Hey! I’m happy you decided to visit. I’d like to imagine we were in a little sweet shop somewhere sharing a diet Coke and a chocolate chunk cookie. Let me tell you a little about myself. My name is Carol Hatcher. I’m a former elementary school teacher. I married my high school sweetheart, Alan. We met in Trig class my junior year, and then I followed him to college at the University of Tennessee. I got my BA in language arts/pre-teaching and my MA in curriculum and instruction. After dating Alan for six years, we began writing the pages of our happily ever after in June of 1997. We now have three wonderful children, Colin, Faith and Grace.
Alan and I are passionate about each other and marriage in general. We believe that when you say, “I do,” it’s meant to last forever. We are marriage mentors at our church and often teach and speak on the subject.
I love to curl up with a good book on a rainy afternoon. I have been known to clean the house in sequins and pearls. I love my cowboy boots. And my day isn’t complete if I haven’t had a good belly laugh.
My greatest desire is for God to use me to draw others closer to Him. I write just for that purpose. One of the reasons I love to speak and write is because I love to tell a good story. I’m often asked how I got started writing, and I always say the same thing.
“Well, that’s a good story…”
My hand twitched and began to move. I watched in dismay at its slow but steady rise into the air. I glanced down at it assuring myself it was still attached to my body and that I still had control over it. Next my mouth began to form words. There was a tickle in my stomach. My heart started to race. “I want to publish a book,” were the words I heard come out of my own mouth after being called on by my Sunday school teacher.
Had I just said that out loud? Those around me were smiling and nodding, so I must have. It was true, but I hadn’t thought about it in a very long time.
Our Sunday school class was reading The Dream Giver, by Bruce Wilkinson, when I realized I wanted to write. It wasn’t a whimsy. I’ve always loved writing. I love words. Okay, I admit I’m a big talker. But my love of words was more than the way they spilled out of my mouth. It was the way they sound, the pictures they paint, the stories they tell.
Those who know me will tell you I’m a storyteller. I love to tell a good story. But I love even more to tell a God story. Let me back up and tell you from the beginning.
My grandfather was a southern Baptist preacher. I was raised in the church. In the summer of 1984, while on a mission trip to Oklahoma with my family, I came to understand the sacrifice Christ made for me. After we returned home, sitting on my dad’s lap at our kitchen table, I asked Christ into my heart.
As time progressed, I grew in my faith. I married my high school sweetheart and started a family. (We have three children – Colin, Faith, and Grace.) We joined a wonderful church, and I found my pew. I KNOW you know what I’m talking about. It’s that special place you sit every week, and Heaven forbid someone sit in your spot. But there was a problem. I was so comfortable in my pew I had fallen asleep.
God came along and wooed me out of my seat. I became fascinated with the idea of seeking Him. I loved the Lord and was sure of my salvation, but I wondered if there was more of God that I hadn’t seen.
But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 4:29 NIV
I wanted to find God.
Nothing earth shattering had happened in my life. I wasn’t diagnosed with an illness. I didn’t lose a loved one. God certainly uses the thorns in our lives to draw us closer, but this time it wasn’t the thorns that drew me.
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. 1 Kings 19:11-13 NIV
Sometimes God comes to us in a gentle whisper, and He draws us closer. In that whisper God challenged me to give Him everything, and my decision for Christ became a commitment. A commitment to follow Him anywhere and do whatever He asked.
Before that time I was sure if I gave God my all, He would ask me to become a nun or send me to Africa. Fear kept me from fully committing my life to God. I didn’t want Him to think I was unwilling. I was perfectly willing to do anything He asked – that fell within the confines of my comfort zone. Sometimes we tell God what we are willing to do instead of just telling Him we are willing.
But God asks for more.
He wants our complete abandon.
So finally, I gave up. I uttered three simple words and truly meant them, “Use me, Lord.” And I sat back and watched as God revealed His plan for my life. No, the nuns didn’t call me to join. And I haven’t been called to Africa – yet. Instead God took something I loved – writing – and used it for His glory. He called me to write. And everyday His plan unfolds as I try to hang on and follow His lead. I hope you’ll join me on the journey.