We all experiences seasons in our lives, but I’m not talking about the seasons of Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Instead, I’m talking about the seasons of life. Many years ago, if you had told me that I would be involved in various ministries, I would have likely looked perplexed and thought to myself, “What? No way. I’m a girl, and I’m certainly not going to be a preacher.” I’m not a preacher, nor do I think I will ever be called to that, but nevertheless, God DOES call us into and out of ministry.
Season of ministry with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers)
I began the personal season of Motherhood nearly 11 years ago. Any woman who gets the chance to experience motherhood, knows it can be full of ups and downs, happiness and sadness just like any other relationship. I remember being pregnant and thinking about all the tender joyous moments that I would spend snuggling my child and the giggles and the playfulness, but what I didn’t envision or spend time dreaming about was the tummy aches, the grumpiness due to being tired or sick, the sibling fights that would happen when another child was born, the “friends” at school that were mean…you know what I’m talking about, right? When I discovered MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) it was an awesome “A-HA” moment, because where I had been wondering if I was going to lose my mind and wondered “what on earth is wrong with me” the women at my MOPS group reassured me that I was doing the absolute best that I could and that I was blessed by God with kiddos.
Stepping Into Serving/Leading In Ministry
When God lights a fire in you, you have to let the light from it shine brightly. It wasn’t long before I discovered I could volunteer for my MOPS group and later was offered a leadership position. I had never led anything in my life. I didn’t run for SCA in school or anything like that. MOPS gave me not only opportunities to lead, but also training to lead. I served at the state level for 6 years and only in the spring of this year, did I step down from that position. Why? Because God can call you IN to ministry and He can call you OUT of ministry. I hadn’t been connected with a local MOPS group for a while, so I knew that if I stayed on this year, it would purely be for selfish reasons. The truth that I realized is that the friendships and relationships that I made through MOPS will STAY with me. It’s not that I need to be serving in the ministry to stay “friends”. Thanks to MOPS, I have gained friendships from women all over the United States and a couple in other countries! And while stepping down is bittersweet, I knew it was the right thing to do. I’m not done with my “mothering” season of life, but the season of serving for MOPS at the state level has come to an end and what a great season it has been!
Connecting the Dots from One Season To the Next
God is always connecting dots if you take time to look at it from His perspective. God brought me back to a church that I had once left just so as to connect me to what would be my husband and the place in which I would learn about MOPS. Through bringing me back to that church, He also connected me with friends who would start their own ministry that I would also participate in a leadership role of marketing and communications. I have served in that role for the past 3 years. And while going in, I saw visions of having a God-experience in which you saw people renew their faith and come forward for salvation by the 1000s, I didn’t anticipate the stress of serving on the board, having to balance volunteer work with the work that PAYS THE BILLS. Truthfully, at times downright frustrating and even maddening. I was just about to quit after the summer of 2016, but God said, “Not yet.” And faithfully, I obeyed.
Where is God leading me? What’s the next “dot”?
Now another year has gone by and God continues to connect the dots. He has connected me with two other ministries, both of which have asked for my help in marketing and social media. Where is God leading? I’m prayerfully considering….patiently waiting….and quietly listening. You see, God doesn’t call you IN to something He has planned for you unless He plans to see you through it. I don’t want to “bail” on something just because it doesn’t “suit” me (though that urge can be strong at times). I ultimately want God’s will… not mine. When I want to throw myself a pity-party because I don’t have the funds to do “whatever” (vacation, a lower-mileage car, speakers for the car since mine are blown, paint for the walls in my house, a new kitchen faucet to replace the leaky one, doctor’s bills, vet bills, and the list goes on…), I remind myself how blessed I am and how God has ALWAYS provided for me. Am I rich with money? Of course not. I have debt that needs to be paid like most everyone else. Just 10 years ago, I lost a great job due to a company merger that paid me a good and decent salary. TEN years later, I’m STILL NOT making the salary I was then, BUT – I am blessed because He has provided.
He Will Lead You IN and He Will Lead You Through
I’m blessed because like the Israelites in the wilderness, God has provided for me. I don’t have an over abundance, but I have enough. Just read Exodus, Chapter 16. God had promised to lead the Israelites to a promised land, but it didn’t happen overnight. It didn’t happen within a couple of months or even a couple of years! They wandered for 40 years. They grumbled about being hungry (verse 3) and said they should have just stayed where they were and so they could sit around and eat pots of meat and all the food they wanted. Why? Because that was what they “knew”, that was their comfort zone. Even though God promised so many good things, they grumbled because they didn’t like being “uncomfortable”. Yet, God is gracious and loving and heard their grumbling. He provided manna (bread from heaven) to sustain them and feed them. They were instructed to gather only what they needed – just enough. And yet, being human and of little faith, some gathered more than they should have and what happened? Verse 20 says that it spoiled, it was full of maggots and began to smell. They didn’t want to trust God anymore because it was uncomfortable. The Israelites wanted to trust what they knew was within their own hands and capabilities (gathering more than necessary). They did not show forth that they were trusting in what God had promised them.
Teach Us Through Our Mistakes and When We Aren’t “Comfortable”
The thing is… we are all human. We will make mistakes. Through our mistakes, God is able to teach us. Why does God allow “bad things” to happen to “good people”? I think that each and every one of us who declares to have faith in God experiences peaks and valleys within our journey with Him. During those valleys and storms is when we seek Him most. So wouldn’t it be fitting for Him to allow a little bit of struggle… a little bit of uncomfortableness… to enter our lives so that we would seek Him out? Seek Him for comfort and to lean on? Just like as a parent, we will let our kids “wander” a bit so that they can learn and see (and really, that’s not “comfortable” for us either, right?) but we appreciate it when they come back to us, truly seeking us for love and advice. Think about that. God’s heart breaks when we seek to do things OUR way (and really, when has that EVER worked for you?)……but being a loving God, He always welcomes us back with open arms when we realize that His was is better than Our way.
God doesn’t call us IN to things that are “easy”. God calls us to be faithful and obedient. Where will my next dot be connected? I don’t know yet, but I am prayerfully asking….patiently waiting….and quietly listening…. and by the way…. that’s not always “easy” either, but again… I’m seeking Him.