When I was a little girl I wanted to marry a pastor .... CHECK!
When I was a little girl I wanted to have a lot of babies ... CHECK!
When I was a little girl I wanted to be a teacher ... CHECK!
When I was a little girl I wanted to write books ... CHECK!
Actually ... when I was a little girl I wanted to write books that would make a difference. I wanted to write books that would be in every library in America. I wanted to write books that would change people’s lives and take them places that they had never before been. Even when I was a little girl, I wanted to write books that would heal people’s hearts. I guess it is not time to “CHECK!” that one off my list just yet.
When I was a little girl I wanted to make a difference in the Kingdom of God .... but I didn’t know how that was going to happen. H-m-m-m ... will this one ever deserve an emphatic “CHECK!”?
When I was a little girl, because my father loved the Lord so completely, I wanted to love Him, too.
When I was a little girl, because my father loved the Bible so passionately, I wanted to love the Bible, too.
It was really my father who put the dream in my heart to be a part of God’s strategy at this time in history. However, being a child of the 1950’s and 1960’s and then a teen of the early 1970’s ... there weren’t many women in ministry.
Certainly, there was Kathryn Kuhlman who had a dynamic healing ministry and my parents took me to her meetings. I experienced the power and the presence of God in life-changing ways in those meetings. However, I wasn’t sure that I was called to do what Kathryn Kuhlman was called to do. Although I certainly respected her anointing, I knew that Kathryn’s anointing was unique to her.
My dad would read me biographies and tell me the stories of great women missionaries. He told me of the martyrdom of Betty Stam, of the calling of Darlene Rose and of the commitment of Elizabeth Elliot. (By the way, I highly recommend that you “Google” these women and read their life stories.)
It was exhilarating to realize that God used women! God used little girls who grew up to change the world for Christ and His Kingdom. However, I wasn’t sure that I was called to serve God on foreign soil. I was certainly willing to do so ... but felt that perhaps my calling would be different than the call across the ocean.
And so, as my little girl years melted into the teen years and then as I faced college, I had no idea what to major in at my Christian university!
If I majored in piano ... I could be a great pastor’s wife, right?! Don’t all pastor’s wife’s play piano and teach Sunday School? Maybe I should minor in Christian Education?!
Were women even allowed to major in Theology? In Hebrew or in Greek? Or would that be perceived as too aggressive? Too feminist?
And then, one day during my freshman year in college, Kathryn Kuhlman came and spoke in chapel. This Kathryn Kuhlman of my youth prayed for a new generation of men and women to rise up and change the world for Christ. She prayed, as only Kathryn Kuhlman could pray, with a waving of her white chiffon-draped arm over the entire 3,000 member student body. I believed that her prayer was for me, and me alone.
A year or two later, Corrie ten Boom spoke at the college chapel service. She told of her years of imprisonment in a World War II concentration camp and then she taught the Word of God. She dealt with the sin of unforgiveness. Her teaching was rich with Scriptural references as well as personal illustrations. She called herself “a tramp for the Lord” and at that moment, I wanted to tramp right along with Corrie!
And so here I stand today. I have been married to a pastor for over 35 years and have raised 5 marvelous children to young adulthood. I have taught high school Latin and English to hundreds of students over the years. And, I have written 3 books that are my attempt at making a difference in women’s lives.
Life is a journey, isn’t it? From the days of little girl dreams ... to big girl realities ... to adult check lists; God is using each conversation, each prayer and each person to craft us into the women (and men!) that we are today.
The important reminder in all of my ponderings today is to keep on dreaming! Don’t ever stifle the little girl dream that was early birthed in your young heart.
Keep on praying! Keep believing God for great things in your life!
Keep learning and exposing yourself to people who are changing the world!
And now ... if you will excuse me ... I have to get back to studying the Word of God and to writing a new book proposal! I have magnificent things to accomplish for the Lord before this day is over! How about you?! What will you spend your day doing?!