My name is Cathy Lynn-Craven and I have a chaplain call on my life. I am a retired wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, and most importantly, I am a child of God. I am from Atlanta, Georgia, the USA, born to two wonderful young parents. We lived with and I was raised mostly by my maternal grandparents until I was about 10 years old while my parents frequently stayed at the hospital and cared for my very ill sister, Judy. After Judy passed away, I moved with my parents to middle Georgia and that is where I grew up.
I was led to accept Jesus Christ as my Savior at the early age of 6. I was baptized later that year in a creek just up the road from the small church I attended with my grandparents. My maternal grandmother was actually my first mentor. She taught me about the great love Jesus has for us and she taught me the importance of living and growing in that love. I learned the importance of prayer and Bible study and I could sit beside her and listen to the Bible stories for hours on end. My faith in God was planted deep within my soul in those early years and has sustained me through many trials and tribulations during my life. While I have wavered in my service many times, my faith has always pulled me back to the wondrous love of Jesus.
As I became an adult I realized that service work was my calling. I completed an Associate Degree in Nursing and worked for many years in local hospitals. As I grew in my faith, I began to feel a calling to work in the Criminal Justice field. I took a job as a nurse in a local jail and eventually attended the police academy where I obtained my peace officer certification. While working full time, I went back to college and obtained a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and then later a Master of Public Administration/Justice Administration. I retired from Criminal Justice a few years ago and now feel the chaplain call.
Over the years, I have been involved in different ministries in several different churches. I taught children’s Sunday school, have led Children’s Church and been involved in Vacation Bible Schools. But, there were many times that I could have been involved that I allowed myself to take my eyes off Jesus and my feet off the path. Recently, I had a very vivid dream and, unlike other dreams, I remember every single detail it. In the dream, I visited a place where everyone who stood around me was young, healthy and excited. I stood with my parents talking about the warmth and the light and I remember feeling so very loved. My mother’s hair was the golden blonde that I remember as a child and my dad, who had rheumatoid arthritis and was bent over at the time of his death, stood tall and healthy (both of them passed away in 2013 in their 70’s). I was so very happy to be in this place and so happy to see my parents again. I then felt a hand on my shoulder and a very gentle and kind voice told me it was time for me to return. I asked to stay but the voice told me that I had to return because I was a guardian and it was not yet my time. When I woke up from the dream, I knew I had to find my path and I have been praying and searching for direction. I am sure that I was led to Christian Leaders Institute and plan to pursue studies in the program for Chaplain in answer to my chaplain call.
I am married to a wonderful man, Bill, and collectively we have four children, eight grandchildren and now a new great-granddaughter. All of our children and grandchildren are scattered across the Eastern USA so we get to travel to visit them. My husband is a retired engineer and an artist so he spends much of his time drawing. I enjoy baking, cake decorating and reading and now I look forward to being a student and being involved in the Christian Leaders Institute!
Learn about minister ordination with Christian Leaders Alliance.