Life has a way of letting you know you’re not in charge, that some stronger force is overseeing what happens. It gets really complex in the fact that God has given the human being the freedom of choice. We’re not puppets on a string; we are free to choose whom we will serve. I had always loved God but I hadn’t really understood the importance of what it meant to be committed to Christ.
I was involved in an accident that physically ended up robbing me of two years of my life. The doctors informed me I would be a cripple and in a wheelchair the rest of my life. My body was wracked with pain that was totally debilitating to me. The situation was made even more complex because of the blindness that limited my movement even more. One day I asked the Lord to just give me back my life and health. I promised Him I would serve Him the rest of my life if He would do so. God instantly reached down and healed me, right there in my living room. Not only did He heal my body but He gave me back my eyesight. It was at that moment that I asked Jesus to come and live in my heart. At that instance I began to build a real relationship with God. As our relationship grew He called me to be a minister, someone who would share the truth of His Holy Word with others. Thus, my journey began.
My life was full in every way. I ministered at every opportunity, I ran my own business, which was a ministry in itself, and I was in what I thought was a good marriage. Things happen. If someone had told me I would be divorced after fourteen years of marriage and sell my home and have God instruct me to marry Brother Ron Childress, I would have thought them to have been crazy. But that’s exactly what happened. God does know how to work things out for our good, even in tragedies.
I decided to go up into the mountains by myself so I could pray. I needed to know where God was taking me and where He wanted me to go. During our time of fellowship in prayer, I heard God speak a man’s name to me and tell me I would marry him on his birthday, February 17.
I didn’t know that Brother Ron was on his way to go to Canada. He starting his life over after finally realizing his marriage of twenty-six years was over. He was finding that he had to let go and move on. His whole being cried out to be right where God wanted him to be; serving God was all he had ever known. God had called him into the ministry as a boy and nothing had ever been able to pull him away from God.
On his way to Canada, he stopped off in Missouri to see an old preacher friend of his. They went out in the field by an altar the old gentleman had made to pray at. It was there that Brother Ron heard the voice of God: “Don’t be afraid to take Kimberly as your wife.” At that instant, he heard the old preacher saying, “Son, look up.” When he did he saw the field fill with angels. God gave him the date we were to marry, February 17, on his birthday.
Brother Ron was no stranger to me. We had grown up in the same town. We had known each other approximately twenty years. My children and I had gone to many of his Tent Revivals over the years. I had received several miracles under his ministry. Little did I know that one day God would call me to be this man’s wife.
I came down off of the mountain and Brother Ron tuned around and came back to our home town. God brought us together. It was one of the greatest things that ever happened to me.
Not only did Ronald end up being my husband, but he is my best friend in the whole world. We became as one so naturally and have shared much laughter and love in the good times and the bad times. He’s been there for me through many trials and tests, the ones that mold me into who God has called me to be. There have been times when I truly don’t know if I could have made it, but because of the great love of Jesus that lives in the heart of this man of mine, I knew I could do anything and get through anything. I’ve never known a more gentle, loving, beautiful person in my life.
It is on this occasion that I would like to say, “Thank you, Ronald Dean Childress, for treating me like God’s precious daughter and seeing me through God’s eyes.” You are a wonderful father, not only to your two children but also to my two children. The great thing about love is not the color of two people’s skin but the love that’s birthed in their hearts. Where there is love, there is no black or white issue, only God. You are my soul mate forever. I love you in a way that I never knew I could truly love a person. You have my love forever. So on February 17, on the date your book will be given to you—also the date God told us to marry—I wish you Happy Birthday, darling. May our love grow forever and ever, not only in this lifetime but also in eternity that is to come. You are the man I adore.