A good friend of mine recently introduced me to an amazing woman of God, Kathy Craft, who has been called to serve the Kingdom by laying a Christian foundation for the children of the school she founded, Abundant Grace Christian Montessori Academy, the only faith-based Montessori school in Southlake, Texas. Her story is an inspiration to anyone seeking to be "activated" into God's calling for their lives. I sat down with Kathy recently to learn more about her school and the story of how she found her calling, and I left energized and encouraged by her passion and faith, trust in God, and desire to steward children.
Kathy has a degree in Accounting and worked for the government for 16 years. Her husband of 37 years was also successful in a corporate career. When her children were young and Kathy was working in a corporate job, they had to let their nanny go, and Kathy prayed to God to give her a person who could take care of her kids. God told her, "You are that person!" Kathy was obedient to God's voice, and quit her job to stay home with her two boys. God imprinted on her that her job was not her "source", and He would never fail in being her true Source.
When her kids started going to school, she began volunteering in the children's ministry at her church, and that's when she realized she had found her calling - she absolutely loved working with children! She learned more about the educational approach used by Maria Montessori, the Italian physician and educator who developed the Montessori philosophy of education, which focuses on educating the "whole" child - heart, mind, body, and spirit. Kathy became certified to teach, and partnered with her husband to start up a Montessori school, while he explored starting up a church.
Kathy and her husband took the leap and started looking for space to host the school. One night, God woke her up from her sleep to tell her that she needed to go to a certain road in town. She assumed He meant a church she knew of on that road, but when she visited the church, she was told they didn't have enough space, and she should try another church down the road. She wasn't aware that there was another church in that location, but she drove over and sure enough, it was there. This was a Monday, and it turns out that the pastor did not usually come in on Mondays, but had decided to come in that day for some reason. He quickly agreed to lease the space to Kathy and her school!
Two years later, Kathy and her husband decided to look for their own property so they could add a church, and another miracle presented itself with the property they currently own. A realtor learned of the available space, but they didn't have the money needed to buy the property. They were connected to a bank who approved a loan on the building, which should have been difficult to obtain!
With the many miracles and open doors God has provided Kathy and her school, she knows she is living in God's purpose for her life. She does not take a salary from the school, so she can pay the teachers who work there. Kathy and her husband rely on his retirement income, and God's provision as she builds up her student body. As Kathy puts it, "God wants to give you the desires of your heart. If you follow His vision, He will give you provision."
Today, Kathy says she's not anxious any more like she was when working out of her calling in the corporate world. She "doesn't have to hold her breath any more", and can just breathe easy, trusting God in what He will do with Kathy and her ministry of serving the children of her community. She is excited to come to work every day, knowing she is operating in God's will for her life, and enjoying every moment making an impact on a child's life. She continues to have ups and downs and has faced obstacles as she grows her school, but Kathy isn't fearful of these obstacles, because she is focused on the vision and promises He has given her.
Are you "holding your breath" in your current situation? Do you feel like you are living in God's purpose for your life? Ask God to speak to you clearly in this season. My prayer is that He will open doors to allow for your true calling to be revealed to you. This doesn't necessarily mean you have to quit what you're doing now and serve in a ministry environment like Kathy, but you will know you are where you are supposed to be when God gives you peace and a passion to get up every day, excited about the work you've been given and the opportunity He has given you to serve Him and His Kingdom.
For more information on Kathy Craft and Abundant Grace Christian Montessori Academy, visit their website at http://www.agcma.com/ or their Facebook page.
- Adam Gellert