“’Teacher,’ said John, ‘we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.’ ‘Do not stop him,’ Jesus said. ‘For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us.'” Mark 9:38-40
I have been called. We have all been called to do something for the Lord. In fact, I dare say we have all been called to preach, teach, serve, worship, be prayer warriors, etc. Some have been blessed in specific spots, more than others. I was called to be a Teaching Pastor but if you were ever a part of my history, you probably would not have thought it.
I was “saved” (forced by mom into Salvation and Baptism) at the age of eight. I had absolutely no idea what that commitment really meant but knew that is just what people in my church did. My view of a Baptist Church was to get them in, get them saved, and baptized. I religiously went to church Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday night. But again, it was just the thing to do because mama said so.
My home life however was a bit shady, as a young teenager. I stole money from family members, started having sex to fill a void that was created in me after a rape, sneaking out at all hours, smoking and excessively drinking. And it only got worse. I was extremely disappointed in those around me who called themselves Christians because they basically wrote me off as a lost cause. My Youth Pastor actually encouraged the other youth to not associate with me and even went as far as speaking with their parents about keeping their kids away from me.
I felt like the first carrier of the plague.
I got married and moved out at the age of seventeen, just to escape the “church-y” home and judgment. My heart really wasn’t in the marriage so the drinking and sex continued. My marriage became emotionally and slightly physically abusive so I checked out altogether. After four years, I filed for divorce and it was finalized less than a year later but I now had two beautiful girls to take care of on my own.
My life was lonely and the only thing I could think of, that could fill that void was a relationship with God. I had tried everything else, at that point, accept going to Him.
I started going back to church and even attended Bible studies. My attitude began to change and someone else noticed, a person who would eventually become my husband. We attended services together and began to grow together. On our wedding day, during our family prayer, I prayed that God would restore me for my husband. I prayed for God to help me develop spiritually and be shown what he wants me to do with my life, for Him.
He began to remind me of how I felt without an active Youth Pastor. My heart filled with an amazing desire to not let that happen to others. He wanted me to love them even through their sin and teach them with compassion. In prayer, I declared that if that was the route He wanted me to travel then I needed Him to make it happen. Through tears, explaining that my Christian upbringing taught me females were not allowed to do as I was called. As most of you know, a female in ministry is almost unheard of and often looked down upon, regardless of the examples God has listed in His book.
He did it. There have been so many doors opened to me, many people supporting me, and even male pastors standing up for me.
Although a great deal of the population I grew up with feel I am “not one of them,” God is not stopping me. On the contrary, He is actually pointing out to others that I am doing these things in His name because I am for Him.
Has there been anything you have done, in His name, that others have tried to stop or are you unstoppable through Him? Do as God calls, expecting His provision to make the way when there seems to be no way!