Friday, July 11, 2008

Testimony of Pam Davis, Author and Creator of the Girls ’n Grace Product Line

Author Shares Her Own Story of Grace
Testimony of Pam Davis, Author and Creator of the Girls ’n Grace Product Line

When you give God the reins of your life, you never know where He is going to take you. As a writer, I wanted to share the message that has dramatically changed my own life. I envisioned myself reaching women who, like me, were academics but had missed out on the pivotal truth of God’s grace. I informed God of this vision and trusted Him for direction. The fact that I am now devoting a great portion of my time to creating make-believe stories for young girls, dressing dolls, and creating web games is evidence of both His creativity and sense of humor. Allow me to explain.

I remember a time in my life when grace seemed completely buried. I grew up in a Christian home, and we attended a wonderful church where I was introduced to the Lord and received His grace for salvation. Sad to say, however, that while this grace changed my eternal destiny, my relationship with Christ stagnated out of my ignorance. I wasn’t ignorant about the Scriptures; I was ignorant about the person of the Scriptures. It’s not that I didn’t try to know Him. On the contrary, I was consumed with the idea that if I just acted like Jesus for long enough, I would really be like Him. When I was just a third grader, I would pull out my little Bible with the ornate pictures and have my Barbie tell all the stories to my friends who had come to play. The only problem, which my girlfriends were quick to point out, was that “Barbie would never say that.” And they were right.

My passion to communicate Christ burned even brighter during my late teen years. I was gung-ho. I was going to be the best Christian on the planet. Ironically, the harder I tried to be the perfect Christian, the more internal death I experienced. Not only did my peace and joy not escalate as I did all these things, the chasm between who I was and who I wanted to be became wider and wider.

After years of studying the Scriptures on my own, three years of Bible education at the university level, and short overseas stints as a missionary, I was experiencing very little life. Eventually, my quest for perfection led me into a very destructive pattern of behavior—an eating disorder, bulimia.

I checked myself into a treatment center where, among a sea of New Age advisors, I was assigned to Gwen, the only Christian on staff. In the third week of the six-week program, Gwen looked at me and said, “Pam, your problem isn’t with food or your family. You simply have a problem with one word in the Bible that you know nothing about.”

Wait a minute, I thought, I know the Bible. Then Gwen continued, “You know nothing of the wordgrace.” My mind raced, mentally searching the glossaries of my theology textbooks. Then Gwen said, “For you, recovery is simply an understanding of God’s grace.”

I went back to my room and in a moment received the One I had been introduced to as a child, as if He had walked out of the shadows of my soul. For me, it was as simple as admitting, I can’t, and God was saying, “I can.” No more torturing and comforting myself with food for being inadequate. I discovered that I can only receive God’s unearned spiritual blessings when I cease trying to earn them. Christ himself satisfies the emptiness and hunger of the soul. At times God even extends His grace as complete deliverance, as He did for me with my eating disorder. From that moment until now, I’ve never seen food as anything other than sustenance to sustain life.

After Bible college, I took some writing classes and even worked on a fiction novel series based on Ecclesiastes that was never published. I started a speaking ministry called Grace ’n Christ to communicate the saving truth of God’s grace. In 2005, God would use a seemingly ordinary day out with my daughter to expand the borders of this ministry of grace and to bring my childhood penchant for using my dolls as spokeswomen for Christ full circle. As I was serving as the fashion show coordinator for Historic Fort Worth’s American Girl Fashion Show, breaking news concerning a national controversy between American Girl and conservative Christians over the self-empowering “I CAN” campaign, and an alliance with a group who supports a lesbian lifestyle and abortion, forced me into a moment of decision. Since I was the show coordinator, I was interviewed by an ABC commentator, and I told the truth—that I was praying for American Girl that they would support the American spirit, which is based on family values and has a Christian root.

The following day, American Girl voiced their rebuttals to conservative Christians who were threatening a boycott, stating that they would continue their self empowering mantra “I CAN” and not break any alliance regardless of an organization’s pro abortion, pro lesbian stance. What could I do if I had prayed and people were not willing to change? Give up? Boycott? I felt God calling me to a different response—providing a better alternative. The apostle Paul says it best: “God is able to make all grace abound, so that at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Cor 9:8). Though the task seemed impossible, I declared “I CAN THROUGH CHRIST.”

Since I possessed no knowledge of the doll business, I searched the internet and found a company that claimed to be the largest distributor of baby dolls in the US which has the unique heritage of putting a doll-sized Bible in each doll box. I cold called and got their vice president, who is a Christian man and who took a big chance on me, bringing my request to have a doll made to his CEO. After a week, he called with seemingly bad news. If I wanted to have a character doll made, I would need a story on which to base the doll, a completed story that has never been published. My shoulders slumped. Where in the world could I find a finished story? Then I remembered the fiction series I had worked on so many years ago. I rushed to my garage and foraged through the bikes and Christmas ornaments until I found the finished manuscripts. I sent him the first chapter, all the while basking in the words of Jeremiah: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope” (Jer. 29:11).

But it takes more than a story to get a doll produced. Commissioning a doll and having it sculpted in China is a costly venture. One afternoon the bad news came. Unless I could raise 30,000 dollars, my dream of a new doll would not become a reality. I sighed, told the company I would pray about it, and headed off to school to pick up my kids. Little did I know that a divine encounter was about to take place. While waiting for my children to be dismissed, I was approached by a woman who had heard about my dream to start a Christian doll company. With a heavy heart, I passed on the latest news about the 30,000 dollar price tag. This sweet woman grabbed my hand and led me to her car, where a check for exactly 30,000 dollars was stashed in her glove compartment. Her husband had given her the money that morning to use as she saw fit—and she simply asked, “May I cosign it to you?” God’s grace is truly sufficient for me.

Time, treasure, and talent: when I gave God my “three fish and five loaves,” my meager resources, I was met with His extraordinary grace, like the renowned doll sculptor Dianna Effner, creating the Girls ’n Grace doll. When board rooms of men gasp at the site of such a “life-like, joyous doll,” I know it is God behind the scenes communicating in practical ways the amazing attributes of His grace. The books have given me a chance to spread the message of grace-filled living creatively. I have had the opportunity to bring some diversity into the mix and to explore other regions, cultures, and historical periods like the 1960’s through the lens of God’s grace. Grace is always the authentic commodity that people seek, yet sadly we tend to substitute God’s authentic grace with a myriad of empty counterfeits. Through the books and dolls, God is allowing my dream to be realized, engaging girls—mothers, daughters, and grandmothers—in the good news of God’s grace, which is exclusively in Jesus Christ. He is the one who gives inexhaustible, unmerited benefits that afford us joy, pleasure, good will, and thanksgiving, with the essential benefit being spiritual life.

Books now available:
Sydney Clair’s Season of Change and Mesi: A Girl ’n Grace in Africa by Pam Davis
Authentic Publishing March 2008
ISBN 13: 978-1-934-068-50-2/80 pages/softcover/$7.99 and ISBN 13: 978-1-934068-51-9/80 pages/softcover/$7.99

For more information, contact:

Audra Jennings
Media Specialist
The B&B Media Group
1-800-927-0517 Ext. 104
Visit us on the web at
“A Media Communications Company”

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