About twenty years ago I read a book that at the time was a best seller. The sheer volume of the book And Ladies of the Club intimidated me when I first picked it up, and the story didn’t grab my interest right away. My boss at the time told me if I kept reading I would be hooked, and I was. By the time I’d finished, I felt like the characters were my best friends, and I understood their lives as if I’d lived them myself.
The book told the story of two young Indiana women who married at the end of the Civil War. It chronicled their lives through the birth of their children, problems in their marriages, the arrival of grandchildren, and their advancement into old age. These women lived out their lives in their small town and never deviated from the role that was expected of women in that time.
I thought of this book recently when I had a letter from a woman in Texas. This dear lady has corresponded with me frequently since she read my first book. On the day she wrote, she said it was her last day to be 79 years old. The next day she would enter a new decade in her life, but she wrote that she didn’t mind. In fact, she said, the years with zeros in them had an important place in her life. At 30 God called her to be a missionary and she had to begin college. At 40 she learned to drive. At 50 she hit the half century mark. At 60 she had her ears pierced, and at 70 she said she felt her strength failing like Samson did when his hair was cut. She ended by saying—Who knows what 80 will bring?
As I read her letter, I thanked God for the opportunities He’s given to women of today. I’m so thankful God blessed me with a wonderful husband, children, and grandchildren. But I also thank Him for the great blessings He provided for me as a teacher and principal in the public schools. Now as I teach college students who aspire to be teachers, I feel He is helping me impact generations to come. My prayer also is that He will take the words He’s given me and plant seeds of hope in readers I will never meet. I’m thankful that those words found their way into the heart of a sweet woman in Texas who has become a blessing and an encouragement to me.
How has God blessed you? I would love to hear what He’s done in your life.