"I can do all things through Christ…" Philippians 4:13
Have you changed in the past 20 years? No, I don't mean physically, but in your spirit. I can see how the Lord took an unsure, untrained woman and turned her into a woman who relies on her savior for strength. This change didn't take place due to my efforts, but only when I yielded to the Lord's will and took a giant step of faith.
What was this tremendous transformation? It started 20 years ago when I was sitting in church and heard an audible, yes audible voice speaking to me. I turned and looked at Mark but realized he didn't hear anything but the music. I felt like Moses at the burning bush, terrified by the message I heard. Now I know there are some people who claim that God speaks only to our spirit, but I know I heard a deep, yet kind voice.
I was told to go speak to the editor of the Sun and ask for religious news added to the paper. I tried to convince the Lord I was the wrong person. However, Monday morning I was at the office scared to death. Somehow I managed to speak the words and instead of rebuking, the editor agreed it was a good idea and I should do it. She announced I was the new religion editor and I was responsible for getting articles and laying out the page once a week.
I put a notice in the paper for religious news and the articles poured into the office. I hit a bit of a snag when it came to laying out the page. These were the days when the articles were printed and glued onto a template before the page was printed.
I had some help, but most of it fell on my shoulders. I had to learn fast and get it done before the deadline. Not everyone in the office at the time agreed with the editor's decision. One person made fun of me and started making jokes about the "church lady," a character on a late night television show. I took on the challenge and showed up at the office one day dressed as that character, thus the name stuck.
One day about a month later, I was short on articles for the page so I wrote a brief column based on what was happening in the community. Thus, "Notes from the Church Lady" was born and I have written a column ever since. Over the years the column evolved as I learned more about the art of writing. It was even compiled into a devotion-a-day book.
I am truly in awe of the way the Lord took a young woman with no journalism or newspaper experience and turned her into the person she is today. It just goes to show that nothing is impossible with God.
I share this not to call attention to my accomplishments, but to bring glory to God who made this column happen. He never lets me down; even on the days I am quickly approaching my deadline. I am always amazed how He can take anything and help me to turn it into a column.
How long will I continue to write? God only knows. I thank all who made this possible, but most of all I thank the Lord for using me these past 20 years.
Debra Whittington is a longtime resident of Tucumcari. Contact her at: