I put up my hand the day my Bible college professor asked who wanted to be a pastor’s wife. I didn’t realize it was a joke because it was the real deal for me. At the time I was convinced that this was the highest echelon of ministry that was available to a woman, so that’s what I was after. I was somewhat mortified but it did not lessen the desire in the slightest.
Ministry began somewhere around 16 years of age I think and there have only been a few brief pauses when burn-out subdued the flame to a mere spark somewhere buried deep. My sphere of ministry has primarily been children and youth, though I do enjoy ministry with women and couples and speaking and mission work.
Right now, Kelly and I are in the first stages of a new adventure. We’ve just finished 10 weeks of training on the TREK program, the launching and clarity training program that is run by Multiply, a training and sending organization that we’re partnering with. Our plan was to move to Winnipeg and then work in the inner city, adding value to established ministries, working alongside our friends the Prangers and launching our ministry called FireRunner Music and Ministries.
Many of our fellow participants were planning to head overseas but with the Covid restrictions that isn’t possible. I felt kind of lucky that we didn’t have to re-group and find new things to do because the thing we were planning to do was right here where we are. I will admit though, I was struggling with the fit, a little like a scratchy sweater that is beautiful but you just can’t keep it on for long.
As training was moving along and we were getting more clarity on our assignment we were also working through inner healing and old wounds, getting into the corners of our souls and doing some applying some leverage to things that might be hindering. Obedience isn’t always easy, but it is always worth the effort.
On a Sunday in late October I finished a journey of reconciliation that I felt the Holy Spirit had been leading me through for the last couple of years with Freedom Session (Ken Dyck) and then through Soul Care (Rob Reimer). I need to mention that in one of our volunteer nights I wrestled over the possibilty that my passion for children’s ministry was gone.
On Monday morning, one of our fellow Trek participants posted an ad for a Kids and Youth Ministry Director in the church that was in the same building as our Trek training was taking place. I wondered if the ad was just ministry temptation and seriously wondered at God’s sense of humour and timing. Hadn’t I JUST laid all that to rest?
Apparently NOT! I read through the job description and realized I could check every single box. I fit their profile exactly, but would they want a 52 year old children/youth director? I don’t have the energy that once was mine. We prayed, I sounded out our leader to get her thoughts and the encouragement to go forward was abundant. So I did.
I wrote up my resume and walked it downstairs to hand it in. My Trek family covered me in prayer as well as many of you. A few days later they called to schedule an interview. The interview happened and I was overwhelmed with the heart of the group that I chatted with. Their passion for following Jesus and caring for children and youth made me cry. I told Kelly that even if I didn’t get the job I would be happy to volunteer for such a group of people.
But I got the job! It feels like such a perfect fit, no scratchiness whatsoever. The search committee was unanimous in their decision to hire me, confirmed by five green M&Ms, no less. I have been warmly welcomed by Winnipeg Centre Vineyard. I have an office and by the end of the month an actual paycheque for doing the thing I love most in the ministry spectrum. I feel overwhelmed by God’s gift of this opportunity (doesn’t feel quite right calling it a job). I’m still pinching myself that it is real.
It’s only taken 30 years to receive this gift. If you’re in a season of waiting, feeling like that thing you’ve always wanted is way out of reach. Take heart. Delay doesn’t mean denied.