Connections: God’s grace in disparate environments.
I’ve done a lot of different things in my life and yet they somehow seem to connect back together and be woven into a tapestry that tells a story.
I could tell you about the people in my life who have been beside me for multiple steps of the journey. For example, Dr. Weathers and I went through our master’s program together, along with Dr. Gay Barton, who has a room named for her in the ACU library. Dr. Willerton, this year’s Culp Fellow, wrote my recommendation letters for my PhD program; I also TA’ed for his Major British writers class. I went to Purdue for graduate school and got to know Dr. Williams, the director of composition here. Immediately after graduating from high school, Dr. Ellen Little (ACU’s campus physician) and I went to Mission Seminar together and got to know each other; when she was on furlough, I gave her a tour of Houston; then she offered me a place to stay while I was house hunting here in Abilene. My new faculty mentor, Mrs. Cukrowski, was on my hall in McKenzie when I was an undergraduate. A friend I met when he was leaving for Thailand, in the missionary apprentice program, the same one I went to Switzerland with, is now a professor in the Bible department- Dr. Chris Flanders.
“I know the plans I have made for you, plans to prosper and not to harm you,” God said (Jeremiah 29:11). And in Romans Paul tells us that God determines the places we will live and the times we will live there. Obviously he wanted these people in my life.
Together they show that there are connections, even in very different situations and that we are walking this path together.
An Incomplete Explanation:
This is not all the connections I am seeing. I can see how my time in Switzerland made my time here in Abilene without my husband Ron (since he is in school in Houston) much easier. I can see how my history classes have improved my literature teaching. I know that teaching humanities last year has made my literature classes better. Also, the humanities class was better than it would have been otherwise because I taught “Dinosaurs and Dragons” and “Games and Races Through History” to homeschoolers in middle school.
The first full-time job I ever had teaching was teaching homeschooled students in a one-room schoolhouse. That opened my eyes to the possibilities of homeschooling (and the problems), which God used to bring me to homeschool my own sons. (Eventually. I kicked and screamed first.)
My old mentor was just telling me about a great Biblical texts student he has; the guy is the son of a friend of mine from Austin with whom I went on the the MARK (missionary apprentice) program.
There are connections all over the place for me with this life I am living now. For instance, the associate dean wanted to introduce me to a guy who writes for the newspaper. I looked at, but did not purchase, his house; because of that, I had already met him. (Doug, I loved your house. Ron just thought it was too big for us.) In fact, there are really too many to tell. I’m good with that, I think.
Abilene is the kind of school where, even when you leave, you’re only two degrees of separation from people all over the world.
The tapestry above is from grimalkinshearth.com.