are all serving the Lord in vocational ministry. Scripture talks about God being a Father to the fatherless. It’s easy to quote, but single moms need to take that literally.

Also, I highly recommend that single moms stay connected to a healthy church. Our church family at Bethany Assembly of God in Adrian, Mich., where my husband and I had pastored for 21 years, reached out to me and the boys in more ways than I could ever express.

The men of the church became like fathers to the boys. Families in the church took us in and blessed us with their love and support. I don’t know what I would have done without our church family.


evangel: What other passages of Scripture did you hold on to as a single parent?
CLAY:
Psalm 84:11 — “No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly” (NKJV). My job is to walk uprightly, to do everything I can as their mother to invest in their lives, pray for them, and point them in the right direction.

“My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). This took a big load off me. I was not making very much money in those years. But there was a peace in my mind and my heart that God would keep His Word, and He did.

One of the most important lessons I learned as a single mom was that God has plenty of resources for every need we have. I just can’t say enough about God’s provision. God is faithful, and He delivers what He promises.


evangel: With your children grown, how has life evolved?
CLAY:
Busy. I’m involved in a nursing home ministry every week and a ladies prayer meeting every weekday. I fill in for the lady who does jail services for young women when she’s unable to be there. I do the children’s music for the 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds in our church, which keeps me young in heart.

Ministry opportunities are available every day, even if it is just a kind word and a friendly smile.


evangel: And life as a grandma?
CLAY:
I have seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren with a third on the way. Four of the seven are married, and the other three attend Assemblies of God colleges.

Grandparenting is important. I try to stay in touch with them through e-mail, Facebook and texting. Although texting is not my first choice, I am trying to learn, and you’ve got to keep up with the times. We also stay in touch through blogging. Each one of them adds a dimension of love and laughter to my life.

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