Mim is representing single women. At 62, she can look back at a varied career that includes teaching school for 15 years and earning a graduate degree in counseling. Mim has worked at a missions agency in Ohio since 1984. She serves as director of Human Resources and prayer coordinator and travels widely in her job.
“The hardest part with being single . . . When I was 17 or 18 I was reading a book. It was John S. Kauffman’s biography, talking about his ordination. Reading that part, I was thinking, ‘That’s what God has for me. I’m going to be a pastor’s wife! This was really clear to me.
“I started watching all the pastors’ wives I knew. Sometimes I thought, ‘I don’t want to be like that one!’
“For me the hardest part of singleness is that whole thing: what do you do with what you think God called you to do and be when it doesn’t happen? That’s where a lot of my kicking and screaming and hollering came from. A lot of painful times . . .”
And finally, Dot. Dot is 56 and is representing married women without children. Born and raised in Indiana, Dot spent two and a half years in Central America, then lived in Minnesota for a while. For years, she and her husband drove semi trucks! She even drove one alone from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to St. Louis, and drove another one out of Los Angeles to St. Louis by herself. Today she and her husband have “a home in the middle of the woods” in Indiana.
“I might need help knowing how to tell my story. Maybe I’m not a typical woman who never had children. I never went through the phase of thinking I couldn’t be satisfied with life if I couldn’t have children. We did discuss this before marriage, maybe more than some couples do. What would we do if we couldn’t have children. We made conscious decisions at that point about what we would do.
“I don’t recall, like some women recall, wanting always to grow up and get married and live in a house with a white picket fence and have three or four children or ten. That doesn’t mean we didn’t go through the stage of wanting to have children and knowing that wouldn’t be.
“I remember seeing women who were married and their husbands didn’t want children and they did, and I didn’t want to be that kind of person. That wasn’t beautiful to me: ‘If I can’t have a baby, life is over.’ If we can’t have children I can’t say that my life is over — not that I didn’t want them.”