Women Encouraged to Look for God’s Faithfulness During Unexpected Trials

By   •   June 21, 2024

These two women took a moment to pose for a photo at Friday’s Ladies Tea at the Billy Graham Library.

“This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Martha Davidson repeats Psalm 118:24 out loud each morning after overcoming a personal tragedy that rocked her world.

“I greet each day with those words,” she said told nearly 300 women gathered for a Ladies Tea Friday at the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Martha and her late husband, Guy, had ministered together for over 50 years when he suffered a catastrophic stroke—leaving him helpless and sending her into total disbelief.

Speaker Martha Davidson shared how she and her husband, Guy, a pastor, trusted God after he suffered a life-changing stroke. In the years following, the couple co-authored When Unexpected Things Happen to encourage others facing difficult trials.

She was his primary caregiver for 16 years until he passed away in 2016.

“Caregiving invites loneliness,” she shared. “It can lead to despondency, often from weariness because you feel like sometimes you’re running on empty.

“I had to make a choice,” she said. “I could become a bitter or better woman. I would either become wiser or weaker.”

As Martha contemplated how to process this new reality, God’s love surrounded  her.

“I can still recall a refreshing calm that swept over my body when I turned the crisis and broken pieces of my heart over to Jesus,” she said.

“If you are here today and you’re in that category, that same gift is [available] for your life.”

For Nellie Randle, Martha’s message really struck a chord.

The 87-year-old widow came with her daughters and a family friend. Her husband, Walt, passed away 17 years ago from a rare disease.

“So much of it I could relate to,” she said. “I really clung to Scripture verses, too. The book of Psalms was so reassuring.”

When she really missed Walt, Nellie would go on walks, singing praises to God. “By the time I got home, I would be joyful,” she said.

Susie Ray has attended nearly every Ladies Tea since it started years ago and could relate to Guy’s suffering.

Born with a rare birth defect, she wasn’t expected to live beyond 7 hours old.

As she deals with health issues, Susie remembers her mom saying that God saved her for a purpose. Today, she simply refers to her struggles as “speedbumps.”

Her faith is what carried her through these tough times. Susie started following Jesus Christ 50 years ago while watching a Billy Graham Crusade on TV.

Her biggest takeaway from Friday’s message was Martha’s reminder about the power of prayer and God’s faithfulness in the midst of difficult times.

“God will take care of it,” she said. “Here I am almost 63 years old. That’s a long way from 7 hours.”