All we have—ourselves--to Him, and if that be all, that is enough. --Watchman Nee
So, I began this blog with good intentions. Of course, every failed diet I've began was with good intentions too. Nevertheless, life was interrupted since I last haunted these pages.
You know what they say God does when you make a plan? He laughs. And if I've learned nothing else, I know that man has a rip roaring, hilarious sense of humor! I'm a walking one liner on most days..."What happens when Heather screws in the lightbulb?...Yeah, who are we kidding? She met an old lady while buying lightbulbs and bonded over brownies and old lady perfume. That was three days ago and I think the old lady is moving in." I have a husband for that pesky task of light sources. (Thank you, honey!)
So, let me fill you in on my plans and how God delights in bulldozing them, leaving space for bigger and better things.
I was a preschool teacher planning on being a working mom when we became pregnant with our twins. When that second little monkey showed himself on the ultrasound, that plan was out the window. I would have been working full time, hardly seeing my children and giving up my whole paycheck and then some. It just didn't make sense. I was stunned. A stay at home mom? Me? I had no example, much less, desire to follow that path. But you see, God knew what was going to happen in my heart when our babies were born. I looked at my husband, Joe, a week after they were born, and told him there was no way in Hades I was going to let someone else take care of my sweet babes and that it didn't matter to me if pigs flew, Mike Tyson really DID address his sociopathic behavior, or if the Solid Gold dancers came back together (God, hear this prayer!), I was never, ever, ever, ever going to be able to return to work after seeing their sweet faces. Plan B commence.
So, after six years of being at home full time, working part time jobs from time to time (mostly to converse with adults), I prepared myself to address this stirring feeling I had been having in my heart for years to go into ministry. It was scary, to say the least (have you read about my spiritual foundation?), and took me an entire year to say aloud to my husband. It took me another year to have a conversation with someone I respect a great deal in ministry, knowing she would be supportive and help steer me in how to proceed. I had become more comfortable inside the walls of the church than I was anywhere else. I wasn't sure how that happened but I was spending 4-5 days at my church, involved in various ministries, attending worship and consumed with the feeling that this was was where I belonged. Really belonged.
You see, I am a very outgoing person and I meet people easily. I come across as someone who has "it" together whatever that "it" is in your opinion. My dirty little secret? I had struggled with my own identity since caring for my father ended with his death. I had held onto that identity so tightly, hoping that it would bring me closer to him and foolishly hoping it would delay the inevitable, but all it did was leave a feeling of hopelessness upon his death. Now, what? I wasn't sure and if I'm honest, scared about what that next step without my father meant. I tried on different hats- wife, mom, teacher, volunteer and yet, this stirring in my heart wouldn't go away. I felt called to do more. Be more.
I pushed it down and it bubbled to the surface. I squashed it with a great job that was wonderfully challenging and matched my previous work experience. It didn't fill the hole I was feeling. I signed up for every bible study, committee and ministry project I could get my hands on, thinking it would satisfy this hunger I was feeling. It didn't. And once I accepted, that once again, God was interrupting life as I knew it, I took a big breath and exhaled. I am called.
And the thing is, once I accepted it, no, embraced it, God laughed. He dropped a wonderful opportunity into my path and I am embarking on my next great adventure into ministry. The thing is, the fear isn't gone. It's that the passion, the excitement, the feeling that God is blessing this effort, overrides the fear. The first step is the hardest, they say, and I'm skipping right over it into my future, serving Him, serving the church, and serving children. All three of my passions coming together. He called. I answered. Thank you God.