Recently I saw a posting for a position in our church and felt an inward nudge to check it out. I casually asked the person sitting next to me what the position entailed and was “kindly” informed that the people who usually filled the position would be seen as leaders of the church, were older & typically well known in the church and had a stronger Christian background than what I had.
Needless to say, it was a little disheartening to hear that what I thought may be a calling and potentially fulfilling work was actually above me and where I was on my faith journey.
I pointed out that one of the handful of people who fill this position was a young mom of two, similar to me. The response was “Ya – but she’s also the wife of the son of a pastor so she probably knows way more stuff about the church and the knowledge required for this position.” Yup, that was true.
“Plus, it’s not like just anybody could fill this position. People on a council nominate members to fill this position and the process is that they make phone calls to formally ask people if they wanted to fill the position. So yeah, if you get a call then you should do it.” My thought was – well if they need to fill a position, wouldn’t they want interested folks to let them know?
Despite the disheartening conversation, I reached out to the contact person to learn more information.
I received the information today and as I read the responsibilities and duties I found myself not only getting excited and thinking “this is exactly what I want to do”, but I (amazingly & surprisingly) also felt the physical presence of God. I felt a hand on my left upper back with a radiating warmth that was unmistakenable and comforting. It was a hand that said “I am here and I am guiding you. It is in my plan for you to do this work.”
I closed my eyes and just soaked in the comfort of the moment. The feeling of that hand and warmth. The feeling that all was right in the world (a feeling I hadn’t felt in a long time). After a few minutes I opened my eyes, a few tears rolled down as I was so moved by the experience. The hand & warmth was still there and then gently & slowly went away as I did other things. I later read some more literature about this position and was surprised to have the same feeling of warmth and hand on my back return.
In the past, whenever I heard amazing stories of people feeling the presence of God or that God was speaking to them I was amazed & awestruck, and also convinced that it was something I would never be worthy of experiencing. I mean, if you asked me right now to quote a passage of Scripture I’d stare at you blankly, heart racing and hands getting sweaty. Frantically trying to think of the love passage spoken at our wedding. Love is kind….and patient….and a bunch of other things…..it doesn’t boast………….
…see what I mean?!?!?!?!?!?!? *sigh* ( I literally just did)
But, this experience happened. And it was amazing. And it will have forever changed me.
I shared this story with two people at our weekly Coffee Break and learned that someone had actually considered me for this position, but that there was hesitation to approach me since I have an infant & toddler and may not want to feel obligated to take on a position.
If I hadn’t reached out they would not have approached me out of courtesy…how sad would that be? The group is still prayerfully considering who to approach to fill this position, so time will tell whether this is the right time for me.
While this experience has not only strengthened my faith and belief in God, it has also taught me to stop looking to others for confidence or permission or encouragement to try things I want to try.
If I had listened to that person, who was essentially telling me I wasn’t ready for this position, I would’ve told myself “Forget it. You’re not going to get picked anyways. Just stay a ‘regular’ member of the church and let the real Christians (ya know, the ones that can actually quote stuff) fill those lead roles.”
I don’t want to live my life relying on other people to tell me how to live it. (If I knew how to, I’d put one of those “tweet that” links here, like they doing on Becoming Minimalist).
I want to live my life intentionally – fulfilling my intentions & dreams. I want to have the courage to find passions and work (personally and career-wise) that I find satisfying and that fills my bucket. I want to stop looking to others to find the direction in my life, and to first look within myself.
*Update Apr. 2016 – I got the position! 🙂
I’m genuinely happy (which is a feeling I haven’t felt for a while). I’m incredibly thankful for this experience and that it’s strengthened my faith in the Lord. I’m hopeful that the things I want for myself in the last paragraph are things that my daughters will seek too…so I should probably start modeling this for them.