This has been a busy season of life. Busy in a new way for me. It’s exciting. Overwhelming. A little bit lonely. Sometimes hard. And I know that it’s worth it.
I have known for a long time that God has been calling me to pastoral ministry. Yes, I’ve served in ministry for almost ten years now. I’ve grown immensely during this time. I’ve had people say that as a woman I would never be a pastor. I’ve had others tell me I’m doing just fine, why would I pursue that. Or I’ve been told to wait until my kids are older, there’s no rush.
Yet, they are not the ones who have called me to ministry. And they are not the audience I seek to please. Yes, I long to walk alongside these people and point them to the risen one. Because that’s who I serve. And that’s whom I choose to follow.
So I have followed His leading, one step at a time. The seeds have been planted for a long time. Last August they were watered. And since then I’ve been guided, nurtured and cared for through each step. This last fall I submitted an application for a Ministry License in my denomination. I’ve also enrolled in a series of classes that I am earning seminary credit for and will transfer to a seminary as I pursue a masters degree.
This week I had my interview for the Ministry License. I reread much of the reference material early in the week and spent time in prayer. The committee reviewed my application and lengthy paper I wrote a few months ago. I shared my faith story with them. The four people on the committee asked several questions. We had a great discussion then they dismissed me to confer in private. When I was invited to return they immediately said they want to recommend me for a Ministry License. Effective immediately. God is good. I am now a licensed pastor in the Evangelical Covenant Church.
As I drove home, I reflected on the last ten years. God has been so faithful and so evident. Ten years ago I was in a dissolving marriage marked by mental health issues and domestic violence. I was raising three kids on my own without child support and earning $850 a month. Sometimes the heat worked in our house that was in foreclosure for the fourth time. Often it didn’t. And I trusted God. I trusted that He had a plan and a purpose for me. I trusted that He was walking alongside me and holding me up with His mighty right hand. I knew that He did not make me of a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and sound mind.
I continue to trust Him.
I continue to follow.
I continue to know He is right here with me.
I know He is faithful.
I am so grateful for the staff and ministry team at Pine Lake Covenant Church. I am so grateful for the families I get to serve and who in turn lift me up in prayer. I am grateful for the amazing friends who have stuck beside me, who have encouraged me in my writing and classes, who have given advice, listened in my struggles, brought laughter to my face, helped with study breaks, and offered editing skills. All of you fill me with such joy and I appreciate you deeply.
I know this is just a first step. There are many many more to come. And life continues to be incredibly full with my teenagers, ministry, speaking schedule, and class work. Ten years ago could I have imagined this? Maybe. Today I’m being faithful in this one step and I leave the future to God. I trust that He will continue to fill me with breath, sustain my heart, order my days, guide my steps, and bring me joy.