This weekend I got to meet one of my personal heroes. I’d heard her speak two years ago at a conference, then read her book, and have since kept up with her via the blogosphere and other writings and interviews available on the internet.
She is a woman of uncommon femininity, contentment, humility, graciousness and submission.
She is a picture of the woman I hope to be.
Her name is Carolyn McCulley.
When I first heard her share her story at what was to be the last New Attitude Conference in 2004, I remember thinking “I am a big loser!” Truthfully, my knee-jerk reaction is always to discredit myself. But, I also prayed “Lord help me. May I not have to be in my 40’s before I know the joy of contentment and the reality of your all-satisfying goodness.”
I left that conference challenged and determined to get my heart right with the Lord. Part of my attempt to do that was listening to her message over and over, looking up the scriptures referenced there, reading her book, and then, prayerfully and by the Lord’s grace, applying the truth I’d heard and read.
I also had to come to the sort of sad resignation that, I, friends, am NO Carolyn McCulley.
But, what the Lord has consistently shown me is that I am not called to be. I am called to be feminine, content, humble, gracious and submitted…in whatever way that needs to look for Tina Gaspard.
Though my cookie-cutter mentality was destroyed, I do not think I was wrong to see good and strive to emulate it. After all, Paul encouraged others to “do as I do”. I believe it is good for us to have examples...it gives us hope and helps us to strive for better things (and I am so very thankful for her example and that the Lord led her to make it part of the public domain). But, as I said, my knee-jerk reaction is always to discredit myself…so whenever my domesticity was lacking or my devotion time was inconsistent or I found myself daydreaming about so and so, I wanted to beat myself over the head with “Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye.”
Thankfully, that is not the Lord’s knee-jerk reaction.
He always responds to me in kindness and lifts me up out of the ashes and turns my self-abasement to true humility as He speaks His words of truth and healing and direction and encouragement.
Ours is indeed a kind and good God.
So, then, on top of allowing me to hear this woman’s story, and have access to her words via an mp3 recording, a paperback book and the internet…He arranged for me to meet her.
There was no girly tea time and heart-to-heart talk, and though I would have loved to tell her just what she means to me, I was thrilled just to spend a few minutes with her and give her a big hug. She was sick and could barely speak, but she was very gracious…even when we wound up in the ladies room together.
When I walked in and saw her standing at the sink I thought “Great! I’ve got to pee in front of Carolyn McCulley!” But she was un-phased. She commented on the worship practice, our borrowed building and other things…which helped my shy bladder very much.
Then, I had the distinct privilege of worshipping with her, though she was in the balcony and I was on the platform. It blessed me to see her, singing out though she had no voice and engaging the Lord with us, and, no doubt, for us.
And, I am very grateful.