What am I Doing to Serve God?

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
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I teach in a college and have two grown children. I’m aware of God. I know my Redeemer. I praise him in my daily life because I have to—because I know to. Life has been too difficult to do otherwise. I do more now than I could have ever done without Christ. I acknowledge him in my life.

In my midlife, God moved me from the back roads of Oklahoma, from a below-minimum job as artist-in-residence for the State Arts Council to a professorship at an elite college in Minnesota. My children were still young when I found myself on my own; now both have finished college. One is a lawyer, the other is a teacher who now stays home with her three children. I travel to her house as often as I can to rock the children, read stories, say prayers, and speak a word of encouragement to my daughter. She is overwhelmed with her duties as the mother of very young children.

I know the power of words. I remember praising God when I had nothing. I remember walking with determination near the apartment where I lived in Oklahoma, knowing there was something else for me, something larger. I still praise. I tithe. This is a tough world with a hard economic wall, especially for single mothers. Every step is still by faith, even though my life now feels stable and secure. In short, I am blessed.

I don’t evangelize. I no longer teach Sunday School as I did through my children’s growing-up years. I write books, and maybe someone reading them hears a word of faith. I hope I don’t reach the end of my life with a sense of failure, a sense that I have not done enough—that I didn’t serve God. I hear cries from those around me and don’t always know what to do about it. So I pray. Sometimes in the middle of the night I awake, thinking of my children or someone somewhere. One summer I was studying at the Newberry Library in Chicago, staying in an apartment surrounded by the projects. I would think: someone, somewhere in the area, is suffering; a child is mistreated; someone feels betrayed. I prayed for them.

I am not blessed with a missionary zeal. I haven’t healed anyone that I know of or raised anyone from death. But I can live steadfastly in the turmoil of this world, assured that in Christ I belong to God. I know my Redeemer.