Betty M. Hockett

One day in 1938, an eight-year-old named Betty May Street sat at her desk in La Grande, Oregon. Her pen properly filled with blue ink from a fat little bottle, she applied her best penmanship to the lined pages before her as she began her first book. Pretty soon she branched out to write recipes and a neighborhood newspaper. Fortunately, the recipes did not make it as far as the kitchen, because she knew nothing about cooking. It's also fortunate the newspaper articles did not move beyond the pencil tablet, because she made up all the news.

Out of those meager beginnings, God called me to be a writer. I didn't, however, know that for a long time—not when I finished assignments for writing classes in high school, then at Pacific College and George Fox College; not even when I began to write regularly for publication. Finally it dawned on me: God has called me to the ministry of writing as surely as he ever called a pastor or a missionary. I chose Psalm 45:17 as my writing verse: “I will make Your name to be remembered in all generations” (NKJ).

Throughout the writing of 16 books, Christian education curriculum, stories, poems, devotionals and much more, I held that verse as my goal. To this day it remains my intention, no matter what I write in these later years.
Almost fifty years ago, my husband, Gene, pointed me down this ministry path with a $50 Christmas gift--a lot of money in those years--for a Christian writing correspondence course. From there, God opened doors for writing assignments and freelance writing, and I walked through them into a wonderful rewarding vocation. Gene and our three children generously allowed me space and time to follow my call to the ministry of writing. 

Proverbs 3:6 promises, “In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.” As I write, I often thank God that he directed me along delightful, fulfilling paths I could never have found by myself. Paths that led to friendships around the world and ministry opportunities in places that little girl in La Grande didn't know existed.


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