Author and speaker Luci Swindoll, who encouraged Christian women to model themselves after God and not the world, died this week at the age of 88 from COVID-19 complications.
“Ahhh dear ones: our dear Luci is now happily in her new heavenly home. She was escorted through those pearly gates just a few hours ago on this Tuesday, October 20, 2020. She was so ready,” Swindoll’s friend, Marilyn Meberg, wrote on Twitter, announcing her death. “She had COVID and was isolated. Now, no COVID and surrounded by ‘loved ones’! Yeah Jesus,” Meberg added. Swindoll was a longtime speaker for Women of Faith, known as one of America’s largest women’s conferences. “Legalism is the worst thing that ever happened to the church,” she once said in a 2011 television interview. “When I realized that God deals in grace … it set me free to be who I really am.” In another interview in 2016, she said: “Everything changed because of grace. Now, all we have to do is know Him, trust Him, see what He does with our lives, and love people into the Kingdom. I don’t think it’s our place to tell people how to live. … We can’t make people believe, but if they see in the believer love and fun and joy and just the thrill of being alive, they say, ‘What is it they have that I don’t have? I want it.’”
Swindoll is also known for her book, I Married Adventure: Looking at Life Through the Lens of Possibility, which is “a personal tour of her unique approach to squeezing the most out of a life led by Christ.” “It’s daring to be curious about the unknown, to dream big dreams, to live outside prescribed boxes, to take risks, and above all, daring to investigate the way we live until we discover the deepest treasured purpose of why we are here,” Swindoll, who never married, wrote in the book. In another book, Doing Life Differently: The Art of Living with Imagination, she wrote, “No matter what, you have to be yourself … I learned it was okay to be myself and like myself—and survive—in spite of my mother’s strong disapproval. She had no category for me because I thwarted her domestic dreams for her only daughter. What was to become of me if I ended up without a husband?” Born in El Campo, Texas, and raised in Houston, Swindoll worked as an executive at Mobil Oil Corporation for 30 years and spent five years as executive vice president at her brother, Pastor Chuck Swindoll’s ministry, Insight for Living.
Asked in an interview what kind of pressures her life brought, she responded: “From Christians, I got pressure for not marrying, especially when I was younger. I didn’t get very much pressure in the workplace because I was so integrated. I loved the guys I worked with, loved the job — was challenged by it. Some periods were difficult, but they were the making of me. It wasn’t hard being one of the few women in the petroleum business, even though it’s typically a good ol’ boy system. You just go in with the good ol’ boys, and I knew their families and wives and kids. When my boss retired, he promoted me to his position. I was the first woman in a management position at Mobil’s West Coast Pipelines.”
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