Wednesday, September 19, 2012

When your soul is in need of repair

The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it! 1 Thessalonians 5:24

I answered a call to full-time vocational ministry. A little over twenty years ago.
As an insecure college student, I had no idea what that would look like. I just knew I heard God’s call. I went before a board of elders, a licensing committee and a congregation and promised to spend my adult years sharing the message He was placing in my heart.
Then the voices of this world crept in and crowded out the gentle whisper and soft nudging. 
"You need to use the college degree we sacrificed to pay for."
"Church is for Sundays."
"Why would anyone want to hear what you have to say?"
"How will you support yourself?"
"God wants you to work hard at a real job."
"You've always wanted to be a teacher when you grow up." 

The voices said.
I justified my many careers with excuses. Teaching is ministering to kids. Volunteering is ministry. Working for a newspaper uses my gifts. Selling real estate is being a helper to my husband. I’ll speak at a few retreats a year.
However you slice it, teaching teens Shakespeare is much different than teaching them Scripture. An hour a week volunteering does not fill a void left by denied passion. Writing news stories and press releases is much different than sharing my story. I can help my husband a jillion other ways. 
Seeing God move as I speak is when I feel most alive. Whether I’m sharing the gospel with one of my children, encouraging a girlfriend to check out a particular verse or teaching a weekend retreat, I love God’s Word and I love talking about it. 
When I did not have the “perfect” job, I hid my ministry license in a box in the attic for twenty years. When people learned I was licensed minister, I felt like a fraud. Shame and failure anchored me to depression. Fear kept me imprisoned. Compromise choked my soul.
But God
In all His goodness and mercy rescued, redeemed and repaired my calling.
Through a series of God-orchestrated instants and opportunities, I am now Family Life Director at Walden Community Church. I have the extreme pleasure and privilege of helping a family of the most wonderful people grow a children’s ministry, serve moms by loving their kids and shining a light into my beloved community.
Where is your soul in need repair? I’ll be praying for each comment as I work my new job today.