published Saturday, December 28th, 2013

Mohney: Anniversaries of answered prayers

By Nell Mohney

This coming week, I will celebrate two anniversaries of answered prayer. The first is Dec. 31, my wedding anniversary. Though my husband, Ralph Wilson Mohney Sr., died in 2008, our marriage is forever. The prayer for the wedding happened when I first met Ralph.

My list of non-negotiables for a husband included: "I'd like my husband to be tall, Christian (I would like it if he's a pastor), have a great sense of humor, be successful in his chosen profession, want children and have the propensity to adore his wife."

Of course, everybody who read the list said only an angel could have those qualifications; no way a mere human could fulfill all those requirements. They were wrong. All my non-negotiables Ralph Mohney had in abundance. That doesn't mean that he had no faults. As St. Paul wrote, "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).

But, in my book, Ralph Mohney got an A+. My prayer was that he would ask me to marry him. He did, and we had 60 years of love, laughter, challenge and adventure.

The second prayer was that my great expectations could be fulfilled. In addition to finding the right husband, I deeply desired to successfully use my only two talents of speaking and writing. By 1977, I was speaking to business, professional and church groups throughout the Southeast and beyond.

Then, in early January 1977, I received a telephone call from Helen Exum, who then was executive vice president of the Chattanooga News-Free Press.

"Nell," she said, "we want to start a new feature in the paper about people, their life experiences and faith, and we want you to write it."

Stunned by the rapidity with which my prayer was being answered, I reacted in fear. "I don't have time," I said. "I don't know that many people, and I can't write."

Her reply: "It's an open door. Walk through it!"

My first article appeared on Feb. 20, 1977. Today, 36 years later, this job is still challenging and exciting. Thank God for answered prayers.

Contact Nell Mohney at nellwmohney@comcast.net.

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