I debated on posting this because I do not want to seem to be bragging or patting myself on the back. I am posting it because God is SO good and has used something on my heart to make a difference for others.
When I went to graduate school to get my master’s in Christian Education, things were pretty rough. I worked full time, went to school full time, and still had two children at home. My husband, Tom, was super supportive, but it was still a challenge.
Financially it was difficult because I had been out of college for over 30 years. There were several grants and scholarships for those who just completed their undergraduate work, but not for someone who had been out of school as long as I had. I did find some scholarships for degrees outside of my field, but the only scholarships I found in my field were from denominations I was not a part of. The only financial aid I had available to me was student loans. So I paid for my graduate degree on my own. It was not easy, but I did it.
I wondered how many other older women found themselves in the same circumstances I experienced–longing to go back to school and hon her ministry skills, but barely able to afford it. After my experience of searching for grants and scholarships, I decided that if there was any way I could help another older woman who was struggling financially with grad school, I would. When I was still president of Christian Women’s Resource Network, an organization for women leaders in local churches, we set up a scholarship at Lincoln Christian Seminary. The scholarship was specifically for women over the age of 35 who were going to graduate school. Unfortunately, shortly afterward we disbanded CWRN and the scholarship was no more.
I had a dream that God had put on my heart, and I regrouped and established the Linda DeLay Wallace scholarship. I wish I had unlimited funds to give, but I do what I can on a regular basis.
Today, I received a letter from Lincoln Christian University, and this year for the first time the scholarship has been able to provide THREE women with financial assistance. I am thrilled that a small dream of mine has made a difference for women over the last few years.
I could have told myself all the reasons that establishing a scholarship was not a practical idea for me, particularly because I have never seemed to have an excess of money. But I am so glad that God allowed that dream to blossom in my heart, providing me the faith to step out and believe I could make a difference, as small as it may be.
What are your dreams for the kingdom of God? What has God laid on your heart that takes a leap of faith to accomplish? What is keeping you from taking steps toward making dreams come true? I challenge you to give it to God and see what he can do with your dreams, even if they don’t seem large in the grand scheme of things.
And if you find yourself motivated to give, you can always consider helping other women reach of their goal of serving in ministry by giving to the Linda DeLay Wallace Scholarship. Checks can be made to Lincoln Christian University.
Lincoln Christian University
100 Campus View Dr.
Lincoln, IL 62656