This morning, as I do every morning for about ten minutes or so, I woke myself up by browsing my google app on my phone. Usually I try to catch up on some of my blog reading, since I never have time to do it during the day (and which is why I hardly ever comment since I have the hardest time commenting through my phone). Sometimes I read the news and I almost always I glance at my emails to see what kind of day my day will be(I always can judge my work load by my massive, or lack of, emails). One thing I never do is read my Bilble first thing. I know some might criticize me for this, but I use my phone reading to make myself wake up. Something about reading perks my mind right up, something about words do that to me…but it does take quite a while for my mind and eyes to work properly. Like at least 15 mins! Ha. Half of the time I can’t even remember what I read. So I reserve my Bible reading for when my mind and eyes are more awake.
Anyway, I digress….
So this morning, while I was scrolling through my blog subscriptions, I came across Jake and Mandy’s current post Wants and Needs.
….(I’m posting this from my iPad so hopefully the link came up right)…
WOW! Do you read their blog? If not, you should. Jake and Mandy are acquaintances of ours, they attended Bible College here in Stockton and I met them while they were here. After Bible College they worked at a local church in Merced where they felt the calling to work with missions(hope I’m getting this story right!). Anyway, last year they sold everything, drove across country to live with Mandy’s family so that they could raise funds to spend a year abroad. Through a series of events they ended up in Uruguay. They just arrived there a couple weeks ago and I have been following along with their adventures through their blog.
So back to their current post. It’s AMAZING. It will bring tears to your eyes and will remind you what life is really about. It also made me think…and remember. Remember that passion that forced me into youth ministry and made me love it so much. It made me remember my calling. I don’t think I’ve ever shared on this blog why I work in youth ministry, but I think today would be a good day.
It’s very simple, really. When I was 12 years old I had a dream. I’m not one who really claims having dreams often. In fact I’ve only had a handful of dreams through my life that I think I actually remembered when I woke up! Ha. Anyway, when I was 12 I had a very vivid dream. In the dream I had long hair, something I didn’t have at the time, but something I cherish now. In the dream I was in my then backyard, which was a huge courtyard surrounding a pool and a tennis court (Lower Ridge Rd property for those who have known me since grade school). In the backyard was hundreds and hundreds of young people and I was walking around talking and mingling with them. Praying with some, laughing with others. Again I say, it was by far one of the most vivid experiences I have ever had.
When I woke up, I KNEW what God wanted me to do with my life. From there on out, when someone asked me what I wanted to do with my life, I told them, “Be a youth pastor’s wife”. As time went by I did other things, worked in the retail world, went to school, became a teacher, but I always volunteered with youth in some way, shape or form. They were my heartbeat.
When I started dating Brandon, he was working in the city and I was teaching. Youth ministry was never brought up. But one night, Brandon and I were talking on the phone and I will never forget what he said to me…”Would you ever consider coming to Stockton and working with the youth at CLC(his home church) with me?”
It was at that point I knew what I was supposed to do. See Brandon knew he was called to work with the Stockton youth, and I knew I was called to work with young people…and well, the rest just clicked.
We got married and 6 months later Brandon stepped into the roll of youth pastor at CLC. We have been there ever since.
So back to Jake and Mandy’s blog….
After I read it I started thinking about my calling. Remembering that same passion Jake and Mandy feel about missions, except mine was for youth. Part of me was convicted. I have been so busy, with my kids, my new little business, that often I feel like I haven’t been able to be the youth pastor’s wife I was meant to be. But today, during my daily Bible reading was about Joseph. And I started thinking about how he knew what his calling was(to save his family) but he went through so many different stages in life. Sometimes I’m sure he wondered if he would ever accomplish what he felt called to do. But he does. And I thought about me. And how callings, although remain the same, do morph and change. And how right now God has lead me down a road that is more focused on my kids than on young people.
But the calling is still there. And young people will always be my heart beat.
And then I started thinking about how people must look at me. What they must think. How they must wonder what’s going on when I sit in the back row at church with my crazy kiddos. How I barely make it on time to church thanks to my kids. How I spend most of youth service outside, thanks…once again…to my kids. How I work, thanks to my kids (and God, this is His business). And wow, it got me thinking…how many of you think I have forgotten my love for teenagers? Or maybe even, God forbid, think my spiritual fire has gone out? Maybe even thought I was (such a horrible word) backslid?
Be not deceived…my calling, my love for God, my PASSION, it’s still there. And always will be. But right now, God has allowed my calling for young people take second base to my kids. Like Joseph, the calling is there, but you maybe can’t see it completely at the moment.
And then, I felt CONVICTED. See, I used to judge those so harshly who maybe had been in the ministry, but moved on and did something else…maybe because they needed to support their families, or they felt God close a door on one ministry and they were waiting for another door to open. Like Joseph. Like me.
So God forgive me. And to those of you who I have judged, forgive me. And if you are one of those people whose ministries have changed, maybe morphed, keep your head up high. You are still called. You are still chosen. You are still loved. You are not less of a person or not good enough. You are like Joseph. But just remember…don’t forget your calling while you are waiting in the prison. Stay true to it. Always remember it, because in that memory you will find the passion it takes to succeed in life.
Like me. And like my youth ministry calling. It keeps me going. It gives me life.
Much love to you all….
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