STEPS ALONG THE YES’ES
Ronni Melvin –
My Resurrection Story
Mother’s Day, May 11, 2014
Hello everyone, my name is Ronni Melvin. About a week or so ago I received a call from Father Andrew, asking if I would share my resurrection story. I was surprised, to say the least. My boss was working from home that day and happened to be standing next to me. Well, I moved to the next room, thought about it quickly, and said, “Yes.” I told my boss about the call and she just said, “Wow. Are you going to do it?”
Let me tell you that a few days later I called Father Andrew back and asked for some guidance, and told him I was scared. He encouraged me, and I read some of the other stories on the parish website. After much consideration, I was led to share my story with you about the importance of prayer, the gift of being a mom, the role of special women in my faith life, and the power of saying “Yes” to Jesus. I would like to ask if those of you listening right now could please pray for me, to help me tell my story and get through it in on piece. Thank you.
My definition of a resurrection story is about coming out of the depths of despair to the light of Jesus. A time I needed this light so desperately was when I was a young mom. I wanted too be the best mom I could be for them, but I was struggling with a dark secret. One day a neighbor invited me to join a Bible study. A teeny “Yes” came from me, and so I went. A woman named Rose was our leader, and as a group of woman hoping to grow in our faith, we met together for four years. We studied scripture and worked to really apply it to our daily life. Rose had the courage to say to me one day that she saw deep pain in me. That there was nothing I could ever do that would keep God from loving me. So, soon after that, I just went to my knees when I was with them. I was a total mess and couldn’t do anything to help myself. I asked them for healing prayers for an eating disorder that was killing me. They surrounded me with love and the light of Jesus and they prayed for me. Within a month I was brought into resurrection. I was born again into new life. I was strengthened by the love and encouragement of these women and also by this scripture from
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
I held onto this scripture as a way and reason to get well. It taught me the Truth that I had not known.
After four years of sharing our faith journey together and learning scripture, we were encouraged to go out and tell the Good News. We were pushed to each go out into the world, to our church home, to push up our sleeves and say “Yes,” to doing what needed to be done. My boys were little then, so I chose to iron cassocks, from home. And I need you to know…I HATE ironing! I always say that if I don’t get to heaven, I will spend eternity ironing for the Devil!
The second time my world was rocked was when I lost my oldest son, Benson. By this time I was part of another prayer group of faithful women. I have been this group for well over ten years. Again, I was invited to join. Like the women who prayed over me as a young mom, these women came around me in my darkest time. They left me notes, gifts, food, and cards. They left baskets and plants on my porch. They held me up in prayer. They even dressed me for Ben’s funeral. Paula helped me with the service and brought me comfort and kindness. The love of Jesus was shown to me through the love of these women and their tender care for me.
Had I not had a firm foundation of faith I would not have been able to carry on. It was such a mighty blow. When Ben was a baby, I was so worried that someone would steal him from me. As a grown man, he WAS taken away, and it felt at first like he WAS stolen from me; it was too soon. I turned again to scripture and was especially comforted by:
2 Corinthians 5:1
: We know that our body-the tent we live in here on earth-will be destroyed. But when that happens, God will leave a house for us. It will not be a house made by human hands; instead, it will be a home
in heaven that will last forever
I made it because I said, “Yes” to Jesus and to new life. I believe my son is in heaven. It gives me the comfort I need to go on in my life and to know I
see him again. I can still hear my Ben say “Mama”. I hear it now in my heart, and maybe that’s what I will hear him say when I am called home to heaven.
I don’t think it’s an accident that I am sharing all this on Mother’s Day. My sons, Benson, Bryan, and Dillon are the best gifts God ever gave me. I came home to the church the first time as a young teenage mom, so that Ben could be baptized. I did what my own mom had done: she brought us up in the faith. She is a rock of faith for me and always has been. She carried on, so that’s what I am doing. My dad left us when I was just one, and I remember that my friends would ask me, “Why did your dad run away?” I had no good answer, just the pain that for some reason he didn’t wanted to stay. But God went on to give me three sons. I have been blessed to watch my sons grow into the kind of young men that treat women with respect.
I talk to God every day. I get mad at Him sometimes. I feel I can be honest with Him. I hear Him in the scriptures. I see Him in my friends, in the children I care for, in my sons. I try to share God through my “yes” to others, to my church home.
I believe that I am a
yes out of the mess
. And that we are each called to say
. To do our part, whatever that might be. That’s what we’re supposed to do as Christians. St. Clare is my home, my church, my family. It is
church. The people here have brought me to Jesus again and again. Bible Camp, Sunday Socials, Religious Ed, Sanctuary Care…these are some of the ministries that called me at St. Clare. Every
has brought gifts to my life.
A while ago, Father Andrew gave us the Mass Journal. I turned it over one day and found the web site: DynamicCatholic.com. After checking out the site, I found daily inspiration called
Daily Food for Thought
. I would like to end my talk with a quote I read from the Daily Food for Thought, taken from Mathew Kelly’s forthcoming book
The Narrow Path
. It is perfect for Mother’s Day, and is something that connects us all - through our earthly mothers, our Blessed Mother, and our love for Jesus:
Thank you all for listening to my heart today, and may your life be steps of yes’s as you walk with Jesus on your way to heaven.