How I Escaped From The Castle Of Despair — By Mrs. E. E. Shelhamer
At the age of eleven I felt the call of God to become a soul winner. At once my ambitions rose high, not for self but for God and the salvation of souls. I could see myself in the future doing great things to make the world better and my only thought was to prepare for the work God had given me to do.
But I found much to hinder. I had no money with which to go to school. My precious mother gave me a ten-dollar gold piece. This covered my train fare and my tuition for one semester at a seminary. But my board was to be paid by hard work. I often went hungry and did not have sufficient time nor strength for my lessons, so it was several years before I was ordained.
After I became a minister’s wife, secular duties consumed most of my time and when the children came, this difficulty was augmented for we had no servants.
“Man works from sun to sun, But woman’s work is never done.”
I had expected to do so much for my Savior that a realization of facts as they were greatly depressed me. Had it not been for God and my dear husband I should have given up in despair. Indeed, I seemed to be imprisoned by four square walls and by duties too grave to be ignored.
Of course I loved my family and enjoyed taking care of them, and in a small way I was working for the Lord, yet there was the awful realization that God had called me to do something more and I was not fully obeying Him. It was only after much prayer and fasting that God undertook. The result has been the writing of ten books besides tracts and many articles for various papers. We give God all the glory, for on our two world tours of evangelism we met people in foreign countries who said they knew us because they had read our writings.
So many have asked how we managed to get things done, that I am venturing here to give a few ideas which I hope may help others who are as discouraged as I have been.
I can look back now and see that had I prayed more and exercised a more child-like faith, God might have used me more.
However, I fall far short of my goal and crave the prayers of our readers that as many souls may be saved through our humble efforts as possible.