Written by Ali
Marie will turn 105 years old on June 22, but she is still as sharp as ever.
“105 years is a long time and you do all kinds of stuff in that time” she says.
That is very true; when she was younger she worked in a fabric store and loved to sew.
She enjoyed making clothes for others, even creating outfits for proms and weddings.
Marie only received an 8th grade education, but she took additional courses in correspondence.
Now, she writes letters to her family, listens to TV pastors on Sundays from seven to noon and up until a few months ago, she rode a stationary bike for exercise.
Out of everything she has experienced in her long life, she says that “the best time was when I accepted Christ as my Savior.”
Her journey to faith began during her childhood, long before she started going to church.
According to Marie, her parents “weren’t Christians, but they were still good parents.”
They believed in God, had a Bible that they read occasionally and prayed off and on at meals, but they didn’t have personal relationships with the Lord until later in life.
It was not until Marie was in her forties that she truly began to seek salvation. At the time, she was a member of a church where the pastor preached the Gospel but “didn’t make it personal.”
He taught that “if we were good and avoided certain things, we were good enough to get to Heaven” Marie explains.
Eventually, she left that church and was introduced to a Bible study at a different church.
The pastor from the new church came to visit Marie at her home one day as she was questioning her faith.
“I thought I’d accepted Christ but I wasn’t sure. [The pastor] told me to go and read John 1:12 [“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.”] so that’s what I did” she says.
Soon after Marie read that verse, in January of 1963 when she was 52 years old, her pastor gave an altar call and she and her husband, Phil, went forward to give their lives to Christ. Both were baptized that May.
Marie faithfully attended church until her hearing began to decline and she could no longer hear the pastor’s sermons.
Although church was no longer an option, she found a new way to grow in her walk with God: hosting a Bible study.
For 10 years, a small group of ladies met once a week at her home, where she prepared the refreshments for each meeting.
Even though Marie has been a Christian for many years she still has to “practice His presence”, and one way she does that is through prayer.
At first she only prayed silently at meals, but now she prays constantly.
“I always pray for about an hour before I get up in the morning and when I go to bed the last thing I do is pray” Marie says.
She prays about anything and everything. “When something comes to my mind, even things in the news, I’ll stop and pray. I really pray for my [family]” she explains.
“Every day, I ask God to keep me on my feet both spiritually and physically. Every night, I thank Him that I can go to sleep in peace because He is the only one who can keep me here in this dwelling place.”
Marie suggests starting prayers with thanksgiving instead of demanding things from God. “We have so many things to be thankful for” she adds.
In addition to prayer, Marie uses Scripture verses she memorized when she was younger to stay close to God throughout the day.
“I sometimes have a battle with anxiety about things, so I say Philippians 4:6 out loud. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God”‘ she says, reciting the verse perfectly from memory.
Other times, she uses 2 Timothy 1:7 instead: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Saying Scripture out loud “helps calm me down” Marie says.
One method she uses to memorize verses is to read Christian fiction where Scriptures are included in the story, something she has done for many years.
Marie is a strong example of a prayer warrior who has used, and continues to use her life for the Lord despite her age. “My relationship with God is the most important thing in my life. When you’re 105, God is your only hope” she says.
However, Marie understands that her faith is still a work in progress. “I’m not perfect. I blunder a lot and I still have to ask for forgiveness just like everyone else. I need God’s grace every minute” she explains.
When she was younger, vanity was something she struggled with. In those years, “everything had to match: hat and shoes and gloves and purse. There were a lot of ladies’ shops in Scottsbluff at the time and I was real well known in all of them. I think God has really taken that from me; I’m just as content now without getting a new dress every week. As you get older, you start to realize that this is all just stuff” she says.
Over the course of her life, Marie has continually felt God’s presence and has learned that He “is good and His grace is sufficient.”
But out of everything that has happened to her, she is most thankful for her salvation.
“God has plans for us. He puts us here in His time and He’ll take us in His time too. People ask me what I want for my birthday and I say I would love to go to Heaven on that day and see Jesus face-to-face.”