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A Young Mama's Heart

A Glimpse Into a Young Mama's Heart

A personal story Beth Coppdge shard in the  Titus Women’s Zoom Bible Study on Zechariah
Retold by Laurie Rambo

When Al and Beth Coppedge served a missionary term in Colombia, South America. Beth found herself mothering a small child, pregnant with her second, struggling with a language barrier, lonely, and homesick. When they had an opportunity to fly home for a wedding, Al and Beth returned to the United States. While there, Beth became very ill, needing to stay in the US for treatment. Al returned to Colombia without her.
For Beth , that time was a “dark night of the soul.” When she heard a pastor speaking about the cost of serving Jesus, she decided not to even listen to him, for what did he know about the high cost of serving? In Colombia, homesick, pregnant, physically ill, isolated by language SHE was paying that price. It was certainly not what she expected when she said yes to Jesus! During the month she remained in the US  her soul was in anguish. A battle raged in her soul. Would she follow Jesus or would she not? Would she follow Him even in the painful, hard, lonely, unexpected circumstances of her life?
The battle intensified as she flew to Miami for her return to Colombia. In the Miami airport she decided she couldn’t do it. She could not return to the difficult life of a missionary in South America. Then she called her mama to let her know. Beth calls that phone call a “Providential mistake.”
During that phone call  Beth told her mama that she could not go back. If she did, she would die. Without a moment’s hesitation her mama said, “Then go and die. But don’t disobey Jesus. Whatever He says, say yes! Thy will be done...”
Her mom went on to say that Beth’s beloved Papa would be in Miami that day and not five minutes later Beth saw him walk through the gate. In the middle of that Miami airport Beth poured out her heart to him through her tears. Then her daddy put the baby in her stroller and as they walked toward her departure gate, he said, “Honey, the way I love you and the way you love me and the way we love others is only because Jesus came and filled our hearts. I can’t guarantee your circumstances will change or anything will be less hard, but I can guarantee as you go forward weeping, you will bring sheaves with you, but more than that, you will experience the living presence of the resurrected Jesus and there is nothing in all the world like Jesus.”

Sobbing Beth got on the plane. Sobbing she buckled the baby in. And sobbing still, Jesus came to her and filled her with  His presence and she knew she had never needed Him as much as she did that day. Beth returned to Colombia in obedience and love and weeping, but Jesus went with her.
When Beth chose to get on that plane, her circumstances didn’t change. But Jesus was with her and saw her obedience. As we choose obedience to Jesus, His holy presence sustains us in the loneliness, the hard circumstances, and the seemingly insurmountable difficulties. When we chose the glorious exchange of our life for His life His presence dwells within us, goes before us, leading the way, is beside us, holding us up, and surrounds us with the fiery ring of his protection.

Like Beth, like the people of Zechariah’s time, we have a choice to make: walk in obedience to Jesus  or shrug our shoulders and walk away into disobedience. What are you choosing today?