As far back as I can remember, I loved being the center of everyone’s attention. I was the first born in my family and the first born grandchild on both sides. You can imagine the way everyone doted on me. I enjoyed entertaining my family and making them smile and laugh and for them to tell me how proud they were of me. These moments made me feel alive and accepted and my self-esteem grew.
In high school, I was very involved in many activities, but it was my hidden passion for theater that caught my dad by surprise when I told him I wanted to be a famous actress when I grew up. I wanted to be FAMOUS!!! My dad always had a way of speaking so gently and led me in different directions. He asked me if I had ever considered being on the news and being a “News Anchor.” It didn’t take me long to say yes because news anchors could be famous too. I wanted to remain in the spot light. So I found my way to college as a Broadcast News major. I truly enjoyed my major, outside of my Diction class where my Professor crushed my dreams. He told me that if I really wanted to do the news I would have to move back to East Texas to even have a chance. If you know me, you know what he was talking about. You just can’t shake an East TX accent. (Insert smiley face here, Ha!)
When it came time for me to do an internship program before graduating I looked for something that would be behind the scenes. I had grown insecure in myself after that class. I found my way to Radio Disney. After only a semester of interning with them I landed my first job…straight out of college! They hired me as the Promotions Director. Wow! I had arrived…or so I thought. I loved my job and all of its many perks. I would pick up musicians from the airport and drive them to our promotions and even hung out backstage with the Backstreet Boys. I was star struck myself. I started buying into my business card and thought that my title told the world that I was important. I had started my family and all three girls were babies. I would drop 2 of them off at our church preschool each day and the baby was at a lady’s home.
It was exhausting…being the business card title. My heart began to feel a tug when my Catherine asked me on a Saturday morning if we were late for school. What was I doing? I was rushing my children around and their lives were vanishing before my eyes. My husband was doing most of the cooking and cleaning, on late night promotions he would already have them bathed and in bed when I got home. Something had to give.
I called the church preschool to see if there was an opening for my youngest daughter who was only 6 months old. The Director told me that I was the fourth person that very day that had called looking for infant care. She said she needed to find an infant teacher and then the class would make and she would call me back. Little did I know that she would be calling me back that very next day except it wasn’t to tell me that she had found the teacher…it was to ask me if I wanted to be the teacher. What!!! That was ridiculous. Why would a Broadcast News major that is now a Promotions Director ever want to be an infant teacher and rock babies?
Pride is a very ugly sin! I was struggling with it and it was time for it to go before it destroyed me. The word tells us, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18. As I look back on this season of my life I can see God’s amazing hand of grace and love for me. He was pursuing me! He wanted something so much better for my life.
The Preschool Director, who is now one of my very best friends, told me that as she prayed for the position the Lord kept reminding her of me. My name, my face, continued to surface as she prayed. She barely knew me at the time. All she saw was a young mom dropping off her girls each day, hurried yet confidant. She told me that she saw a successful woman in me. Wow! I found my way home that afternoon to visit with my husband about what had happened. He was immediate in his response, “I think it’s perfect, why don’t you give it some thought.” We actually did more than think. We put pencil to paper and made a list of pros and cons. The pros doubled the cons! What’s crazy is I was actually going to make $20 less to leave my salary paying position using my degree to go rock babies after receiving a discount from the preschool and not having to pay the afternoon care. I was going to work 9a to 2:30p…no more late night promotions or weekends! My babies would go home with me! Ashley, my youngest was going to be one of my infants. Isn’t that amazing! Even though all of these pros were so affirming I still struggled to let go. I would come up with the craziest excuses as to why not to leave my position. It was my pride that had a hold of me.
Thankfully after prayer and revisiting the list, I came to my senses. I accepted the position. I turned in my two weeks-notice and I was now an Infant Preschool Teacher. The very first day I was humbled to my knees. These ladies that loved and cared for my children were such beautiful hard workers. I had never seen that in them. I was so busy being consumed with me that I was missing some amazing women. I thought of myself as someone higher than I ought. Romans 12:3 tells us, “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.”
Fast forward a decade and here’s a glance of where God has taken me…the opportunity to be a better wife and a mother to the best gifts He has ever given me, Promotions Director of Radio Disney, Preschool Infant Teacher, First Connections Director where I greeted and welcomed people into the church and helped them find a place to connect, Co-owner of a Home Health Agency where I would go into the hospital and homes to pray with our patients and their families, and then back to the school’s to welcome families and get their babies enrolled to learn and grow. By the world standard’s this might not be success but to me it is. I think of them as very high positions. I have had some of the most beautiful opportunities to share my faith and love for my Savior.
This summer I was looking back over some of my study notes in Daniel. I had studied it last spring with some of the most beautiful sister’s you will ever meet. It’s an amazing book with so much to wrestle with and understand but what I found was so beautiful and so true. It was a verse that I had not even noticed during our study time, but when I read it tears came. It says, “Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” Daniel 12:3
This is A TRUE STAR! It’s the kind of STAR that I want to be. I no longer have dreams of Hollywood and those big lights…He has stirred my heart for even more! I am not living for me anymore…it’s for Him, to point people to Him and show them that He really is the truth and the way. “Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
Do you struggle with pride? Do you think of yourself higher than you ought? Is your pursuit for your own dreams causing harm to others? Is your family rushing through life before your eyes?
“Oh Father, thank you for saving me from me. What I mess I was in and continue to be, yet you come and rescue. Thank you for showing me the importance of humility and to think of myself less and think of You MORE. Thank you for giving me this story to share. I pray it penetrates to each heart that is reading it. Thank you for giving us the TRUE light of the world in Jesus Christ. I love that you tell us that whoever follows Christ will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. I PRAISE you for this truth. Lord, help us all to be the true shining stars that you designed us to be. We want to bring glory to your name! We love you too! Amen”