Woman of the Year

By Kat Crawford © 2011

“The church pianist quit today,” Gary told me when we walked into the parsonage after our third Sunday in a new pastorate. “The board members tell me there is no one in the congregation that can read music, much less play the piano.” He didn’t volunteer any more information that afternoon, but Monday morning Gary said, “You’ll need to play the piano for next Sunday’s service.”
“I can’t play in front of people!”
“Sure you can. You graduated from a hymn playing course at Bible college, you can handle it.” Gary handed me his choice of songs for the next week. “You’ll only need to fill in until we find another pianist.”
Two weeks later when our 13-year-old son brought his teenage school chums to church, our youth group quadrupled in size. One day after church Gary said, “There isn’t anyone in the congregation that wants to take on a bunch of unchurched teens.” When I raised my eyebrows he added, “You only need to fill in until we find a youth director.” 
When the teens brought their parents and siblings, the church grew. Gary arrived home one Tuesday night after a board meeting. “Tonight we talked about the need for a women’s ministries group. If you’ll serve as the director until….”
I finished the statement for him. “I know, until we find someone else.”
A year passed.
I turned 40.
It didn’t matter that I’d made many friends in the congregation and for a year I’d managed to be successful in all the roles I filled until someone came along to relieve me, I truly felt old and unsure of myself. Then on a Monday morning I received a phone call.
“Mrs. Crawford,” a well-modulated voice I didn’t recognize said her name, her title, what sorority she represented and then she said, “We’ve chosen you as ‘Woman of the Year.’”
“We’ll hold a banquet next month. Will you be able to attend and accept the award?”
No longer did I feel over-the-hill-forty. I quietly jumped up and down while I checked the calendar.
“Why yes, I’ll be able to attend,” I replied in a sweet preacher’s wife voice. Wait until Gary hears this. And Mom and Dad and…I stifled my giggles while the sorority chairperson told me the planned events for the special evening. Before she hung up she sighed deeply and said in a breathy relieved voice, “Oh, thank you for accepting. You are the third woman I’ve asked. The others couldn’t make it.”

Prayer: Thank you Lord for trusting me to create a difference in the lives of others—and keeping me humble in the process. Amen.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kat Crawford is the author of “Capsules of Hope: Survival Guide for Caregivers.” She is the mother of three and grandmother of six. Her desire is to share life’s humor and encouragement. Read more of her story atwww.lionheartedkat.com and www.caringbridge.org/visit/kat2009

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