What Inspires Me to Do What I Do?
February 18, 2016
I am a woman, age 66, with some gray hairs now. I have been married to the same man for nearly 44 years. We have four adult children, all married, all with children of their own. We just had our thirteenth grandchild three weeks ago. We love being grandparents!
When I went to college the first time around, I thought I wanted to become a music teacher. I loved music, so it seemed fitting that I would make that my college major. Our school was on the quarter system. By the third quarter I, all of a sudden, received a bill from the cashier’s office charging me for my private music lessons for three quarters.
Let me back up a minute here. The reason I attended this university in the first place is because my father was employed there, so my tuition was free. I thought that included my music lessons, too, but it did not. We were a poor family. I had no money to pay for the lessons, so the school offered me a job as a student assistant in the loan department. I soon learned that I really loved working in an office, doing what administrative assistants do. And that, temporarily, became my career path instead of music.
I acquired a job as a clerk typist at our county welfare department, which was back when we used real typewriters. Then I became an ADC case worker. At around the same time I married my best friend, Rick. I worked for maybe a couple of years prior to me giving birth to our first child. Then, I became a full-time mom and homemaker and volunteer worker. Most of my volunteer work was in the church, teaching the Bible, singing, directing music, and doing administrative work. I also volunteered in my kids’ schools, in scouts and in the community. Once my kids were out of school, I went back to working for pay, working as an administrative assistant again, but only temporarily, for maybe five years.
In 1999, my husband and I felt God was leading us to begin a Bible study in our home for college-age adults. We had three children of our own in college at the time. So, we began the Bible study with them and their friends. We did this weekly for 7.5 years, mostly out of our home, but sometimes in connection with local church fellowships. We fed them dinner every week, and also helped begin two Christian coffee houses for college students.
When I was a child…
Let me backtrack just a little again. When I was a child, my parents took me and my four siblings to church at least three times a week. I was taught about God and Jesus. When I was around the age of seven, while at summer camp, I accepted God’s invitation to believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I knew then that I wanted to follow him with my life. I did not instantly become perfect, mind you, but my life began to change from that moment on. The more I learned of him, the more I wanted to follow him and to do what he wanted me to do. But, there were issues at home. Let’s suffice it to say that I suffered much abuse and emotional neglect. I didn’t feel loved, but I knew God loved me. So, I turned to him for my comfort, healing and for my purpose and meaning for my life.
Although I followed the Lord with my life for many years, life was not smooth sailing for me. I faced much rejection along the way, including some from pastors of churches, who didn’t get me. They didn’t know what motivated me, and sometimes they judged me falsely. In one such case it finally turned out for the good, but I still recall the pastor’s words to me. He said, “You speak with too much authority for such a young person. Wait until you get some gray hairs on your head. Then, people will listen to you.” He didn’t realize how prophetic his words were to me at that time, for it is in my gray haired years that God has given me a writing ministry where people do listen to me, i.e. they listen to me sharing what Jesus teaches me each day from his Word, but that has not always been the case, and I still face a lot of rejection and false judgment.
A time of revival…
Somewhere along the line in my years of following Jesus with my life, though, I allowed the world of sin to creep back into my life. My past was affecting my present. I began to believe the devil’s lies against me, and I responded accordingly. I went through a period of time which some people might call a “wilderness experience.” I wasn’t living in continuous open rebellion against my Lord, but I struggled with certain sins, and occasionally I yielded to my flesh over the Spirit. I pulled out of that, by the grace of God, for a long while, and then I had a temporary relapse the year that my parents both died.
Then, in 2002, I went through a time of revival where I settled things with God. I had been reading a book on spiritual warfare. One of the things that really grabbed my attention in that book was learning that I sometimes was living like Jesus didn’t already defeat Satan. I sometimes lived like I thought Satan still had power over me, and as though God didn’t have the power to do anything other than to comfort me with his love and to help me through it all, which included helping me to defeat Satan’s temptations in my life. I then came to understand what really took place on that cross when Jesus died for our sins, and that I just had to claim and to exercise what he has already accomplished for me. For those of us who believe in Jesus Christ, we have been set free from slavery to sin and the power of Satan over our lives, and we have been given spiritual armor to use against Satan’s evil schemes against us, and given the power of the Spirit within us to say “NO” to sin. Amen!
The Lord taught me another very valuable lesson, too. I was praying and asking him if there was anyone in my life whom I had not forgiven. The name he gave me was “Jesus.” I suddenly realized that I had been holding unforgiveness against my Lord all these years because he didn’t protect me from the abuse I faced at home, and other abuses in my life which occurred after I left home and after I was married. I didn’t know that unforgiveness was there. What I also realized, and this went along with that, is that I had not accepted God’s sovereignty over my life. He is the one who formed me in the womb of my mother. All the days ordained for me were written in his book before one of them came into being. He didn’t cause the abuse, but he put me in that home knowing I would be abused. He allowed all the rejection I have faced in my life and all the misunderstandings and false judgments. He did this to make me who I am today so that he could use me now, in my gray haired years, in the way that he had purposed for me from before the creation of the world. So, I accepted his sovereignty over my life, and I forgave Jesus, although he had done no wrong.
That a herald may run with it…
The year was now 2004. My husband and I had been working with a church denomination, training to be church planters. He was studying for his ordination, and I was studying for my consecration, I think they called it. They didn’t ordain women. I also acquired my grandmother’s journals during this time. She died when I was two, so I never got to know her. As I read her journals, I began to cry. She sounded like me! She had the same heart for God, and the same desires for his Word and for following him in obedience. She even shared many of the same verses which had been special to me over the years. She kept repeating something, but I didn’t know what it was, so I looked it up. It was from Habakkuk 2:2-3. God told Habakkuk to write the vision down, and to make it plain, so that he who reads it could run. This passage then started to show up through other sources, as well.
My husband and I, as official workers in our church denomination, at that time, were invited to a prayer conference for a weekend in September of 2004. My husband injured his back so was not able to attend, but I went. At that conference the Lord spoke to me very clearly through those who spoke at that conference, and through his Word. He then gave me a calling that has radically transformed my life. Again, I was given the Habakkuk passage. I knew God was calling me to write down what he teaches me and to place it on the internet, so that the one who reads could run, or so that a herald could run with it, i.e. so that the internet could run with it and that it would go out wherever God wanted to send it, though I don’t think I fully understood what that meant at that moment.
One of my assignments for my consecration was to read through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, so that is what I did. As I was in the process of reading through the Old Testament, God began to speak to me in ways I had never imagined before. He began to give me glimpses of how his word was being realized in our day and time. And, I began to write what he taught me, and I placed it on the internet, as best as I understood it.
Then, in the summer of 2006, the Lord led me to write out what he teaches me through his word, which I was learning through my times of personal worship of him, and to do this nearly daily. So, I did, and I have continued to do that. He has me read the Psalms, the Prophets and all the New Testament and to write out the lessons he gives me from these passages of scripture. All that I have gone through in my life is incorporated in what I am able to share from his word. Much of my passion, as well, comes from the hard things I have experienced, and from the times I failed miserably, and from the healing God has done in my own heart and life in lifting me out of that time of failure, and in giving me a new start. But, it is the Holy Spirit within me who inspires me to write, and what to write. He gives me the messages he wants me to share, and he imparts his words of wisdom through me. So, all the glory for what good he does through me belongs to God, and to God alone.
Then, in 2011, the Lord gave me a new gift – the gift of writing songs. I had only ever written a melody to one of my poems many years ago, but now the Holy Spirit was putting the tunes in my head, and he was giving me the words to go with the tunes. I just record what he gives me. So, the composer is God. These are his Original Works.
A Believer’s Prayer: https://vimeo.com/114796263