When I became a Christian there was 2 things that I knew. One that I was called into full-time ministry and two that I was going to be in ministry alongside my husband. Not much detail to those. Seemed pretty vague and simple. The first one I told everyone about openly and the second one I held tightly to my heart. I thought everything would fall into place so naturally and wonderfully that I would not have to worry about a single thing.
So when I suddenly found myself heartbroken and holding a diploma that said that I was a credentialed to be a pastor by the age of 22, I was uncertain of what I was supposed to do. Most of my friends were still enjoying the legality of their drinking and the final years of their undergrad. And here I stood alone and a Pastor.
I found myself at a place I had never imagined I would be. The path before me did not light up as I had hoped it would. Mr. Right was no where in sight. Instead I found myself in the murky waters of being a single woman in ministry. So this man had not appeared I still had my promise. If you’ve been a single woman in ministry you’ve probably realized how quickly you hit that glass ceiling. I was offered jobs to be a children’s pastor….in Iowa. A youth assistant in North Minnesota. Or best yet a worship leader in some Podunk town. “You can play the piano right?” And suddenly I started to question this calling I had felt on my life.
It’s not that I didn’t want to be married. Nor did I want to rush into something just because I thought I should be married. If you push too hard as a single female in ministry you are seen as a feminist. I’ve been there. In my determination to prove myself I have been emasculating at times to say the least. It’s not that I wanted to crush the men around me but I wanted to able to prove that I did have a calling on my life.
It has been years since I heard that promise from God. Years of trying to make the pieces fit together on my own doing and timing. I have tried to force open doors of ministry and I have also tried to force relationships that were not right because I wanted to make sense of everything.
There has been a quieting in my spirit that has come through surrender. Daily surrendering my idea of how those promises should look and not settling because something looks close enough. This path doesn’t look like I thought it would. I never thought I would find myself standing at this place, never thought I would have any reason to write anything like this. But here I am, having walked through a shattered dream still holding the pieces and trusting the author and creator. Trusting that I did hear from Him. That maybe those two things will someday be intertwined but for now it is me on this journey.
He never said it would be easy. This journey I am on has had so many twists and turns but He is preparing me for the ministry that He has called me to. I wasn’t there when I was 22. I wanted to be, but I chose to say “Lord, I surrender all.”
SO I walk through the doors that God opens before me. I let go of trying to have my calling fit into the box of what others think it should be and trust His plan and timing.