One of the things I have found very common for those of us going into the ministry is you are constantly called to explain your call. Not that I am against this — if God puts something on your heart you should share it with everyone. I figured I would detail some items here… not necessarily a thoughtful, well-written but more like, well… (see title of blog.)
So I always state that the first time I knew God was really touching me was at my confirmation. Now, I know that’s very cliche, but its true. My goal in life has always been to be honest to yourself. You should never hid things, back up your feelings, or try to be something you’re not. When I was confirmed I took very seriously the desire to hold onto my baptism as a Christian. And it still hasn’t stopped today. However, when the group gathering around me placed their hands on me, I truly felt God touching me. I really didn’t know what for– I just knew He was there… and I knew that’s where I wanted to be.
Basically my story steams out from there. I was heavily involved in church and loved every minute of it but was persistent I would not stay in church or in music as a career. When I went to college I was going to take 1 religion class as an elective.. HA! when I took my first class I thought “wow, this stuff is amazing… studying God’s word & why people think what they do and what it means and why it matters.” I tried listening to God and hanging onto everything, even building a 24/7 prayer room I would love to live in still. God, again, pushing me, talking to me, and never forgetting what He had in store.
After college was a huge downfall. I had minimal support, ran around a little crazy trying to find a community, and dated people I probably could have been better friends than ex-boyfirends with. Then I met my current boyfriend. He loves me like God loves me– unconditionally and always true. Now grant it he’s not perfect, but this love is exactly what I need and I can thank my boyfriend for stirring me back to my love: God. I remember when my boyfriend asked what I would really want to do and I talked about going back to school, getting a degree in theology or something and do what God wants me to. I just didn’t seem to fit in anywhere else. Tried working for fun themeparks & in coffee shops & for business companies. But they don’t last long. And I refused to settle for working in a 9-5 job. I wanted the all the time love of my life career to be what I wanted… I just didn’t know what that looked like.
Well, with my boyfriend I began attending church regularly at Messiah Lutheran, joined groups and got active. I slowly began to realize that “normal” faith (if you can call it that) was not me. I was not a typical Christian– which is extremely hard for me to say. I love my family at Messiah. But I remember specifically one Sunday I was talking to God like “I really want to do something like seminary or ministry one day” and God, in his infinite wisdom kinda said “Why not?” and I would come up with 1001 excuses. And of course, in His Love… he kept questioning why I didn’t just follow my heart.
Finally I did. I decided to take that jump. Into something I have no idea where its going but I know right now I couldn’t be more excited and happy to learn all these details. And to study/talk/learn about being a disciple of Christ, a minister of the church. This is AWESOME! And as I begin to “settle” (which really isn’t what i’m doing, more like merging into the great stream of wonderfulness that is ministry) ideas and concepts and study just keeps getting better and better. This is why I can honestly say “God has called me to serve Him in His Church, the ELCA church, and to help lead it on its journey forward.” But I know that God couldn’t have pointed me in this direction without the past–without all the good and bad experiences. Even though a small bit of me wishes I had gone straight into seminary–there are many many blessings I would not have if I had done that. And God has used every bit of my past experiences and wonderings to push me into His grace and love for ministry.
So now you know. And honestly– that’s about all I really know too. As I have begun reading more about theology and people’s concepts of faith, theology and all the other stuff, I realize I know very little in the grand scheme of things. I also realize I have no idea where I’m going. I don’t mean I don’t have a plan. Or that I’m not prepared. I just know God’s leading the way and sometimes– where He is leading me I can’t always see.