Have you ever felt that God was calling you out for something more? That God wanted something bigger than you ever imagined for your life? Did you ever run away from that voice only to find it in the most strangest of places? Did you ever feel that gentle tug on your soul that says "I have so much more planned for your life" yet found yourself pushing that voice to the side? I have had both of these experiences in the last few months.
At first I felt that God was calling me out to ministry but I answered...."Huh? Are you sure you are talking to the right lady?" The ministry that I felt He was speaking into my heart was one that I felt I had no ability to fulfill for several reasons. And in my type A++ personality I began to list them for God .... just in case He needed me to make it clearer to Him as to why I couldn't do what He was asking. Here's just a few items from my list:
1. I don't like people ~ Well, I guess I do like people but to be honest I enjoy them in very small doses. I am a quiet person by nature and find that I am very happy to be alone ~ and I can be alone anywhere I find myself. I enjoy being with people but I find that more often than not I am the 'observer' not so much the 'participator'. So why would God call me out to minister to PEOPLE of all things? Surely God, You must not be wanting me to pursue this .... You created me to be the introverted observer not the outgoing participator!
2. I don't have the financial resources ~ Last year I stepped away from a job where I was somewhat financially secure. We had the extra funds to do extra things, but I found that I never had the time to do those 'extras' with my family because I was always working for those funds. I felt that God was calling me out to quit my job and spend more time at home with my family to build my husband up as the financial head of our home. While God has taken care of our 'needs' we no longer always have the funds for our 'wants' ~ and I have to say we have been very happy this past year because we are together. So now here I am a year later feeling that God is wanting me to embark upon this journey into ministry and I find that I can't say to folks "I have a dollar and a dream." At this point I have the 'dream' from God but I can't see where the funds are going to be from. Are you sure you have the right person God ~ aren't there more financially solvent folks out there ready to jump at this ministry call?
3. Where do I even begin? ~ I can't begin to know where to start in planning this ministry out. I can organize ~ that is definitely one gift that He has given me ~ but I found myself looking heavenward wondering where do I begin? Again that gentle voice spoke "Trust Me." My friend, and mentor's, husband has a saying that has come across my path a lot in the past few months "God blesses what He calls forth." Okay God, I'm listening but I really don't think You have the right person here! Surely there is someone else who has it more together than I do. Someone who has all their ducks in a row and at least know where to start from.
My list can go on for pages but these were the main arguments that I was sharing with God. After putting this calling on the back burner and telling God, "Thanks but no thanks" I began to pray that He take this wanderlust from me and would lead me to where I needed to be. I kept getting the same response...."I'm telling you which way I want you to go but you are not listening." Finally I found my release on my knees, telling God that I will go where He leads. I told Him that although I wasn't sure I was the best choice for the job I would begin to take the steps to see where the ministry will go....and He has opened my eyes and my heart to more than I ever thought possible. He has broken my heart with what I've seen in the lives of people I see everyday ~ friends, brothers/sisters in my faith, fellow shoppers at our local Wal Mart, the prostitutes that frequent downtown, the homeless in the park, the mothers at school, the kids struggling with parental addictions ~ wow.....hopeless is all around us not just where we think it should be found.
As I continued to pray God gave me a name for the ministry, "Hannah's House of Hope." I knew Hannah from the Bible but hadn't really read the story ~ when I did there was no denying that this was from God. The vision for the ministry is taking shape ~ community outreach, clothing boutique for those in need, "Baskets of Blessings" food pantry, computer labs for kids, Bible studies, alcohol/drug abuse healing/support, and the list keeps growing. I'm finding myself excited about the possibilities, yet scared about the steps that are before. I've stepped out in faith to ask my small groups and mentors to take this to prayer for me as well. So we will see where He leads in all this but I know that He is the one in charge....not me!
So I may not be the 'outgoing participator'. I may not have it all together and I definitely don't have a dollar to go with my dream, but what I do have is a willing heart to share the love of my Savior with everyone I can. I have the desire to do whatever He is calling me out to do in His name. I am a sinner saved by grace who daily walks with His hands holding me in the center of it all.
So where will I go from here? I will most likely stumble on the path, I will probably miss a few steps and spend many hours on my knees in prayer but I know that wherever this new calling leads .... I will run on wings like eagles!