10 years ago my Mom began a journey that would change her life. She heard God calling her to go into ministry, through scripture and lots of nudging. She is my inspiration. Because you see, it takes a special and unique person to stop teaching (after you've taught for 20 plus years), after raising two children and after being 40 something (sorry to reveal your age 10 years ago, Mom =P) to suddenly change careers and feel lead to something you never thought or considered. To be honest, I couldn't do it. But she did.
My Mom, she's a woman of God and has experienced lots of joy-filled moments and lots of heartache during these 10 years of school. She began by getting her "feet wet" and taking a course every semester, while still teaching school. She was MOB (Mother of the Bride) when I married Charlie. She then began going to school full time. She got her 1st church as a Student Pastor in 2004 at Lakeside United Methodist Church-which was a big move from the town and house that she got married in and raised Andy and I. She had to physically leave all of her friends and everything that was familiar, to go to "foreign" land. She carried me through the most difficult moment in my life-the loss of my precious Charlie in 2005. As a mother would, she gave up her fall semester to be with me through those first few months. Her reply to the committee for this decision was, "God called me to be a mother first." She was/is selfless. She grew more in her knowledge of Christ through her studies and took more and more classes. She was MOB again, when I married Jeremiah in 2007. She became a grandmother for the first time in 2008, when Ethan was born. She was MOG (Mother of the Groom), when Andy married Shannon in 2008. Then it was those around her who carried her through the most difficult moment of her life, the loss of Andy, not even 6 months ago. Instead of giving up, because as many times as she wanted to and thought she couldn't do it, she persevered through, finishing her schooling and paperwork to graduate in May. Dad and I told her many times (and I think it helped!) that Andy would not want her to give up after coming so far because of his death. Andy was there, indeed, rejoicing with Charlie and God. Again, I couldn't do it. But she did.
I know the depth of what I just wrote doesn't seem like much on paper, I mean 10 years written in one paragraph doesn't do her journey justice, in the least. These words don't even come close to what I feel for my mom and how proud I am of her. I'm very blessed to have a mother like Rachel Hollingsworth. For she gave up all the comforts of familiar land to go and fulfill God's desire for her life in "foreign" land. I Love You, Mom!
Rev. Rachel Hollingsworth, Masters of Divinity
Asbury Theological Seminary
My Momma is so pretty =)
It truly was a wonderful & very bittersweet day. We missed two wonderful men who began this journey with Mom. But as Mom said, "They had the best seat in the house."
I'm so proud of you!