This month’s inspiring story is written by Naomi Raber.  Naomi lives by example that the choices of how we respond to our circumstances is what forms our life.  As you read her story, you’ll see a humble, genuine person. I am honored to share her story, hoping it will encourage others needing hope in the midst of adversity.  She humbly shares this wanting the story not be be about her, but about her Savior through a life of losses and challenges.

 Here is her story:

What to share is a big question in my mind? One thing that really dominates my thoughts is what I learned growing up – always be real, never be someone in private and someone else in public.  Of course my brothers and sisters and I fought and argued like an anyone else. But my dad always said, “Jesus sees you at home as well as in public and he is the one to live for not other people.” I try to teach my children that, and I hope I live that as well. Even though I often fail, I try to be the same at home as I am with other people.

MP900387459 (1)I grew up a middle child of nine children in an Amish home.  I was too young to hang out with the older siblings and too old to hang out with the younger four. Though I thought I was the deprived “middle child,” I have lots of fond memories of childhood with my siblings from playing boards games to kickball out in the front yard. I still enjoy spending time with them. They have been a great support system in my life.

My mom died when I was seven.  My dad was always my idol and I know I was a Daddy’s girl. I could go to him and cry as well as laugh. He didn’t always answer me that way I would have liked, but he was always honest with me.

I’ve been married almost 30 years now to my husband who is a paraplegic.  He was injured in an industrial accident four months before we married.  He has had multiple surgeries, hospital stays, and months of not being able to work and provide for his family. We’ve had a lot of emotional  and financial struggles.  We have come to know that God is in control and has always been faithful.  He has seen us through what we have had to endure.

We have been blessed with three wonderful sons and now a beautiful daughter-in-law as well as an adorable granddaughter. Having three sons has been such a blessing. They have grown into Christian young men. There have been many times they have also kept us humble! As much as we all want to think our kids would “never do this or that,” that’s what they will do! Never think your kids are so great they would never fail or falterBe open-minded with them and have grace and forgiveness is needed.

God has been wonderful in my life. Without Him on my side I don’t know how I would have endured things that came my way. When I was just a little girl of seven years old, my Mom passed away. Then at fifteen, my younger sister, who was thirteen, also died. As a young mom, we had twin babies that went to be with Jesus. Just a couple years ago my Dad, who had been such a pillar in my life, joined all of  them in Heaven.  In March, my nephew, age fifteen, also went to Heaven. Through all this God never left me and He never will. I really am looking forward to a great reunion when I get to Heaven. I can’t imagine worshiping God right by His feet!

Those all have been such hard times in my life, but God has been faithful and by my side.  I also have many godly friends and family who have held me accountable and have helped me along the way.  These are all a gift from God.

I pray I will leave a legacy that God can be seen working in my life and that God will be glorified through my life.  Not for my glory but all the glory be to God.

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Naomi and her family live in Northern Indiana on a small farm. She is a school bus driver, a custodian at her church, and gives willingly to anyone in need. She and her husband, Ervin, have twin sons who will be  attending college this fall, and also have a son, daughter-in-law, and a baby grand-daughter.

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