A Longing Heart Satisfied
My life is rich in every way; I have good health, a large family around me, and many good memories of a long life. The greatest blessing of all, though, is the love of God. His grace is new every morning, and I am filled with gratitude for His presence in my life.
I was born in Arendal, Norway, in 1918, and was raised as one of nine siblings during difficult and lean times. My parents struggled to make ends meet as there was little work to be had. We were fortunate, however, because we had an extraordinary father. He was good and kind in every way, and always had time for his children.
At Sunday school, I heard things that I could never forget, and for years I longed to have a personal experience with God.
As a small child, there was a longing down in my heart for God. We were sent to Sunday school, and that was the highlight of every week for me. At Sunday school, I heard things that I could never forget, and for years I longed to have a personal experience with God. We brought home little booklets of Bible verses and children’s songs, and I often took these and sat alone in a corner with them. As I sang to myself, tears would run down my cheeks. I was longing for something, but did not know what.
At age fourteen, I got a job as a housekeeper, and worked long hours. Every single day of the week, I left home early in the morning and returned late in the evening. The salary was not very good, but I was happy to have a job, and the family I worked for were decent people.
When I was seventeen, I went to a summer beach party, and I met Norvald. He was from Stavanger, but had taken a job at a rubber factory in Arendal. It was love at first sight! We quickly became a couple, and I was so happy to have found such a handsome man. When Norvald told me he came from a Christian family, I was delighted and asked if we could become Christians too. He said no, he did not want to be a Christian, but if he ever did become one, he would not set foot in his parents’ church—the Apostolic Faith!
Norvald and I married in 1938, and made our home in Arendal. Soon we had a daughter, and it was a good life, even though it was difficult to find work. During World War II, revival came to the city, and one evening in 1944 when Norvald and I were out for a walk, we heard beautiful Christian music coming from one of the houses. As we passed, I noticed that Norvald bristled and his behavior changed, but nothing came of it, and we went home as usual. A few days later, we were invited to visit my uncle for an evening of music. Norvald took his flute and we looked forward to a pleasant evening. Among the guests were some people who had recently received salvation and were eager to convert others. While we were inside playing our instruments and singing, they remained outside, kneeling on the stairs and praying for us. After a time, they came in and asked if we would also pray and be saved. It so happened that we did want to, and we both knelt that night and were born again.
As soon as we returned from my uncle’s house, Norvald threw all that precious tobacco right into the wood stove, and he never smoked again. That was just one of the many changes that took place in our lives.
Norvald smoked a pipe at that time, and because of the war, it was difficult to get good tobacco. Earlier that day, we had visited some acquaintances, and he had come home with his pockets full of tobacco. As soon as we returned from my uncle’s house, Norvald threw all that precious tobacco right into the wood stove, and he never smoked again. That was just one of the many changes that took place in our lives. We were passionate about the Gospel from the first moment, and attended church as often as we could. It soon became known around town that Norvald and Solveig had become Christians.
Not long after this, I was at home one day with our two daughters while construction work was going on outside our house. I had laid our youngest, a baby, down for a nap, when I heard the demolition foreman shout, “Fire in the hole!” At the same time, it was as if a Voice told me to pick up the baby and run outside. I hurriedly took both girls out to the yard on the opposite side of the house, and almost immediately, there was a loud bang. When I entered the house again, I saw that the window in the bedroom was broken, and in the crib where the baby had been was a huge rock! The whole side of the crib was broken and there was dust and dirt all over it. Trembling, I left the house thanking God for saving my child!
When the war was over, we moved to Stavanger to find work. After getting settled, one of the first things we did was seek out the Apostolic Faith Church. This was the church Norvald had grown up in. It had been established in 1912, which was the same year his parents had become Christians, and the year he was born. We knew it was where we belonged, and the people of the church became our extended family.
Over the years, we enjoyed the Gospel in every way, though at times there were trials. When I was fifty, I had tumors in my abdomen, and I was sent to the hospital for treatment. It was scary, but God kept His hand over me, and I have been healthy ever since.
We actively participated in the work of the Lord, and eventually Norvald became a minister, and then in 1975, he became the Stavanger pastor and the Scandinavia District Superintendent. While his position kept him in front of others, I preferred to serve the Lord behind the scenes. Working in the Kingdom of God gives great blessings, and even today at age ninety-three, I enjoy taking an active role in the church.
My dear Norvald died fifteen years ago, and even though I am alone now, God is always with me. I am grateful for every day that I wake up healthy and can look forward to my morning devotions and prayer. God is good!