Welcome to My SAM Story! This is the second installment in a series of articles that will feature some incredible individuals who have faced difficulties but have proven that it is possible to overcome anything. The testimony below is by Sis. Carol Covey who lives in Athens, Texas. Sis. Covey’s story is a unique one: she was planning to marry but God asked her to remain single. For so many, this would be an incredibly difficult request but she did so without reservation. She has spent her life fully devoted to God and His work. I hope you find encouragement in her words.
“Don’t take any pictures of her until she is one year old.”
The doctor who delivered me told my mother this at my birth, convinced I wouldn’t live long enough to see my first birthday. My first pictures are of me with my hands in my first birthday cake.
I am now seventy-one years old and I am not blind, despite what my mother was told!
I was a handful for my parents both physically and emotionally. They did the best they could to supply my needs. I was introduced to Pentecost by a student of mine in a biology class. I was baptized in Jesus’ name the first night I attended her church. God began to deal with me about His plan for my life. Later while attending college at Texas A&M University, I met a fellow student, Ruth, who was used by God to further direct me in my pursuit of God. I received the Holy Ghost in the Bryan United Pentecostal Church in 1972. Shortly thereafter I gloriously received the revelation that Jesus is God.
Because of my childhood and youth, I was filled with insecurities and fear.
After God revealed Himself to me, He began a healing process that continues to this day. Although I still have physical issues, Jesus has healed me of many life-threatening and chronic physical problems. Much more than this, Jesus has gently and consistently worked to heal my inner self. So many times His peace has engulfed me and His presence has reassured me.
Before I knew Jesus, I felt that I could not marry or should not marry because I was not motivated by love. I felt that I would be depriving my “husband” of what he needed most if I got married. I knew that to marry him would be unfair to him. In fact, I feel I never knew true love until I saw it in Ruth’s home between the members of her family. Then I witnessed it in the family of one of my pastors. I knew then that I had not experienced genuine love in my life.
Later in my life I met a special man. He and I were both Apostolics and we were very close to choosing each other. In fact, he was a minister from another state. He took me to a revival out of town and arranged for me to stay in the home of a saint while he stayed in a motel. He brought me back home, but took me to my pastor’s home first, as it was my pastor who had given him permission for me to go out of town. Then he took me to church in time for choir practice.
The song we were practicing was “I’ve got the Lord, and that’s enough.” The title is “That’s Enough.” While practicing the song, Jesus spoke to me and asked,
“Am I enough for you?”
I answered, “Yes, Lord, You are enough for me.”
Then the Lord instructed me to write my friend and tell him that I would not be pursuing our relationship any further. I knew that if I were to continue teaching and translating, I would have to remain single; therefore, I did not feel badly about the decision. In fact, I knew that it was the will of God to stay single. I am content that I am to remain single in order to do the will of God even today.
Shortly after I was converted, Jesus gave me a Scripture that I consider mine. It is Isaiah 54. It has various applications, including the relationship God has with Israel and that He has with the Gentiles. But for me the chapter describes my status with Him and His promises to me. The whole chapter speaks to me, telling me of “God’s Investment in Me.”
It lets me know that God knew me before I was even born, that He has a plan for me, that that plan is specific and tailor-made for my life.
When He found me I was desolate, alone, without hope, and without a purpose for living. Now I can sing in the face of fear. My “children” are those I can influence for God and reach with His gospel. Because I am not married, I am at liberty to work for Him. I have more time to pray and intercede. I have more time to witness of His life-changing power and His direction. I can minister to others and teach His Word.
I am commanded to not set limits on what God would and could do through me for His glory. I am promised souls for my labor in His vineyard. I am commanded not to fear, but to forget my past. Jesus has become my Husband. Boaz became Ruth’s provider, her protector, and her companion when he married her. Jesus is all of this and more to me. He is my Redeemer. He paid the ultimate price to purchase me, although I am unworthy of even His taking notice of me.
My life was filled with turmoil before I knew Jesus. Now I have Jesus’ mercy and everlasting kindness. He is not going to save me and then go off and leave me. He is my Guide. He is omniscient. He has scouted out what I will encounter before I get there, and He will take me through what lies ahead. The covenant of His peace will never be removed from my life.
In my affliction (not just physical affliction) I cried out to Jesus, and He heard me. Now I have the firm foundation of the truth of His Word on which to stand. I have a promise of eternal life with Him in the city He is building for His saints.
Not only has He given me peace, but also I am glad to know that my “children,” those I lead to Jesus, will also have peace. No longer will I fear or be in torment. Yes, I will have those who oppose me, those who do not understand me, and those who ridicule me. They will be unsuccessful if I remain true to the Lord. I am an instrument that God has prepared for His use by placing me in the fire of affliction. He is removing those things that are hindrances to my service for Him. Nothing and no one that tries to destroy me will be successful in doing so. God has clothed me with His righteousness. I belong to Him and He will sustain me.
If I continue to submit to God’s Word and to those who have the rule over me, Jesus will continue to lead me and to use me. I am convinced that my being single is the will of God, because I could not do what I have done as a translator, as a bilingual teacher, as an encourager, or even as a faithful saint of God if I were married.
To know I am in the will of God is all that matters.