Your Will, Your WayLeave a Comment
God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ—which is to fulfill his own good plan. ~Ephesians 1:9.
Last year, at the annual ladies retreat, our pastor spoke about what perspective we had. People focus on themselves: it is in their nature. We pray for specific stuff for ourselves. Even when we pray for others, at times, their is still a selfish reasoning behind the prayer. Her point was to show that we need to look at things from God’s Will and God’s way.
I had all kinds of plans for my future. When I was little, I desperately wanted to be like Nancy Drew or be a part of the Scooby-Do gang. It seemed logical to me and within my reach, I was only in elementary school at the time. Overtime, it evolved into wanting to become a private detective and solve mysteries.
During my junior high and high school years, I had a big desire to be a youth pastor. The view I had growing up was very skewed and seemed to contradict how the Bible spoke about loving others well. I experienced a youth group that was belittling and shaming, at best, and didn’t want another teenager to have to experience the same. It became a mission for me to prevent that from happening that, instead of a calling to it, I was willing to do whatever it would take. Instead of Nancy Drew, for a few years, I was the secret agent on Mission Impossible.
Things can work out, temporarily, without God.
For over 10 years, I was a youth group home manager, volunteered as a youth leader and family ministries director, and then finally became a youth pastor. The teenagers loved me and were impacted by my involvement in their lives. They have a special place in my heart but it wasn’t quite a right fit for me.
Leaning into God’s Word and still having the desire to solve mysteries, I looked for different ways to gain fulfillment. I volunteered in nearly every capacity of the church I could, to gain a full understanding of what ministry was like. While completing a year internship with a church, the pastor suggested that I dip my toe in everything. He thought it would be a good idea to see the big picture of how a church ran successfully. The more knowledge you have about the ends and outs, the more you can problem solve situations successfully.
By definition, I was solving mysteries.
It wasn’t enough. Not sure how to move forward, that pastor proposed that I go back to school for a degree that would support my calling. Since I was still unsure of my calling, even though my burning desire to solve mysteries was still there, I started the Bachelor’s program.
I was learning about things in the Bible I had never knew as truth. My craving for the Word grew and grew. I began writing down questions about the Bible that I wanted answered. I disagreed with what I was taught in churches but didn’t know why. Each question was like a clue to a mystery that I was learning how to solve in the classes I was taking in college.
Once I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies, I had to figure out what to do next. Unfortunately, no matter the degree you have in the church related field, most churches will not allow women to pastor. Naively, I thought the degree would be a leg for me to stand on in a very male driven atmosphere. Although most of those men do not have a higher education then high school, their gender was what actually mattered.
I had to think outside of the box.
Entering the Master’s program, I decided to get my degree in Professional Counseling. Believing that a Master’s in Professional Counseling from a Christian University, would be enough to enter the pastor world. Nope, I was wrong. However, I now had a degree that took me places.
It wasn’t my plan to go that far in college, I thought my heart for preaching/teaching was enough for the opportunity. The degree didn’t get me there. My title was “pastor” but it didn’t feel like anything but a name. Something was missing, still. My heart did not feel fulfilled, even with the degree.
I do solve the mysteries of mental health and help others solve mysteries about what they are studying in the Bible. Which is a blessing to participate in but still not enough.
What was missing?
In my prayer time, I would frequently ask God to show me what I am missing. I love doing what I am doing and am beyond blessed at how successful I am, in both my career and serving. Still this mystery of lack gnawed at me.
At our retreat, it hit me. My Will, My Way! Being whispered into my heart, from the other pastor’s sermon. Nothing I was doing was wrong, in fact it was beneficial and profitable for me and my family. However, I wasn’t allowing Him to have His Will, His Way with who I was called to be. I surrendered and haven’t been the same sense.
What I thought was blessings after blessings for my life did not even come close to what I am experiencing now. Surrendering is a tough thing to do as it requires sacrifice of self, sacrifice of control, sacrifice of what you thought you knew.
I was willing to learn, to change.
Now I have a pretty cool mystery solving opportunity in front of me. I am working on creating a curriculum to teach women about God’s Word, when there is a language barrier and they have never studied it before. It is a difficult mystery to solve but the challenge is exciting and all the glory goes to God’s grace and provision for my life.
He has shown me what it really means to live for His Will, His Way. It means giving up my idealistic view, believing His is better. When I did this, greater things began to happen in what I saw as already a pretty amazing life. When I chose to see His view fulfillment happened.
I can’t wait to see the mysteries that we get to solve together, next.