It was nearly 25 years ago I was born the daughter of a farmer. My mom jokingly tells me the doctor proclaimed, “It’s Miss America!” as I entered the world. While the Miss America crown wasn’t in my future, another one was. I remember when a crown was placed upon my head of curls and a rose red suede sash was draped over me. Holding the bouquet of suede roses I could see my parents’ smiles gleaming with happiness as I was named the Ohio Pork Industry Queen. One might laugh at the thought of a pig queen, but to me it was more than reigning over my piglets. It was the opportunity to tell my story in a new light. There have been many times I have taken my piglets for granted. As I grew older I became envious of peers who didn’t have to wake early on the weekends, with no obligations and disconnect from their parents. Their ability to move to away to a distant land with no hesitation made me question my future as a farmer. I have seen my dad struggle with my mom by his side. A day away from the farm was both a luxury and a curse. He always believed when he would leave something would go wrong and that wrong often being the lose of a pig, for no other reason than he wasn’t there.
You see, they call him the pig whisper. My dad had a vision when he was my age. A vision to be a pig farmer. I firmly believe it was God telling him what to do and my dad simply following direction. God made my dad a farmer, a care taker to the animals for the nourishment of human bodies, and he followed God’s instructions. Since I was a little girl I followed my dad’s instructions. He taught me how to feed the pigs, clean their pens, throw baby powder on the piglets, tend to the farrowing sows and watch over the piglets as they grow because their lives depend on me. Sometimes it’s as though God allows me to fulfill my dad’s vision, but I find myself wondering if I am meant to do more than tend to piglets? I often think if I accept what I have right now, then things won’t change and I won’t move ahead in life, which simply isn’t true. While I know the piglets depend on my care, I know I am meant for more and more may be just the words I am typing. I am a story teller and the story I tell is my own. As my birthday approaches, I am attempting more than ever to listen to God’s instruction for my life. John 17:4 tells us, I glorified you on earth by completing down to the last detail what you assigned me to do. Piglets and tiaras may have been in my past, but they have made a future for me to write.
An inspirational woman in Christ, Terri Savelle Foy said, “God will not advance His instructions for your life beyond your last act of disobedience.” I have always prayed for God to make me a leader for Him and agriculture all the days of my life and His instruction will not be made clear until I begin to listen. While His instructions are not clear to me just yet, I feel a lack of peace that is a sign I must being to obey. There is a tugging at my heart I am meant to write, speak and lead. Obedience brings reward and I have been rewarded the opportunity to travel to the distant land of Japan with the National FFA Organization this may with the International Collegiate Agricultural Leadership Program. As I lead for agriculture I am no longer envious of peers with no obligations, because it’s the obligation of my piglets and serving God who make it possible.