i am so behind on this thing. i could blog multiple times a day. i learn so much from my Lord, my husband, my children, my friends, my church. i am beyond blessed. if only there was more time.
i feel like i am in a new season of life. i have been so down for so long, but as the Lord continues to lift me up and continues to bring people into my life who are Christ centered and wisdom filled, i see a great deal of change taking place inside my heart and my mind. “from the inside out, Lord my soul cries out.”
in the midst of all of the internal changes, the Lord has given me another opportunity to serve Him. years ago i let Him know that i had a desire to have a ministry. i didn’t know what that looked like. where would it be? to whom would i minister? after all, what did i have to offer? what could i share? my life had been fairly easy, then turned suddenly difficult, and though i was undoubtedly in the center of His will for my life, it was a very hard place to be. but He called me to a place where He saw a need for someone like me.
He called me to lead our church’s ministry to mother’s of infants and young children. yep, you read that right, mother’s of infants and young children. He…called…me. not the mom who had the baby two years after she got married and then had another one two years after that. He…called…me. ME. the infertile one. the barren womb one. the mother of three adopted bi-racial(i know you know color has nothing to do with it and trust that you get what i am saying) children.
and when He called me, He called me loud and clear. He called me out of our church’s adoption and foster care ministry. He called me out of a leadership role in our Sunday school class. He called me to lead a group of women who get pregnant and give birth to babies. is He crazy?
for years He knew the secret longing in my heart to be a part of this elite group of women. for years He knew i so longed to simply walk in the room where the elite group meets. for years He knew there was nothing i wanted more than to be a mom.
when our kids came home, i earned the right to join the group. i remember clearly when i first walked through their meeting room doors. it was hard for me to contain my emotions when i filled out my registration card, from barren womb to mom of three. it was overwhelming to know i got to be there.
sure, it was hard to sit around a table full of women complaining about breastfeeding, being up in the middle of the night, pain during labor and delivery, etc, etc, etc. but i was so excited to be there that i was able to block out the complaining. and at the end of the first year of my attending the group, i volunteered to be a part of the groups committee.
i was assigned the job of “craft helper”. i would assist the craft person on craft days, showing people how to do the craft, answer questions, etc. and maybe sometimes she’d need me to run to the store to get extra supplies. i basically ended up doing nothing most of the year.
towards the end of the year, a new leader was planning her committee and i told i wanted to stay on board. i requested that i have at least a little more responsibility. a few weeks later she called and told me that after much prayer and seeking, she would like for me to be her co-leader. i told her i’d need some time to pray about it and discuss it with josh.
i was honored. first, this leader is someone that i had admired for years. i met her in the college ministry at our church and just always thought she was neat. i would see her and think, “i bet she’d be great to be friends with.” now she has presented me the opportunity to work by her side for a whole year!
second, i was being asked to help lead the ministry to young moms. that meant that in a year, i’d be the one leading. ME. the infertile one. the barren womb one. the mother of three adopted bi-racial children.
i said yes. i agreed to be the co-leader for one year, and then the leader for the following year. now, we are in that year. i am now leading our church’s ministry to mother’s of infants and young children. ME.
the week before our ministry year started, our women’s ministry director held a communion and commissioning service for us. we sang some songs together, one being i surrender all.
“all to Jesus i surrender
all to Him i freely give;
i will ever love and trust Him,
in His presence daily live.
i surrender all,
i surrender all;
all to Thee, my blessed Savior,
i surrender all.”
as i sang these words, i was thinking, “what does this look like in my life? how does this relate to this ministry i am leading?” with my eyes closed, and my head bowed, i thought, “wow. i really did have to surrender a lot to get to this point. my dreams. my desires. my fertility. my womb. my plans. my will. i really did have to surrender all.” i was again overcome with emotion.
our meetings started two weeks ago. things have been going really well. our numbers are up from years past and it seems like people are pretty excited about what is planned for the year. i love this! but mostly i love watching the Lord’s plan for my life unfold. He has done things with me i could have never imagined. He’s taken me places i would have never been. He’s opened doors that may have always been closed.
surrender seems like the hardest thing to do. we want what we want, when we want it, how we want it, etc. He has things He wants for us too. He knows when He wants us to have them and how He wants us to have them. for our good, for His glory. knowing this has made it easier for me to surrender. and watching His will for me unfold has made me so glad i let go.
but, i was still struggling with why He’d choose me for this ministry. enter a Christ centered, wisdom filled lady. i spend some time sharing my struggle with her, trying to make sense of all that has happened in the past few years and how it relates to my role in ministry. she shares this with me:
“we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that
suffering produces perseverance;
and character, hope.”
some of these young women may need to see what it looks like to suffer and persevere, and build character, and gain hope. maybe i can show them.