In high school and early college I had a dream and a passion for a particular avenue of ministry. I was so incredibly motivated by the idea of teaching God’s Word and bringing his Truth near to the hearts of women. I was teaching and leading other youth by the time I could drive. It fired me up to find the meaning and relevance in a passage of Scripture and teach it so people could understand it. I wanted deeply for God to use me to persuade people to put Him first, to grow into their God-given potential for the Kingdom.
My sophomore year of college I received an opportunity to travel back to my home church and speak at a women’s conference. I was fueled by the opportunity to lead and to teach these women. I can still tell you today what message I proclaimed to them out of Hebrews 10 and Jeremiah 33. It was changing my life so it poured out of me. I can still tell you the date . . . it was November 9,10 2001. I received great feedback and one of my mentors told me that weekend that she wanted to be involved in my life ministry somehow.
The following summer God began to change my course. I was at a discipleship program in Colorado for 3 months and and God did something in me that I think I am just now beginning to understand. It was so profound then, but I didn’t understand what it would ultimately mean for me. That summer of 2002 God convicted me to put these ministry dreams down. Think of limbo, the game where the bar continually lowers until you can’t pass through. Or a very small gate that you can’t fit through if you are carrying anything at all.
I truly believed God asked me to put down all of my dreams, aspirations and plans for a teaching ministry. It was a difficult process for me and I spent time by myself weeping, feeling so confused that God would ask me to give up the very thing he had given me passion for. He had been opening doors for me and increasing my passion and now was asking me to put it down. I felt like he was tearing part of my heart out that day. But I knew enough to know that if He was asking me to put it down, the worst thing I could do was hang on with a rebellious heart.
Today, almost exactly 9 years later, was the first day I feel God may have given me perspective on what He was doing in me. I have never forgotten that image, that conviction to put down those dreams so I could fit through the gate. I have noticed over the years that he has not given me back that dream . . . that calling and passion for a teaching ministry. But now I see what I have instead.