Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Statement of Call

One of the steps into candidacy for ordained ministry is to prepare a written statement of call and submit it to the Staff-Pastor Relations Committee within your local church.  After reviewing and interviewing the candidate they then have to vote so that the candidate can move forward with the process. This is what I submitted.

 In April of 2007 we welcomed our third son into our family.  I was living the stay-at-home mom dream and felt privileged to be able to care for my family.  While holding my infant son one day, I reflected on how content and happy I felt.  No sooner after that idea flooded my heart, I heard God whisper.  I didn’t completely understand at the time, but I felt that God had something planned for my life which I needed to be in prayer about.  Even then, although I couldn’t really articulate what God was doing, I knew.  In that moment while holding my son I actually attempted to bargain with God.  I told God that if I wasn’t pregnant again by the time this baby was 2 years old, maybe then we could talk.
God did not wait 2 years.  Over the course of the next year God continued to place different opportunities for me to serve on my heart.  Obediently, I served hoping that would help to quench the ultimate call that God was leading me towards. 
Just a year after I had tried to “make a deal,” God was no longer whispering, but making sure that I was getting the message loud and clear.  God spoke to me while I was serving on my first mission trip, in scripture and bible study and through songs that played on the radio every time I was in my car.  While preparing to serve on my first Walk to Emmaus Team the Holy Spirit was working on my heart so much that I was overwhelmed with emotion while listening to a Pastor speak.  It became obvious to me that I no longer could ignore or push aside God calling me into ministry any longer.
Despite acknowledging that God was calling me into ministry, I became very confused on the specifics.  I felt very strongly that I was being called to attend seminary but was certain, however, that I was not being called into Pastoral Ministry.  After much prayer, study and talking to others, I learned of the Order of Deacons in the United Methodist Church.  I instantly realized that was the path God was calling me to pursue. 
I feel very strongly that my first call is in our home to my husband and children.  Accepting this call into ordained ministry has been a struggle.  However, when I finally accepted and acknowledged the direction God is leading me, I was filled with a calming, affirming peace.  I have not felt any pressure to rush this process as long as I am pursuing it at a pace that will allow me to be ready for seminary when my youngest begins kindergarten.  God has continued to re-affirm my call over the past few years, which has helped me to remain confident that this is the path I am to continue to follow.
During this season of prayer, study and searching for clarity in the ways that God has called me, and throughout this candidacy process, I have clung to Philippians 2:13 (NLT) “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.”  I know that I can not do what God has called me to do on my own.  The only way I can continue to pursue and fulfill this call, is to trust that it is God who is equipping me for both this candidacy process and ordained ministry.  I am merely a humble servant of an awesome, redeeming, God. 


hnb said...

Thanks for sharing your story.

Crisp said...

Awesome! Thank you for sharing! Started the candidacy process this past year and working on my historic questions myself. Not an easy road. As a Mom it is a big challenge. God has big plans for us! You are an amazing example. Thank you!