Knowing how much I love to read biographies, a friend of mine suggested a book called Alabaster Doves, by Linda Holland. An easy read (I read it in a few hours), the book tells the story of 8 women “whose lives were characterized by strength and gentleness” as the book cover says.

It was a fun read because I had never heard of some of these ladies and yet they had a profound impact on the culture in which they lived. What really jumped off the page to me, however, was the fact that God had planned lives for them that they never imagined as they were growing up and that each of them had been so perfectly, providentially prepared for His calling, though they were not aware of it beforehand. And it is apparent that education was a part of those callings.

My favorite story was of a woman who had been trained as a nurse, specializing in herbal remedies, prior to the Civil War. That training allowed her to be qualified as a botanical physician so she was able to support her family when her husband died. It also allowed her to have a special ministry within the small community where she lived in the Midwest.

Years later she was asked to volunteer as a nurse to over 500 Union troops from her own hometown who were dying in southern Illinois. Eventually her training took her to the front lines of battle, ministering as a nurse and comforting as a mother to the young men. When the war was over, she was given a soldier’s pension for her volunteer work, something nearly unheard of at that time!

We do not know what the Lord has in store for us. We do know that His ways are perfect and are not our ways. We do know that God intends to prepare us for His callings on our lives and that He uses education to do just that in many instances!

Have any of you read other biographies of Christian women where education has played a major role in their callings? All book suggestions welcome!