Home / Interviews / Answering God’s Call No Matter Your Age: An Interview

Answering God’s Call No Matter Your Age: An Interview

Geraldine W. is a Chaplain for six nursing homes in Monmouth Country NJ. She has graciously accepted an invitation to be interviewed by phone after my cousin mentioned how much she helped her during her dad’s illness. She is semi-retired as of this writing, but still feels prompted to help others and is being “led by the Spirit” to keep ministering.  She became a Chaplain late in life, she had just turned fifty, and now at sixty-eight, she has no plans to retire any time soon. Here now is the interview of this fine lady, who was so full of life, love and heart for the LORD. I was blessed to speak with her. Here we go, sit back and enjoy, I know I did.

CD: Thank you so much for taking my call and this interview.

GW: Of course, this is a pleasure. I’m happy to be part of this to contribute to your ministry that you work for.

CD: Okay. Tell us a little about who you are, how you started and where you are today.

GW: Oh, let’s see. Gosh, I don’t know if your readers will find me terribly interesting. (laughs) But, I’ll just impart the truth. I graduated college with a dual degree in Theology and Human Services. I taught religion at a Christian academy here in New Jersey for the good part of my life.

CD: Oh- you were a teacher. Did you enjoy that?

GW: For a number of years. Many in fact. They were fifth graders, and their fertile minds don’t stay focused for too long. They seemed to be day dreaming mostly. Anyhow-when I turned forty-five I started to get restless in my role. I didn’t find myself enjoying my work at all. I prayed about it and found, my spirit was unsettled, unhappy. So I went with a good friend of mine to a local nursing home, just down the road from me, to visit an elderly church member.

CD: Was that the first time you were walking through a nursing home, or visiting someone in there?

GW: Yes! As a matter of fact, it was. And I felt an immediate pull of some kind. Didn’t know at the time that the LORD had a plan for me to be there in a capacity that was going to be instrumental to the residents, and to serving Him in a exciting new way.

CD:  Oh, yes that is exciting.

GW: Yes, very. Anyhow. The person we went to visit was terminal, and she was actively dying in place. Her name was Lucy. Lucy never bothered with the Bible, or going to church, or praying. She was one of those lukewarm individuals who believed, but never engaged with any of the aforementioned practices. I remember when I asked if she’d like to know about Jesus. Her eyes lit up. It truly was like a lamp was switched on or something like that. She said, “yes-I’m about to die and if it’s true about heaven and Jesus, I want to go there, not to hell.”

CD: Wow! What did you feel about that? It must have ignited something within huh?

GW: It sure did Camille. Oh, may I call you Camille?

CD: Of course – that’s my name!

GW: Anyhow. I told her about John 14:6 – that Jesus said- I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. And then what happened next I will never forget. She started to sob uncontrollably. It was like a flood of tears that wouldn’t subside. There was no apparent abatement in sight for those tears!  So, I took her hand and offered her a tissue and let her cry, unabashedly, until she stopped. Then she looked at me, “please help me get to heaven.” That was when I knew, I wanted to be something more than a teacher for religious instructions.

CD: Oh, my goodness! What an unbelievable epiphany and a coming to the LORD for Lucy. Wow! Amazing, that touched my heart-I can only imagine what it did for you. And Lucy!

GW: Yes it was explosive for both of us. I then asked her if she wanted to give her life to Jesus, and then had her recite the sinner’s prayer, and she accepted Christ that very day. I went to visit her after school everyday for about two weeks. I read her passages from John, she asked many questions. She smiled during the Bible readings, and looked so peaceful. Like an angel resting her wings so to speak. On the end of the two week period she was called home to the LORD. I was in the middle of reading Psalm 23 to her, and when I finished. She was gone. No signs of a death rattle as they call it. No gasping. Nothing. Just a peaceful send off. I knew for sure – that was it for me. I was going to train to be a Chaplain, and help others. That was my new calling. And I’ve been doing it ever since.

CD: I am wiping tears from my eyes over here Geraldine. You can’t see me – but you can hear the sniffles. That just made me cry in a good way! What a beautiful way to engage with someone’s soul. And to be witness to God birthing a new career in your life.

GW: Yes. Amen to that. My husband, a good man, is a retired chiropractor. He wasn’t too thrilled with me taking on a new career at as he terms it, ‘my golden twilight years.’ (she laughs into the phone)

CD: Oh, okay. Well, that’s a nice way to put it, I think.

GW: Well, he had no choice. God gave this calling to me, knocked on my heart and told me ‘Geraldine, you will be finished when I say so. Not when anyone else says it, but ME!’

CD: Amen!

GW: And the rest is history as they say. I became a Chaplain and never looked back. I love tending to the elderly and have helped so many find Jesus along the way. Especially on their death beds. There is something so rewarding and beautiful about that. To think that Christ is using me as a vessel for His purposes and His authority to serve others, and bring them to Him!  Oh, I am so blessed and so very happy. I can’t begin to tell you. Oh and a side note here, my hubby-Dennis, well he is a volunteer now! He plays the piano and sings. Let me tell you, I better be careful. He’s as handsome as they come, and lots of the ladies in there have fallen for him!  He sings all the songs of their time, and does a marvelous job. So we both have new careers in a way. It’s great to share in helping the LORD. Such a blessing to have a hubby that is yoked equally with you in serving God.

CD: Yes, I agree. My husband and I are both Christians and share a deep faith.

GW: Of course, unfortunately there are many who have no desire to know God. Or want prayers or visits. But that’s okay. I pray for them at home. I have a long list of those who are not believers. You never know what God has planned. They may turn around yet!  I have been praying fervently. And guess what? One of them has asked me to visit. So, there is hope yet. You never know when the light is going to be turned on in someone. We are the vessels, and God is the designer of these vessels – and so it is up to Him to open eyes, ears and hearts. Not us. Only Him. Praise His holy name, Amen.

CD: Amen! So true, so true. I will pray for those that don’t believe to turn around, if God’s willing.

GW: Thank you Camille. So sweet.

CD: Any parting words Geraldine?

GW: Let’s see. Well, I’d advise those who believe to always listen and have an open mind and heart. But most especially, never ignore the promptings of the Spirit. God will lead you, and guide you to where He wants you. When you get a restlessness within, that is the first sign. When things aren’t exciting or fresh or feel perfunctory- that’s a clear sign He’s stirring the pot and wanting you to jump the heck out. He’s showing you another way, another adventure, and another way to serve Him. Plus, now this here Camille is super important to hear, so readers listen up! You are never too old to learn new tricks, new ways, and new things to serve the LORD. He will use you until He puts you out to pasture. And as far as I learned from the LORD, in all of my sessions with Him in fervent prayer – He will always have a use for us, until we draw our last breath. Until such time, go and serve Him in full capacity in which He wants you to serve! Amen!

CD: Oh, wow-priceless gems, and wise words for sure. I agree. Until the last breath we are vitally important to His ministry. Geraldine on behalf of myself, representing The Bottom-Line Ministries, may I say thank you, and it has been my ultimate pleasure to have spent this time with you. I know the readers will love you as well. I pray you continue in His light and love and keep shining your incredible light.

GW: Oh, so sweet. Thank you so much. God Bless you and your ministry too. Have a good life in Jesus.

Isaiah 46:4 – “and even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.”


C D SWANSON is an Author of 22 plus books, freelance writer, contributor to various websites, including The Bottom Line Ministries/Faith News. She's an active member of Faithwriters- and has her online website/ministry for over 15 years. It is her greatest joy to write what’s in her heart, and thus her favorite form of expression is in her devotionals. She and her husband share a deep love of God and dote on their fur baby Mickey. Retired Director from Long Term Healthcare Industry, she continues to be an advocate for many. To check out other writings of this author you can go here:

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  1. Beautiful interview that brought tears to my eyes.
    A very humble woman who wanted a vision for serving her Lord. She felt insignificant about being a person that should be chosen for an interview but nothing is of lesser importance than to be obedient to His will no matter the calling.
    Much was learned from her testimony. Geraldine indeed learned from the Master precious lessons to pass on to us who were privileged to read her story.
    Wonderful that her husband joined in on the journey with her. That had to be a real help in this work among the residents who need to know the way to everlasting life that is only found in Christ.
    If you ever speak with her again, tell her that her message was a true blessing and inspiration.

  2. Hello Cora,
    Thank you it brought tears to mine on the phone too!
    I’m glad you enjoyed this special lady with a heart for God.
    My cousin sees her in the neighborhood, I will tell her what you’ve said.
    Glad it touched your heart.
    It was a pleasure to speak with her.
    Have a blessed day my friend~

  3. Wonderful testimony Camille. I particularly love reading about people whom God has called to a new vocation in the second half of life!

  4. Hello Jennifer,
    Yes – as you have too! I thought of you with this lady – you of course are MUCH younger – but being a Chaplain, and getting called – there were similarities I smiled about.
    Thank you for your input.
    God Bless~

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