May 7, 2010

A Proverbs 31 Tribute {part III}

I realize that this is a lot of writing for a P H O T O blog but I commend you for stickin' with me. I think this entry is potentially encouraging. :) It's so much about how I got to be who I am today. And a lot about who I want to be.

For the 10 months before I graduated from college, there was one thing I consistently prayed for: an older woman to disciple me. There were really no women in my life in the next life stage who could give me an idea of how to prepare for post-college life but I knew that I needed that. I just didn't know how God would answer my prayer.

As the story goes, God started answering my prayers one at a time (finding a job, finding a new home church, finding housing....) and along with that was finding that older woman who was further along in the faith and wiser that me. On my very first Sunday at Lighthouse. She and her daughters, Kristen & Stephanie, had just moved to San Diego after living for many years in Texas so that Stephanie could go to college at UCSD - because she wanted to become a member at Lighthouse... where Carol's family (her 3 siblings + their spouses and kids) were all attending. Carol made an impression on me from the first time we met...and through different times of hanging out and getting to know each other, I came to trust her...and ask her to disciple me about 4 months after we met. I was so nervous about asking her if we could meet up - but was so excited when she agreed. Further more I was floored when she added that she had been praying for a younger lady to invest in...while all this time, I had been praying for an older one! Carol was the answer to my prayers. And I had no idea. :)

We would meet every Tuesday at Coffee Bean and were able to cover soooooo many, love, family.... One thing that I came to appreciate about Carol is her straightforwardness and honesty. When there was something she wanted to know, she would ask me point blank and when I needed to be corrected, she was faithful in pointing out the things I was trying to hide but needed to change. Carol challenged me to recognize sinful thinking & worldiness for what it was - sin. She would share things about her life - how she and her husband Steve got together, the joys and difficulties in marriage (I realized its not a fairy tale!) and how as he was struggling with his health and still in living in Texas until the arrangements could be made for him to join their family in San Diego, she was learning how to pray and trust God in his perfect timing. I too learned to pray intently as I joined the girls in praying for Steve to make the move for two years before he did. Carol is realistic about life and honest about sin - she's been there for through some of the most difficult times I experienced over the past four years...and didn't let me wallow in self-pity. No, Carol has always helped me to turn from my own folly to embrace the word of God and God's plans for my life as I learned how to be an adult. My view on loving and serving the younger ladies in my life has been undoubtedly shaped by how Carol discipled me...oh, and told me to do it too. From the very beginning. :)

Honestly, I think I could write a book about all the things I've learned from her. Now as her own daughters are adults (with her oldest, Steph, just getting married a month ago!!) her family is still impacting me and challenging me to love the Lord with all my heart, my soul and mind. She and Steve have raised beautiful daughters that truly carry on a legacy of living in light of the gospel. As I grow up (even more), I truly want to live that way as well.

{Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. - Titus 2:3}

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