Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! Appreciating the authentic story of another hinges on understanding your own authentic story. What is your story? Dr. King once stated “we are not makers of history but are instead made by history.” How has Martin Luther King Jr.’s story influenced your own?

This is today’s journal prompt from FOLK Magazine’s 2013 Journal Challenge.  Tough, huh?  I would like to think about how Dr. Martin Luther King’s story has influenced my own.  I was only four years old when Dr. King made his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, but I believe his desire for equality for all people and his courage to press on in the face of opposition helped pave the way for me and every other American to pursue their own dreams.

I grew up the oldest of four children, living in a small home in the country with my parents.  We didn’t have much but we had plenty of love, discipline, and food.  I was raised on good old-fashioned Biblical principles, and I learned from my parents a work ethic that would shape who I became and carry me through my adult life.  I appreciated what little I had but I had lofty dreams.

I wanted to be a teacher from a young age.  I practiced teaching using my mom’s piano bench as a desk, old books, slate chalkboard, and stuffed animals and dolls for students if I couldn’t get my little sisters to play. As I grew older I became fascinated with nature and pretended to be a scientist.  After that I began writing and determined to become a journalist and novelist.  

In addition, I wanted to get married and have children.

Years later, here I am, living proof that dreams come true, made possible by others who dreamed of equal educational and job opportunities for women.  I had dreams, perhaps not as noble as those of Dr. King, but grand for a young poor girl from Texas.  I am grateful to say that the Lord has made those dreams reality.  I married the love of my life 33 years ago, had two wonderful children who have spouses of their own, was a teacher for 30 years, a science teacher some of those years, wrote two books, and am now blogging!

But no matter how old you get, you don’t stop dreaming.  I can’t wait to see more of my dreams come true.  What about you?  Do you have a dream?



By aencoker

Author, teacher, mom, grandmother, but most of all, Christian.

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