Librarian testimony: If ever there were a 'least likely,' I'm it
If ever there were a least likely, it would be me! God had plans for this quiet, shy, "don't' see me" and "please don't ask me a question in class" wallflower. That was many years ago and I'm still amazed at what God is doing in my life every day.
For me, life began when I discovered or should I say the Nominating Committee chairman found me in the hallway of our wonderful new church facility in August of 1986. We were standing close to the sanctuary doors near the vestibule. Right at the corner there was a closed door to a large room that had collected everything that no one knew where to put in the new church building. The room had a new name "Church Media Center" and no librarian. The chairman said, "I have been praying ..." isn't that the way ‘they' always come to you? Only this man truly was a man of prayer and he really meant it! God had surely directed him to me and he had the wisdom to offer me a book to take home to read about this ministry.
That was a Sunday evening. By Wednesday, I couldn't wait to see him and accept the position of church librarian. God had given me a vision for the ministry of church library. The tremendous opportunity to serve in a way I already loved, reading! Just as a pastor is called to preach or a Sunday school teacher has been called to teach, church librarians are called to minister with media! Why else would we continue year after year to sharpen our technical processing skills and go to all the various workshops?
The first workshop I attended sent my mind soaring and dreaming of things I thought I could never do. Not me, I could never stand in the front of a room leading a conference with so many people asking me questions. Never! What in the world was I thinking? In days to come I found myself praying for the Lord to use me in whatever way He saw fit, and wouldn't it be a miracle if He chose me to lead a workshop for church library ministry? Oh, how I would love to share all the wonderful ways we were reaching people in the community, helping our church families with marriage and parenting resources, building a reference library for our Bible study teachers and leaders and of course the Pastor and Minister of Education were frequent users. The children and teens loved to come in and see what the library had for them. Our volunteer team has grown to twenty-one as God blessed us immeasurably.
My Heavenly Father gave me a mentor that guided me and smoothed the edges off, but more than anything else Jeanne Tucker, Director of Hickory Grove Baptist in Charlotte. "Mama T." saw something in me I never knew was there. Because she looked beyond today or even tomorrow Jeanne encouraged me to believe in myself, and what the Lord could do with my life. My heart was open to ministry and the call was strong but her experience shared year after year became another blessing from the Lord. I traveled to the State Church Library Workshops with her group, and there were the long trips from North Carolina to Seminar East in Nashville, Tennessee. Because she shared expenses with me, I was able to stay at cut rates with her at Ridgecrest for Church Library Week. She always made sure I knew when a local association or church had a workshop even if she could not attend.
I wonder, has God shown you someone that needs your mentoring abilities? Yes, if there were a ‘least likely,' I would have been that person. My life isn't much different from so many others of the ‘least likely.' Jesus changed my life! He touched me so I can be used to touch others. He gave me someone that looked beyond today and saw someone God would develop into a servant. That's all we are, just servants, sharing in the ministry God has called us to. Ours libraries are sometimes viewed as a room of old dusty books, but when His vision becomes clear to us and our course becomes HIS, we will change and lives around us will impacted for the Lord Jesus Christ.