PROSSER - In the four years her family lived at Lyons Ferry, Cathy Rasley said they killed more than 360 rattlesnakes.
Rasley spoke at the Lower Valley Christian Women's Connection luncheon at the Barn Restaurant in Prosser on Tuesday about her struggles and how her faith supported her during her worst times.
Rasley was raised in Spokane with an older brother and loving parents who taught their children the basics of respect and obedience. She didn't attend church much as a child.
"We went to church maybe six times a year," she said. "On holidays, and some other times."
When Rasley went to church with friends she found she didn't understand what was being discussed, but didn't want to be the person asking questions.
She was 17 when she met her future husband on a blind date, and they married when she was 19. Her husband worked in the fish and wildlife industry, and she went with him to the places he was posted.
She was a young mother with three children in diapers when her family moved to the remote fish hatchery where her husband worked. The nearest mailbox was 15 miles away, the nearest grocery store 35 miles.
Because of the isolation, the family came to rely heavily on one another, but she also became lonely. In the nearest town, Starbuck, she learned about a Bible study group for women.
"I get to be around other women and there is daycare? Sign me up!" Rasley said.
She was finally able to ask those questions that she didn't dare ask as a child.
The religious education she got in that study group helped to get her through some very tough times raising three children. The family also went through money issues, and her faith helped to support her through lean times.
But the real test of her faith came when her husband confessed to infidelity. Again, it was her faith that sustained her through the challenge to forgive.
"I've been with my husband, the same man I met on that blind date, for 32 years now," she said. "We have three grown children who have given us three grandchildren and a dog."
Rasley now coaches cheerleading and owns a coffee shop with her daughter.
"It's important you talk to God," she said. "You don't have to be in a church to pray.