The most recent family photo of Patricia Pierce and her children. Tina Williams, sitting next to her mom; back row, left to right: Cori Johnston, Debbie Nelson, Teri Sackett, Susie Hensel, Bobbi Jean Mueller.

March 29, 2022

All I ever needed

As she read one of the poems from her book, Patricia Pierce, member of the Rhinelander Church in Wisconsin, paused to reflect on God’s goodness and mercy during her almost 80 years of life.

Raised in a very dysfunctional situation by two aunts who considered her a burden, Pierce says the only love she received was from her great-grandmother. “We would often talk together about the Bible,” she recalls. “We’d read and discuss what we read, pray and sing songs together, songs I still sing today.”

As Pierce began her own family, she vowed to show her seven children the love she was given by her great-grandmother. When her oldest daughter, Susie, was 14 years old, Pierce somehow ended up with a pamphlet discussing apocalyptic imagery in Revelation. “We prayed and asked the Lord to explain this puzzling interpretation of Revelation.” The next day they saw a billboard for a Revelation Seminar in Racine. Attending together, they double-checked in the Bible what they had heard when they got home.

“We were blown away by the truth,” Pierce says. Both baptized after the Seminar, she and Susie began to follow the Bible’s guidance, including keeping the Sabbath, which was much easier said than done. Today, Pierce and several of her daughters are church members, and they pray daily for the rest of the family to accept Christ.

In 1999, Pierce, CNA/CHHA, broke her hip and had to retire. She missed work terribly and, after several years, began looking for something to fill that gap in her life. Having always been interested in medical science, she enrolled in the Contemporary and Alternative Medicine program at Ashford University online, with the goal of becoming a health coach or nutritionist.

Two years in, however, she began to notice changes to her health. “I was drooling, losing my balance, having regular headaches, and not sleeping well,” Pierce remembers. Although as a nurse she recognized all the symptoms, that didn’t make hearing the doctor’s diagnosis any easier. It was Parkinson’s disease.

Despite this setback, Pierce was determined to finish what she started and, in 2018, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree at the age of 75. Later that same year, she reached another milestone: she published a book. After a conversation with God about the title, she published, At the Door, under the pen name, Evangeline. This collection of poems and dream vignettes—short stories God gave Pierce in her dreams—started out as prayer journals she intended to leave for her family to read after her death.

“I want my kids to realize God is in charge and be grateful to have Him in their lives,” Pierce explains.

“I was talking to Him the other day and He told me, ‘Patricia, when you get to Heaven, you’ll be surprised by how many people you have brought to the Lord,’” Pierce shares, her voice wavering as her eyes fill with tears. “I told Him I don’t care about the number of stars in my crown; I just want to meet Him. He is first in my life, and I know I’m loved. That’s all I’ve ever needed.”

One morning, I was praying on my knees.
My heavenly Father came to me,
Saying, “Today your sick neighbor down the street
Needs a few meals made for her family.”
“Oh no, Lord, not today. I’m too busy the whole day through.
I have much washing and cleaning to do.”
Again, as I was down on my knees in prayer,
I could feel the sweet presence of my Lord with me there.
He whispered in my ear,
“Today, there is something I would like you to do.
There are children in the hospital,
Who need a few smiles, or a story or two.”
“Oh, Lord, not today!” I moaned, holding my head.
“I have such a bad headache; I must stay in bed.”
Then, one night, brightness and glorious singing
Filled the sky.
“My Lord is coming!” my happy heart cried.
I watched as Jesus, in garments of white,
Gave all my neighbors the gift of flight.
“Oh, Lord! Here I am, don’t forget me,” I cried.
Jesus looked at me, with tear-filled eyes.
“No, My child,” He sadly did say,
“You cannot come with me—
Not today.”

"Not Today" by Patricia Pierce

Becky St. Claire, freelance writer
Editor’s note: As of this writing, Patricia is in hospice. We wanted to share this poem, selected by her, in the hope it will encourage us in serving our Lord Jesus Christ at all times.