Walk in my Shoes Today

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No person knows what I’ve experienced in life but me. I’ve had a wonderful life, a full life, and a life of joy! Growing up in a pastor’s home was not always easy and fun. In elementary school, many of the children teased and bullied me, because I was a preacher’s kid. I often heard the comment, “You think you’re something because your daddy is a preacher!” It seemed to follow me every where I went. I grew up in the 50s when little girls from our church only wore dresses. How I dressed became the “standard” by which the other little girls at Wilson Grove Baptist Church were dressed. I even had a dear lady tell me that when her daughters wanted to start wearing pants and shorts they were told by their father, “When Carolyn Digh starts wearing pants, you can wear them.” I’m sure that caused them to resent me. When I got to high school, boys didn’t want to date the preacher’s daughter. But little did I realize that just over the hill next door, a young man was living that saw something in me. He didn’t look at me as the “preacher’s kid” he only saw me as a person he wanted to spend the rest of his life with; we’ve been married for 53 years and have never been happier.

Even today, I’m still that preacher’s kid. And you know what, I’m proud of it. People who remember my father connect with the fact that I’m a 72 year-old PK. My dear husband has become known as “the preacher’s son-in-law,” and my daughter’s have become known as “the preacher’s granddaughters.”

Today, I can honestly say…I’m a stronger person because of the road I’ve traveled. I wouldn’t take anything for my journey in life, and it definitely has influenced my writing. Growing up in a pastor’s home has given me much insight into the character and lives of people. I have used some of the knowledge I’ve gleaned from many of the “church people” to form the personalities of my characters. Not all “church people” are nice.” Daddy used to call them “disgruntles.” They were always crotchety and cantankerous. Notice I used the term “church people” not Christians. One of the problems I observed over the years in southern Baptist churches is family control issues. One family gets into power, and the family across the way gets upset and starts a ruckus or a bruhaha. Most of the time the two factions are kin to each other. Next thing you know, it’s like a political arena.  Because of my life experiences, I can almost spot a “disgruntle” a mile away.

Yes, I’ve seen much in my 72 years. If all writers were to be honest, they would have to admit they base their writing on their experiences and what they know. A writer has  to write about what he or she has knowledge of. All I have ever known is life in the church and the Christian life. Therefore, that’s what my novels are about. They are packed with imperfect people that God has touched and redeemed.

If you were to walk in my footsteps today, you would find that I have slowed down and learned to evaluate life more through my spiritual eyes than through my physical eyes. Life gets sweeter as the days go by. I can describe a sunset with deeper clarity, because it looks more beautiful than it did in my youth. The birds and the trees are lovelier than they have ever been before, and I can describe them with more detail. Today, I view things honestly and attempt to describe them simply and accurately, whereas years ago, my writing would have had no depth or exactness. So, follow in my footsteps today and you might see life differently.

7 Comments on “Walk in my Shoes Today

  1. Beautiful sentiments, Carolyn. Your last paragraph made me think of the historical novel I’m reading right now, Ahab’s Wife. The sixteen-year-old girl was left temporarily blind for a few days after a brilliant lightning strike from her view atop a lighthouse on Nantucket. As she was regaining her sight, she appreciated more than ever the beauty of the little things around her. “I wanted to look long and hard at the design of Queen Anne’s lace, the long spurs of columbine. Even the yellow cap of a dandelion delighted me. The light poured over the world like honey and I wanted to see the breeze as well as feel it. I would store it up and reclaim it if I ever was truly blind.”

    I love your analogy of how life gets sweeter as the days go by. Just as a blind person who can suddenly see again, we want to take in all the sights and sounds and savor them, storing them up so we can pull them from our memories when our days grow shorter. I’m enjoying your blog posts, Carolyn! Keep them up!

  2. You are a great writer and I enjoy your books so much. You make us feel like we are part of your book. Our memories of growing up in the country make us feel right at home in your books . I feel like I am right there in each book. Keep up the good work.

  3. Carolyn, I must say that I never thought of you as the “preachers kid”. You were my friend and even though your Daddy was “my preacher”, your family were our friends and your Daddy was one of my Daddy’s best friends. And your Mother, the only shadow she stood in was God’s shadow. She was the best of the best

    • Becky, I have been struggling with setting up my blog and I failed to tell you just what our friendship means to me. We don’t have to see each other anymore, but we are bound by the life we shared as children and the many memories we made. We are old ladies now, but God’s not finished with us yet.

  4. When I think of Wilson Grove, some of the first families to come to mind are the Gladdens. I remember you mom, you daddy, and Helen with such fond memories. I remember riding my bicycle to your house and the Carriker dogs chasing me. I was scared to death they would maul me before I got to your house. Precious memories.

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