WOW!! It has definitely been some time since I last blogged. The last post I made was right when I got home from school on summer break and a lot has changed since then. I made it a goal of mine this summer to do something epic. I didn't exactly know what that would be since I wasn't planning on doing much. However, since then a lot of exciting things have been happening that have absolutely changed my life in ways I would have never expected if you had asked me a year ago. The biggest concept that I learned was how to walk with Faith and Grace when you don't know where you're called to be. So, I thought I would share how that happened and my very best advice on how to get to the place I feel like I am in right now.
In October of my senior year, I was called to youth ministry. I went through a lot during late middle school and high school, so I felt God was going to use me to change the lives of these kids just like my youth pastor did for me. It was definitely a crisis type of call for me. I was in a toxic relationship, I lost a majority of my friends and I felt so alone that I didn't know what there was left for me to do. I was at a fall retreat at a camp I go to every summer (now as a leader) when I felt God's call on my life. I went home that Sunday and broke up with my boyfriend and then decided to apologize and forgive everyone for all the broken friendships I had formed from my own mistakes. Okay, no fast forward to college. I go to Lee University (as I've mentioned before) and with a major in youth ministry. First semester was coming to a close and I managed to let the devil feed me lies about my calling. Such as: "You won't make enough." and "How will you provide for your family?" So with my full panic mode now in motion, I quickly decided to change my major to history education. I love history, so this was a good choice for me . Now I'll be able to pay off my student loans and life will end up okay for me. So, fast forward again. Going through the year I still felt so empty, almost like I was still not content with what I was doing in school. Summer rolls around and all I wanted to do was go home and work and just try to quickly move on with my life and pretend that God wasn't knocking on my hearts door and trying to convict me of something.
That is when in late May I got a text from my new youth pastor asking me what I was up to this summer. I quickly replied and said not really anything except working and hanging with my family. He replied and asked if I would like to join the youth leadership team. I quickly replied and said I'd love to as I felt God screaming yes in my ear. Yet, I still didn't feel full. A week later he asked me to go to camp this year as a leader. I was a bit nervous as it was my first year as a leader instead of a camper and I was unsure of what use I would be to these young girls. Camp came rather quickly and as I stepped on the campground for the first time I was reminded of that October night when I heard the sermon that helped me recognize my call to ministry. That Tuesday morning during our leaders meeting the DYD spoke a short devotion on God's call on our lives. He said that instead of running from our call we need to embrace it, even if it is terrifying. He told us his first salary as a youth pastor was only around 13,000 a year. However, instead of my heart sinking to the ground I actually felt the touch of God on my heart. I was once again reminded of my original call to ministry. I was called to it, because God knows that he can use me to spread his word and his name. I realized in that moment that he was calling me to full time ministry. I will still pursue my teaching degree as a backup plan, but I feel like a church is my home, my safe place, where I belong. I feel like I want to be as close to God as a possibly can. That week I realized that I do play a role in these girls lives. They will look up to me and remember me and I'll become a role model to them. My calling IS important, but what you do with that calling is even MORE important.
"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." (Martin Luther King Jr.) That quote is reflective of God's future plans. We have absolutely no idea what may happen, but we, as children of the most high God, need to be able to trust the immensity of God's love and his call on our lives. "For I knw the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 If that is true, then why are we so terrified of what the outcome of God's plans for us are? Why are we so afraid to step out in our faith and reveal to the world that God is the one and only king and he died so we can live? We are sinners and God loves us anyways, so why would he harm us OR our futures? These are the questions I finally found myself asking when I decided full time ministry was where I belong. Why was I so afraid of doing what God has called me to do and stepping out of my comfort zone? God's grace is so abundant and his love is so radical that there is no reason for us NOT to step out in faith and do as God has called us to do. I realized in this walk, that at the beginning of it all I didn't feel full. Well, I learned that you are never going to feel full, you are going to just want more and more of God and more and more answers to questions that only the Lord provides and absolutely nothing is wrong with that. It's okay to want more and it's okay to not feel like you are doing enough, because that just means that God wants more of YOU!!!
I really hope this post helped somebody out there who has been questioning God's call on their lives. Being called by God to be a servant to him is so important and it's more important that you follow that call as well. God loves us so much and he holds your hand through it all!!!