Devoted wife June Jay spent 46 years praying that her husband would accept Jesus into his life… and then one day he did.
Having my husband, Godfrey share my faith in Jesus was a longing that I felt would never be attained. I prayed that Jesus would reveal himself, but this seemed to be an unanswerable quest. I wondered if it was because I didn’t pray often enough or for long enough. When I prayed, should I pray that he would have a Bartimaeus moment? Or maybe he would just stumble across our Lord in an everyday moment? But, as so many of us know, that’s not always how Jesus works.
I didn’t grow up in a Christian family, but after a two-year courtship with my now husband, Godfrey, I knew that I wanted a church wedding. I had to be christened as an adult before the vicar would agree to marry us. We married in February 1977 when I was just 19 and my husband was 22.
After a few years of marriage, I started going to church regularly, and was confirmed when I was 28. My husband used to work most Sundays, providing for our family. I never asked him to join us regularly, he might have attended on Christmas day or Easter but that would be about it. He did not share my growing faith.
We had three daughters and a son, and our children would go to a mission Sunday school and I would pray with them at bedtime. My husband never discouraged either of these things and we always agreed to discuss any parenting issues, although these were very few.
I wondered if it was because I didn’t pray often enough or for long enough?
In March 2000 after relocating to Cornwall, I walked away from God for a period, thinking that I could do life without Jesus. I wasn’t in a good place, working full time and trying to navigate being a carer. My mother was in a nursing home, our son had learning disabilities, and my husband had suffered a pulmonary embolism so was waiting for complex heart surgery. Then in October 2010 I had to go to a training session for work. It was held in Wadebridge Christian Centre (now renamed to Connect Church). I distinctly remember, commenting to the person setting up the room, that there was an amazing sense of peace in there. I would be made very welcome she said and gave me times of the Sunday Worship.
Putting this in my handbag I gave very little thought about attending. Then my brother and his wife, both followers of Jesus, visited us the following year. Passing the building as we walked into town, I said: “I haven’t tried that church yet.” My sister-in-law didn’t miss a chance and said: “We will come with you on Sunday.”
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I don’t remember much of the service as I just cried throughout it. It was so alive with the Holy Spirit, which initially was very different for me, having come from a small village church background. It was amazing to be embraced into such a faith filled church family. For the last fifteen years, my husband has had complex health issues. In September 2022 he was given a diagnosis of Stage 4 Prostate Cancer that has widespread to the bones, this was completely unexpected.
Families from my church have been visiting us for some months now, and we have both enjoyed having the love and support from them. Many of them would pray for us both during their visit (my husband was happy for this), and he would often become tearful. I knew that the Holy Spirit was doing work within him. This manifested its self by us listening to Lectio 365 each morning together, before we got up.
Then just a few weeks ago, after 46 years of marriage, Godfrey gave his life to Jesus
Then just a few weeks ago, after 46 years of marriage, Godfrey gave his life to Jesus. It was during a visit from our retired Pastor. It was just an overwhelming moment and all three of us were very tearful. I honestly think that he has always thought of himself as a Christian, and maybe like so many people if they have been christened, thinks this is all they need to do, along with being a good, caring person. But that’s not what the Bible tells us.
The change in him in these last few weeks has been so amazing I can hardly describe how I feel. Within a few days of him committing himself to the Lord, I said to my husband that I would like to pray for all the other women in our Church, who are in the same boat and are so desperate for their loved ones to know and love our Lord God.
I would urge you all, never to give up praying for your loved ones.
His immediate response was: “Oh yes there is plenty of room in the boat for many more men!” When I told this to a friend she said we are now Fishers of Men! (Mark 1 v17). We now pray daily for all the unsaved husbands/partners in our church family that have yet to be saved. As we move into the next chapter of our lives, not knowing how long we have left together. We can both rest in the assurance that we will see each other in heaven!
I would urge you all, never to give up praying for your loved ones. The Lord’s timing is perfect, he is never too late, always on time!