The first few weeks of classes bring many emotions for new as well as returning college students. Seniors were invited to attend senior chapel where they were reminded of Jeremiah 29: 11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Many students are uncertain about their future as they engage in self-discovery while also trying to discern God’s calling for their lives.
Squaredance caller Elaine Peacock has experienced this uncertainty during her 20 years of work. The native of Elk Rock, South Dakota, attended her first caller’s education school in 1994, and since then has called more than 25 dances per year. Peacock will call the squaredance at SAC’s Hoedown for a third consecutive year this Friday.
“In square dancing you learn to work with other people as a team because we can’t dance without each other,” Peacock said. “I can’t be a caller and call a dance without the dancers, so we all need each other to participate.”
Peacock says it’s not just a team activity, but also a time of fun, fellowship and fitness.
For Abby Frey, the square dances that Peacock has called in previous years have been, “a good opportunity to get to know people at NW that you usually wouldn’t talk to because you get to dance and interact with different people.”
“Square dancing is really fun in itself but you also get to dress up,” Jennifer Koehn said.
Above all else Peacock said it’s a way to praise the Lord through dancing, she says she often starts or ends with at least one gospel song.
“Because that’s really what it’s all about for me – to share the word of God through the music I do,” Peacock said.
Being a square dance caller Peacock says she learned to be free in who she was and in turn, God prepared her for her ministry in singing.
In 2003, she took a leap of faith to answer her calling – to launch a singing career. Peacock said it took her a year of planning and an immense amount of support from her husband and three kids, but she finally quit her full time job.
Since then, she has performed at many music festivals such as Lifelight, has released seven albums and has received countless awards and recognitions. In 2009, Peacock was inducted into the National Traditional Country Music Hall of Fame. She was also recognized in 2010 by the South Dakota Country Music Hall of Fame.
“Never give up on your dream because God has a great plan for you, he prepares us with what he wants us to be doing with the gifts he gives us,” Peacock said. “It might not be in our time but it’s always in his time.”
Even though she didn’t see it until she was close to 40,-years-old Peacock said that every job she had built upon the next and said she thinks God already had been preparing her.
Peacock’s singing career hasn’t always been easy. Along the way she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to cancel all her events for a good year and a half.
After remission in 2010, she wasn’t sure if she could go back to being a caller or even singing. With the encouragement of friends and family, Peacock continued her career.
Peacock encourages others to receive, use and share the gifts God has given them. She said she understands life can get busy and unbalanced, but that we have to “pray attention.”
“Yes. Pray attention to what God is telling us through his word, the Spirit and other people,” Peacock said.
“I’m finally who God called me to be and I have yet so much to learn,” Peacock said.
Student Activities Council plans programs, social activities and events for NW. Join Elaine Peacock at SAC’s Hoedown this Friday from 6:30-8 pm on the campus green.
The Wild West Shootout begins Saturday at 8 a.m. Students can pick up their outlaw contracts and water pistols at the dance. Students will be targeting their outlaws all week while somebody else is also looking for them. Make sure to get a witness signature to make the kill count.