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.