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by Verna Mull  
1/05/2009 / Short Stories

When I was 15 years old, my parents purchased a farm near Greene,
Iowa. We had lived in Marble Rock from the time I was 6, until that
spring. This was a very difficult time for me. It was going to mean that,
after 10 years, I would be going to a different school.

My parents moved in March. They realized how difficult it would be for
me, and made arrangements for me to stay with an elderly lady in
Marble Rock, to finish my sophomore year. I particularly did not like
moving to Greene, because there was an intense rivalry between the
two schools. How would I ever cope, if I had to go to Greene to school?
Well, what actually happened is another story, but that period of time,
when I stayed with Mrs. Maxson, there was a song that was so popular!
It was the song, "Linda" (When I go to sleep, I never count sheep, I
count all the charms about Linda) So, at the age of 15, I firmly decided
that I must have a baby girl someday, and she had to be named "Linda"

The following year, I met the dashing young man that swept me off of
my feet, and the fall after I was 18, we said our vows at a little church in
Mason City, and headed off for Wessington Springs Junior College,
where my husband would finish his high school studies. I would run
the school laundry, to help pay for the school bill. We had all of the
dreams of youth. There'd be no babies for at least 5 years, and we'd be
doing great by then! Well, all of the best laid plans of mice and men
seem to go awry, and in 11 months after our "I do's", I found myself
giving birth to the baby of my dreams! I think there would have been a
huge quarrel if I had not been able to name her "Linda" The way it was,
I got my way on the first name, as long as I'd also give her the name of
"Ruth", to be named after my husband's mother.

Of course we had to leave the school by the time I was 4 months
pregnant. We headed back to Iowa by train. My husband got a job on a
farm near Clear Lake, Iowa, and Linda was born at the hospital in Mason
City. By the way, Linda has worked at that hospital every since she
completed her nurses training, when she was 20.

My precious Linda, was everything I had dreamed of. (After she outgrew
Colic!) She was a beautiful baby. My husband agreed, but he was so
embarrassed with her skinny little legs, that he didn't want me to
uncover her when anyone was around!

When I was wanting this special baby girl, I hadn't gotten much of a
glimpse of reality, at the age of 19. I had never been around babies, and
was sure she would die with colic. I spent hours walking the floors,
sitting and trying o rock her, leaning over the baby basket, and crying,
right along with her. I found myself down on my knees, so very often,
that first year. I admitted to God that I didn't realize what I was asking
for, and I felt so totally inept at being a mother. I was sure if God didn't
lead me; I would never be able to raise her. What was I going to do to
help her get on the right path? She was so pretty, she would grow up
and some boy would take advantage of her. How would I train her so
this didn't happen? What was she going to be like at 16? Each
question drove me to my knees, to weep, and pray!

Linda had almost no hair before she was 2 years old. People mistook
her for a boy, but when her hair began to grow, her head was covered
with beautiful ringlets, and she had a nice, thick, head of hair. She was absolutely the baby of my dreams!

Well, God is so good. He will see a young mother through the many
pitfalls, and, yes, mistakes! I am so thankful that when I was 13, I had
made that decision to follow Christ! Without Him, it is hard to tell what
would have become of her or me. Yes, Linda was the baby girl I had
wished for. When she was very young, she gave her heart to Jesus, and,
years later ,met the man of her dreams. We praise God for him. They
have raised a family of 4 children of their own. (They also have 6 very
special grandchildren!) There has been tragedy in their lives, but it is
such a joy to see them walking through all of their valleys, with their
hands in the nail-scarred hand. I cannot come close to expressing the
greatness of God!

An elderly Christian who has learned to depend upon the Lord. He is sufficient to meet our needs in any circumstance of life. I only want to honor Him

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