Even though I had read and studied Bible passages like Proverbs 31 and Titus 2:4-5, I inwardly interpreted them through such a thick screen of cultural thought that the truth of what God was really saying did not dawn on me for a long time. I did not know that God created a woman to find her calling and fulfillment through her home (Titus 2:5). I knew nothing about being a helpmeet to my husband (Genesis 2:18), and in my early years of marriage I often thought he was supposed to be a helpmeet to me. Thankfully, I knew that if I was going to have children, I needed to raise them, and this meant staying home with them. But I have a journal full of my distress over giving up my career. I poured out my heart to God on how difficult it was to lay aside all the praise of men I had received and the fulfillment I felt through my work. God is very compassionate, and once I laid my career on His altar, He has helped me find wonderful joy and riches in my calling as a helpmeet, mommy, and homeschooler. But it was a very painful process, and I wasted many years of my life chasing vain things the world calls important because I was taught to do this every day, year after year in school.

Parallel to my desire for a career outside my home, I also had no desire for children. I was not against having children; I was just very ambivalent about being a parent. I felt that children interrupted many things I thought were important. Kids not only made the pursuit of a career difficult, they also made travel and worldly experiences more challenging. I was not completely selfish in my desire not to have kids—I knew it would be more difficult to serve the Lord in the church if I was "stuck" at home raising babies. I did not realize what Psalm 127:3 meant when it says, "Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward." Thankfully, in this area too, God has reeducated me to show me that children are extremely important to His kingdom. I could have no greater ministry than to raise my kids to know, love, and serve God. I now have four children, and I am so grateful that God got through to me before my fertile years were completely wasted.

In school I also gained a lot of practice compartmentalizing God. He was not allowed in my classes, so I learned to study my subjects without Him. I learned to avoid controversy and persecution by teachers and classmates by not mentioning the name of Jesus during class discussions. Not only were Christians persecuted for mentioning God, we were made to feel that we were disrespecting the rules of civility by bringing religion into an inappropriate setting. Now, as an adult, I still find it hard to bring Jesus into areas that might make people uncomfortable. I pray for boldness and for a desire to share the gospel. These days, I use a Christ-focused curriculum with my kids in our homeschool, because otherwise I wouldn't know how to integrate Jesus into math, science, English, or history. I need the curriculum authors to teach me how to put God back in His proper place in education. Hopefully I'll get better at this the longer I school my children.

I never believed in evolution, even as a student, but I was too busy studying to pass my evolution-laced biology class to learn apologetics that would refute gradualism. The stands I took against evolution, both in my own mind and in the classroom, were weak at best. As an adult, I found the constant hammering of evolutionary teaching had affected me. I was in an aquarium a few years back admiring the beautiful, colorful fish. I wanted to worship God for the beauty of His creation, but I felt like a fool. The mocking voices I had heard all through my formative years rang in my ears: "Do you really believe God created the world in seven days?" Thankfully, that day standing in front of the fish, something inside me broke and God helped me worship Him as the Creator of the universe, perhaps for the first time.