Take a stroll with me down the path of my little girl fulfilling her dream and becoming all God created her to be!
“No, I not wearing dat old hat for Easter; I want dis one!” my two-year-old-screamed.
“I want to ask Jesus into my heart,” the bubbly, squirming, five-year-old said right after devotions with her sister, Crystal, and me.
Today, as I celebrate her 40th birthday with her, I now realize that before Heather had even entered grade school, the combination of Fashion and Faith had begun its journey into her life. (Did I just say my baby girl is turning 40? NO WAY!)
On that Easter Sunday morning when she screamed and absolutely refused to wear the beautiful Easter hat I had picked out for her, I wanted to bust her butt, and shout right back at her: “What do you know about fashion? Now, put this hat on, and get your little rear end out of this house; you are making us late for church, you little brat!”
But, I stuffed my feelings and refrained from calling her what was really on my mind. However, I did ponder the thought: “Is there something about this fashion stuff that she DOES know something about, even at two?”
And about asking Jesus into her heart at five, I have to tell you that after Crystal led her in the sinner’s prayer, her first question about her salvation experience was: “Will Tom and Jerry (her favorite cartoon characters) be in heaven with me?” Not really deep into theology at the ripe old age of five, but her faith walk had begun! Proud mama I was!
As her journey down the road of fashion continued, I started taking a step back, and stopped trying to force my “fashion tastes” upon her. For example: Fly bangs came on the scene in the 80’s. I scringed every time I saw my little ten-year-old stand before the mirror plastering her bangs down with Aqua Net. I spent a fortune on Aqua Net, but I kept my mouth closed. After all, it helped those bangs to fly, and that was what she wanted in order to be in style.
And about her faith walk, I will let you in on a little secret: “She was a strong-will stubborn child!” Fun and free-spirited, yes! But, also strong-will and stubborn! Wait, did I just talk about being strong-will/stubborn and faith all tied up in one?
If you have any doubts that those two qualities can be tied up in one, may I remind you of the Apostle Paul who spent years persecuting Christians because of his strong-will stubborn personality, but when he had an encounter with Jesus on the Road to Damacus, well------let’s just say that God began the process of pruning and shaping Paul into what He had created Him to be.
So much so, that when he stood before King Agrippa professing his faith in Jesus Christ, the King said to Paul: “You almost PERSUADE me to be a Christian.” Now, that is a changed man with faith flowing through that strong/stubborn will that Paul had within him, but for good this time. (Acts 26:28 – NKJV)
As Heather’s mother, I may be a tiny bit prejudice, but I believe when she stands before audiences at Style Speaks Events and other places she has been invited to speak, I believe she leaves women PERSUADED to go out and become what God has created them to be. Why? Because, she, too, has been through the pruning process.
Heather could probably tell you many times God has pruned and shaped her, gently transforming her as He did Paul. I personally believe it might have started the first time she went on a Mission trip with her Youth Leader, Jerry McNeill, to the Navjo Indian Reservation in Arizona as a 15-year-old.
Arriving home after a two week mission trip, she came into the house crying her eyes out. “I have to go back, Mama. I never saw poverty before. I want to be a part of spreading the gospel to those Indian children.”
And that is when faith, in my opinion, really began to take root in her life to help others. In the last four years of her high school years, she chose to give up her much loved dance recitals she had prepared for all year to return to the mission field. Oh yes, I believe God was pruning my strong-will child into the vessel He desired her to be from the inside out.
As her mother, I could go on and on about the journey of Fashion and Faith that I have seen her walk. But, she is still telling me what to do: “Keep your posts down to 600 words - no more!”
But, this time I pulled rank on her and said: “I AM still the mother, and don’t you forget it, you little brat!” (Oh my! I still have that word stuffed inside of me all these many years. Lord, forgive me.)
Would you join with me in wishing Heather a Happy Birthday!
Allow me to throw out a gift suggestion to give her that would make her so happy!
Don't ever stop dreaming your God-given dreams because they are not just about you, but about the legacy you are building for generations to come.
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." (Proverbs 13:12)