Ruth Graham's been through the fire, says it's time for honesty

The daughter of the Rev. Billy Graham shares what it's like to watch her famous father grow older -- as well as the heartache she has endured -- and challenges us all to be truthful, no matter who we are

BY: Rob Kerby, Senior Editor

 

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“I decided I was tired of doing it God’s way. But that just made things worse.

Ruth Graham today

“I had thought I was doing everything perfectly. I was a good wife. I was a wonderful mother. I was active in the church and I was teaching Bible studies. So, why didn’t God take care of me?”

Her children suffered, too. One daughter developed an eating disorder. Her son entered a drug abuse rehabilitation program. Another daughter gave birth to two babies out of wedlock while still in her mid-teens.

How did Ruth deal with such a collapse of her world? She says she felt abandoned. “It was really a crisis of faith. How come the Lord didn’t intervene?” Why didn’t God protect her – keep her from having to go through the fire?

The answer is simple, she knows now: “He had something to teach me about the difficulties of life: to show me that none of us are exempt, that we all have hardships. We all have things that happen to us that we don’t ask for, but we have to endure.

“And it’s OK. It’s all part of God’s plan. I didn’t like having to go through that – none of us do.”

“But it was very important for me to have that experience – and to grow from it. I’m still growing. The story is not over. But that’s OK, God gives me grace. And God is a covenant-keeping God. He is faithful even when I am not. Now I’m living life. I am just living in the grace of God.”

The Rev. Graham in a photo taken about five years ago

Recently she was at her father’s bedside after he fell at home and had to be hospitalized. Has it been difficult watching such a great man, who she still lovingly calls “Daddy,” retreat from public view now that he has slowed down – and is well into his 90s? Does she ever wish she could miraculously restore him to the fiery young preacher who filled stadiums worldwide for 40 years?

“I told Daddy not too long ago that I am much more warmed by the embers than I ever was by the fire. I hate to see the physical

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