I remember vividly the day my entire world changed. It was January 24, 1997, the day my husband, James R. "Jamie" Peebles Jr., died in a car accident.

We were going to my mother-in-law's house, and Jamie was driving. Suddenly, he laid his head on my shoulder and said, "Pam, I don't feel well."

With the car still in motion, I threw the gearshift into park, jumped from the car and began screaming for help. The next sounds I heard were tires squealing and cars crashing against one another.

Jamie's cousin, a paramedic, happened to be in the area. He stopped and began giving Jamie CPR, but he was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital. In a split second, I became a widow and a single mother of three at age 37.

Jamie and I had done everything together. Not only did I lose my husband, confidant and the father of my children, but also those who had been close to me when Jamie was alive stopped coming around after he died.

I stayed in my bedroom for long periods of time, crying. People treated me as though I had died with Jamie. The grief and abandonment I felt seemed unbearable.

I felt broken and crushed, and I didn't see how I would ever put the pieces of my life back together again. The tears, pain and regrets were overwhelming and more than I could bear. I had taught the Word of God for years, but now my mind was so cluttered with confusion and hurt that I couldn't think of a word of comfort for myself.

But I had a choice to make. I had to be strong for my children. At the time, my daughter, Danielle, was 15, and my twins, James III and Joshua, were 12. They had heard about the healing power of God, and it was time for me to practice what I'd taught them.

I searched the Scriptures and engrossed myself in God's Word. The more I prayed, the more God revealed to me that Jamie's death was not meant to destroy me. God wanted me to become the woman He had created me to be.

The more I meditated on God's Word, the stronger I became. Seeing my strength in the Lord, my children were able to go through the healing process more easily.

One moment in one day changed my life forever, but God used it to do a new work in me and through me. In time, He gave birth to Women of Destiny Ministries International Inc. Our purpose is to help widows and other hurting women to heal and to discover their purpose in Christ.

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