By Paige K Slighter
“At Woodland, this ‘curse’ of mine is not a curse, but a blessing.”
You might ask, “What’s Christie’s curse?” She’s a theology buff, who loves questioning things. Before she found Woodland, she felt like her mind made her a troublemaker. That all changed when she heard Greg preach. Loving his brainy approach to the Gospel, she says, “I don’t feel like a troublemaker at Woodland because Greg is much more trouble than I could ever be. His digging and striving have blessed more people than we can imagine.”
Christie grew up in Oakdale, Minnesota and attended Woodland while she was in college. After she and her husband moved to Arizona she has stayed in touch as a podrishioner and an avid reader of Greg’s books. Recently, she’s been loving the online Zoom studies for Screwtape Letters and Standing Free.
Christie is a speech-language pathologist and a curriculum developer for kids. She specializes in teaching children with developmental delays. Early on in her career, she realized that much of the Christian curricula available for children was, as she puts it, “Sadly inadequate for the task of teaching the most important spiritual truths in a way that was relevant and accessible.” So, she began the long process of writing specialized curriculum for children with communication disorders and cognitive delays. Christie’s lessons build on each other to help kids understand complex spiritual concepts through simple language and repetition. She also started a YouTube channel to provide free training and encouragement for special-needs ministry workers and family members. She says, “I love being able to share ideas and strategies with people who otherwise might not have access to a professional who could understand their child.” To learn more about the resources she’s developed, you can email Christie at email@example.com.
A few years ago, when Christie began writing her curriculum, she experienced some really difficult health issues. It was truly a miracle that she was even able to write her lessons; some days she could only work for fifteen minutes. Looking back, she realizes that God really used that time for good: “If I hadn’t been sick, I probably wouldn’t have written the curriculum at all because I would have been busy doing other (less important) things with my life.”
Two practices that have helped Christie remain hopeful during the COVID pandemic are writing in her gratitude journal and imaginative prayer. Every day she lists five things that she’s grateful for. She says, “I’ve been doing this for three years and it has amazing benefits psychologically and emotionally.” Imaginative prayer is something that Greg mentions a lot in his sermons. He believes that imagination plays a vital role in how we experience God, ourselves and others. Christie agrees, saying, “It has been life-changing for me and it’s truly helped me experience that Jesus is REAL and completely loving, and with me no matter what comes.”
We’re so glad Christie is part of our global community of podrishioners. We hope her story encourages other troublemakers out there.
Got a story about how you got connected to Woodland? We’d love to hear from you! Just shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.