Breaking the silence about my calling (12/16/11)
I haven't written much about one area of my life, and that is my work / my calling.
I guess I have felt like I was learning the past 7 years that I have given to this work & most of the time I was fumbling. But I have some stuff to say about being a women in ministry or maybe it is more that I have some stuff to say about me & how God has led me to this work. Being that you have to start somewhere...
I will start here, with something I was asked to write and share with the staff about a year ago. Actually everyone on staff was asked to write about their calling, and it was the first time I articulated the story of the path that lead me to my work (at least in writing).
I hope you enjoy this story and I hope it leads you to ask what part of His story you are in now... what is He birthing in you, what community does He have for you, what is a frozen place in you that you will be thawed out from?
My sense of calling
My sense of calling is best defined in a story or with an image which
tells the story better than I ever could.
I feel like God was talking to me about serving ______ before I even knew it existed.
God used a simple story, read to my kids at bedtime, of an Ugly Duckling who finds
community. He showed me that He had a place for me, a place where His beauty
would shine brightly in me and where I would belong. He showed me the dark frozen
places I had been ashamed of and helped me realize that my desire “to swim” was not
as silly as everyone around me seemed to think. And even more importantly it had
been placed there, lovingly, by Him.
When I came to _____ it was because God was pulling me here. And I donʼt think He
was particularly subtle about it. I remember driving and praying and feeling like my
spirit was unsettled. I remember asking God what was going on, I felt like God and I
were boxing it out. He clearly showed me what I was experiencing was not wrestling, it
was birthing. I wondered what God was up to and immediately went home and pulled
up a pod cast of ____ and told V that we needed to visit ______.
The Sunday we arrived at ______ for the first time it happened to be the first Sunday of
Advent. When I walked into the church, I looked up and on screen was an image of a
women “with child”. ____ʼ sermon ... “What is God birthing in you”. God had my
attention! I looked at V with tears in my eyes, he had the same look. I remember
feeling like God said to me “OK you are here, now roll your sleeves up and get to
work”. I really had no idea what was in store for me!
I feel like my calling has just been a faithful step by step obedience. A simple ”OK, I will
do this next thing”. I am not sure what I would have done if He showed me where it
would lead, but He just asked me to do one thing after another and I followed. He did
give me a glimmer that He was up to something by showing me that all important
symbol of a swan in a cloud as I drove to my first meeting as a volunteer with the kids
ministry that was just starting to form. I had no idea what He was asking me to do, no
idea what He would gift me with. What a pleasure it is to do His work, what joy it brings
me. And even in times of burn out, when God asked me to lay down this work, I did it
with a prayer that He would use me again to serve Him as beautifully.