Timothia Observes Pauletta Go Through Suffering

“After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.” -1 Peter 5:10-11

The following is a true story and went down on February 4, 2011.

A family friend was placed at Mayo Hospital and Mrs. Rhonda, my mentor, and I decided to go for a visit. The evening winded down with dinner at the Loop, followed by sitting in her car for hours having a transparent tête-à-tête (don’t be impressed as it’s the only French I know besides “a la mode”).

Just shy of five minutes into our discussion, Mrs. Rhonda began to cry. No… weep. Panicked, I listened as she divulged the repercussions of Kelsey’s concussion. (See video where Kels/Rhonda share this account and one from Rhonda  and video on leading a family through a crisis and exhaustion).  Unbeknownst to me, her teenage daughter Kelsey’s tubing accident created a chemical imbalance in her brain. This resulted in irrational thinking, hallucinations (demon sightings), family slander, and serious thoughts of a suicide with a knife and rope.

Now Kelsey has always had a piece of my heart. Even before assisting with homeschooling her family, Kels was a camper in my sixth grade cabin. We immediately bonded quite nicely. So this I was not prepared for. The roles had somehow reversed and my mentor was asking for her mentee’s input and support.


Kels and me at sixth grade camp 


Completely healed, here are Kels and me at her high school grad partay.

Truthfully, I submit that I was uncertain as to how I (too bad this letter is already in all caps) could be of comfort to her. Did Mrs. Rhonda manage to forget that I was just a single gal with no children, simply trying to survive my first year of teaching?

Even so, God, in His sovereignty, placed Galatians 6:2 on my heart. Bear one another’s burdens. As a Believer in Christ one of my chief practical responsibilities is to bear one another’s burdens. Yes, even those doubled in age (Mrs. Rhonda, you don’t look a day over 32). This being said, I reached over for her trembling hand and prayed aloud. I claimed God’s sovereignty over this particular trial and prayed that Mrs. Rhonda would rest in His sovereignty, as well as trust in it and hold fast to it.

In the days and months ahead, Mrs. Rhonda would update me daily while I was fervently praying. Through her phone calls and text messages I sensed the abiding love she had for her six kiddos, especially Kels. While spending time in their home, I witnessed the unconditional love Mrs. Rhonda had for Kelsey. Despite her fleshly desires, Mrs. Rhonda tuned into God and His Word. It was there, dwelling in the secret place of The Most High, abiding under the shadow of the Almighty,  that she realized that she must persevere and love without limits, because Christ did the very same for her. No doubt, this was a perfect opportunity to reflect the Gospel.

Yes, God ordained this suffering. No, her journey was not one in which she would have freely selected. However I can testify that God used this trial to morph Mrs. Rhonda into a stunning woman of faith. He indeed used this to humble her, reveal the strength of her faith, see the bountiful blessings and record them in her journal of 1000 gifts, (inspired by Ann Voskamp’s book “One Thousand Gifts”) and equip her for helping others in their trials. Like the infamous Job, Mrs. Rhonda remained steadfast, diligently sought the intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit,  and let her character magnify Christ in His glory, putting Satan to shame.


As this photo shows, I became a significantly large part of the Ellis Fam.  


Pauletta and Timothia, July 2014, at my going away partay. 

How is God using YOU in your current trial?

Truly, if God never sent hardships our way, we would see no need for Him. Don’t rob our Father of His legit glory.



  1. Rebecca Hewiett

    Thanks so much for sharing your unique and precious mentor/mentee relationship. Such a perfect example of how the gospel refines us in our every day relationships. Such an encouragement! (And yes, Mrs. Rhonda – I LOVE reading your blog!)

    • Rebecca, thank you for commenting. Truly, what a blessing to have a mentor/mentee relationship with women younger and older. I’m glad you’re reading and loving the blog. To God be the glory!!

  2. Peyton Kim

    This is rlly well written & a perfect example of God’s amazing grace! We realize just how merciful God is when we take on the challenge of loving others unconditionally!

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