Friday, September 29, 2006

Woman of Vision, by Mandy McMichael

Carol Ann Vaughn

I don’t know where I would be today if I had not met her 8 years ago. Carol Ann inspired me to dig deep and dream big. She introduced me to amazing women of whom I had never heard. She told me their stories. She told me her story. She told me I had a story too, and she made sure that I knew that my story wasn’t determined for me. I had a choice about how it progressed and what people, ideas, and experiences to include. She listened to the doubts of a young freshperson. She laughed (I’m sure!) when I acted like I had everything figured out. She encouraged me in my love of learning. She taught me the art of combining learning with doing. She watched, but never judged, as I made countless mistakes. She waited. She rejoiced when I finally accepted God’s call. Simply put, she ministered to me.

Looking back, I know that my experience of her as a minister taught me not only the validity of women ministers, but also their necessity in God’s kingdom. Carol Ann continues to inspire young women to discover the gifts buried deep within themselves and to dream “impossible” dreams about what they can do with them. Perhaps the biggest compliment I can pay her is that I want to do what she does.

As a future professor/minister, I want to be patient as my students discern, rebel, and grow into their vocations. I hope to make my students feel as special, important, and irreplaceable to the life of the Church as she did me.


Anonymous Susan said...

Well said, Mandy. I'm particularly impressed by the use of the word "freshperson."

I am thankful for your voice and vision, and for Carol Ann's, too. I'm thankful for how they always seem to reappear in my story exactly when I need them.

4:12 PM  
Anonymous Mandy Mc said...

Thanks for your words Susan. Things have been a bit stressful lately and it is good to feel encouraged by you. I am so proud to call you my friend and so excited about all that God is doing and will do through you.

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Nancy Jones said...

Carol Ann is evidentally a wonderful lady and has mentored two more wonderful women among who knows how many. But even if it were only you two and each of you mentors two more (hopefully lots more) and each of your two mentors two more etc. etc. just think how many "freshwomen of vision" will be around in a few years. Even with just two every five years, it would be remarkable progress, but what if it were one or two each year?

12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carol Ann has challenged me over the past year to continually connect my experience/life in Perry County (summer of 2005) to everyday life, NOW. She has given me the opportunity to wirte an article on women in leadership & poverty. Constant questioning, inquiring, and challenging me concerning my leadership & education helps me consider the questions concerning "a balanced life," "life in action for Christ," "empowerment," ...............
Thanks for reminding me to be thankful for Carol Ann, a beautiful resource, guide, teacher & friend, that I have so close at Samford every day.

4:34 PM  

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