Has anyone ever asked you to write your life story? My mother and father-in-law wrote theirs and it’s terribly interesting to hear about the experiences they had back in the early 1900’s. My husband wrote his, and it’s been a joy to read of his journey. I’ve been writing the Life Story of my Great Aunt Hallie – for more years than I care to disclose. Perhaps that is my Life Story – “She wrote and wrote and wrote…” Every so often, someone will say to me, “Why don’t you write your life story?” I’ve puzzled over the idea of what my life story would look like if it were to be written – that’s a scary thought. I have so many interests and hobbies, and bits and pieces of talents that I’ve never really focused on a particular one. Perhaps I’m too involved with too many things to become a master at any one particular thing – but then, I’m pretty content to be doing what I am doing.
It all started when I was about twelve years old. I had attended a church camp and returned home to stay the night with a lady from our church. Right there in her living room on her couch, I sang myself to sleep singing the words, “Only to be what He wants me to be, every moment of every day…”
Somewhere along my life journey I lost sight of this goal until I turned 16. I so desperately wanted a cause to stand for…and gazing on the Iwo Jima Memorial of those soldiers lifting the flag, I realized that I too had a flag to raise; a cause for which to stand. My cause was to be a lighthouse, a beacon of light, a life lived in such a manner that others could know this Jesus that I knew and trusted as my Lord, Savior, Friend, and Eternal God. That became my “cause” and to this day that has never changed.
When Sheldon and I married in 1970, we became a team. We have always been “Hales in Ministry” and we’ve served in pastoral ministry since before our marriage. God has sent us to ten different churches and various assignments through the years, but always, Hales in Ministry. I have often become bogged down in the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual demands that have been expected of us in various places of service, but I never tire of the joy in being able to write upon the lives of those we serve.
All along the way there have been hundreds of people who have written into my life. They have encouraged, taught, inspired, and prayed for me. The influences of each of those ministries where we have served have influenced who I am and how I conduct my Christian life. As the pages of my life are being inscribed, so also, I am writing on the pages of others.
My Life Story may never be in printed form. There may never be words that I have typed into a manuscript. However, I believe that all the creative endeavors over the past 48+ years are the living pages of my life. The precious children, youth, adults, senior adults, neighbors, and friends that God has put in my life, hopefully will be the pages of my life story as I have sought to be what God has wanted me to be, every moment of every day.
The three children God gave to us, the ten grandchildren, and the twenty-five foster children – these lives are chapters in my Life Story. I am a better person because of their precious lives.
My parents and siblings have written chapters in my life story – and I in theirs.
Right now we are serving in pastoral ministry in Northern Kentucky. So today, I want to share just a slice of my life story – the saga of just one smidgen of my life with the preacher…and of the joy I find in writing on the lives of those God sends my way.
Presently we are serving the First Baptist Church in Silver Grove, Kentucky, as pastor and wife. Recently God has begun to open doors for us to branch out into new areas of ministry through volunteer missions at Ridgecrest Conference Center, Shocco Springs, Alabama, and Glen Eyrie in Colorado Springs, Colorado. We have planned and scheduled our vacations to allow us to participate in giving back to these ministries that have been a part of shaping our spiritual lives through the years.
My Uncle Richard often inscribed greeting cards, letters of correspondence, and the front pages of someone’s Bible, the following words:
I believe these are words that I’d like to claim as my Life Story – To be a seeker, a finder, and a doer of God’s Will…”every moment of every day.”
What are some influencers on your life journey that have shaped you and helped to define and write your life story? I’d really love to hear.