The struggle was really real when I initially refused to accept my call to ministry. Growing up as a P.K., I had a unique insight into the life of a pastor and the day-to-day workings of the Church, and I witnessed firsthand both the good and bad sides of full-time dedication to the ministry. I often saw my father’s joy—when he preached, introduced someone to Christ, organized summer camps at the church, or cooked dinner once a month for the senior parishioners—but I also saw that the job took all of him. My dad was literally on call 24/7. Parishioners called constantly: some wanted prayer, marital counseling, resources, and guidance with child-rearing, while others called when loved ones were sick or there was an emergency.
I resisted my call to ministry for several years, because I had seen up close the awesome responsibility of a pastor. To be honest, I was also afraid I wouldn’t be able to handle all the responsibilities. Somehow, I convinced myself that I wanted nothing to do with ministry, and I avoided anyone and anything that reminded me of it.
In 2006, however, I had an experience that changed everything. My Aunt Mildred was very ill with diabetes, and my father and I visited her in the hospital one day. Although she was blind in both eyes and lying on her back, unable to move her legs or left side, she lifted her right arm to praise God when an evangelist began preaching on the TV in her room. I vividly remember how her weak arm moved with purpose and boldness as the evangelist preached.
As I watched her, stunned that my aunt’s frail body could show such strength, something equally forceful began happening to me. An overwhelming feeling came over my body, and I felt the presence of God course through my veins. In that moment, I realized that I had to give God my all, just as my aunt was doing, despite her disabilities. “Giving my all” meant dedicating all my mind, heart, and soul to God, and I realized that my call to ministry was stronger than my former resentment or fears.
So I said all of that to say this…don’t let fear or anxiety interfere with the purpose God has given you. Walk in your purpose and walk in the light. Whatever God has called you to be, God has and will continue to prepare you and be with you the throughout your journey. Humble yourself to God’s calling and remain committed to being all that God has called you to be. Amen.