I Throw Like a Girl

I’ve Got Some ‘Splainin to Do

Posted by Carol on February 15, 2008

A few weeks ago Lysa TerKeurst very generously held a contest to win a scholarship to the “She Speaks”conference held each year by Proverbs 31 Ministries. To enter, you had to have a blog, and you needed to write a post about why you want to go to “She Speaks”.  I have been wanting to go to the conference for a few years now, so I entered. 

The deadline for entering was the Friday of the week Lysa posted the contest. The posts would be read over the weekend, and the winner announced on Lysa’s blog Monday morning. My post was pretty straight forward – just the facts ma’am.  No frills.  I really thought that was all I had to say.  If you want to read my entry, go here

As the weekend progressed, of course I thought about the contest.  I realized my chances of winning were slim, both statistically and realistically.  The sheer number of entries decreased the odds of my being chosen and I knew my story was not as compelling as many of the others.  All weekend, I mulled my entry post around in my mind.  When I wrote it, I really felt, like Forrest Gump, “that’s all I have to say about that.” 

However, by Sunday afternoon, I realized that there was MORE to my story that I could have written about.  I was very tempted to go and revise my entry.  I didn’t because the deadline had passed and I wanted to play by the rules.  Also, I had prayed about my entry, and when I posted it, I had peace that was what God wanted me to say.  And, as I said in my post, I know that if God wants me to go to the conference this year, He will provide a way.  I still believe that and am more than OK with His plan for me whether or not it includes “She Speaks” this year.

Yet, for some reason, I now feel compelled to tell my story – at least the part of it that relates to the reason I want to go to “She Speaks”.  We all have a story with many chapters to tell.  This is just one chapter of my story.

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When I was finishing 5th grade (don’t worry, I’m not going to go year by year), I asked my parents if they would put me in a Christian school.  My church had just started one and my parents were already considering it for when I went into 7th grade and would have to move to the Jr. High School.  My request moved the switch a year earlier to 6th grade. God had a reason for wanting me at the Christian school that year.

While I was in chapel one day at my new school, a missionary from Brazil was speaking to the kids.  He told us that God would call some of us to be doctors, teachers, business men and women, BUT some of us He would call to full time Christian service. It might be on the mission field or in ministry here in the United States.  As a little child, I heard God speak to my heart as clear as day that He wanted me to serve Him full time.  I didn’t know if it would be on the mission field or not, but I knew He wanted me to serve Him with my life. From that day forward, when anyone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, without hesitation I would say, “a missionary”. 

When I met my future husband, in one of our first conversations, he told me that he thought God was calling him to the mission field.  That was a handy fact to know.  Why should I date someone who didn’t also feel they were called to full time Christian service?

High School Sweetheart and I stayed together through Christian college.  He majored in Bible/Missions and I majored in Elementary Education then switched to English. After a short term missions trip to Africa one summer, Future Husband decided that God was not calling him to the mission field after all, but definitely to a ministry here in the US. That was fine with me because all I really knew was that God wanted me in full time Christian service. If He was leading Future Husband to a ministry in the US, then perhaps that was where He wanted me, too.

And for the whole 6 years we dated and into the first 2 years of our marriage, that was the plan – full time Christian service.  For the first 18 months of our marriage, Dear Husband served at a large church in Normal, IL as the Youth Pastor.  Although I had to finish up my last year of college, I served right along with him teaching Sunday School for the senior high girls and helping at all the youth activities.  I can honestly say it was the happiest time of my life being newly married to the love of my life and serving God full time just like I knew He wanted me to.

It wasn’t long before a pastor friend of DH’s started calling him from Connecticut.  This friend had started a brand new church and DH had helped him during the summers off from college and for a year or so after he graduated before we got married.  He actually was the minister that performed our wedding. The church was now large enough to take on an assistant pastor and the friend wanted DH to work with him.  They were also starting a Christian school and there would be a position for me if I wanted it.  We prayed about it and felt it was a perfect fit, plus it moved us both closer to our families.

When we arrived back in Connecticut, it didn’t take us long to find out that the pastor either would not or could not keep any of the promises he had made to us when he asked us to come to work with him.  He did not give us an apartment in the parsonage behind the church. He did not pay me for teaching at the Christian school.  He canceled our health insurance without telling us just as I got pregnant with our first child. He never gave DH the adult Sunday School to teach or let him preach from the pulpit.  He expected us to work at the church from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm everyday.  If we asked for time off, his reply was that we didn’t love the Lord and were not committed to His work. In spite of all this, we felt God had a reason for leading us there and until He showed us otherwise, we would stay. 

Since DH was a Bible major, he had to take 4 years of New Testament Greek.  He was a very good student and got all A’s -so he knows his Greek.  One Sunday as the pastor was preaching, my husband realized that what the pastor was saying was Biblically incorrect and he actually was twisting the Scriptures to fit his point.  The next morning, in the privacy of his office, DH respectfully questioned the pastor about what he said in his sermon.   

When my husband asked the pastor to clarify what he meant, the pastor just blew up at him.  He yelled and swore at my husband and said, “I am the pastor of this church. God has given that authority to me!  How dare you question what I say!  When I speak from the pulpit, you do what I say and if God has a problem with it, let Him deal with me!”

Needless to say, the conversation did not end well.  My husband resigned on the spot. When he came out of the pastor’s office, his first words to me were, “If that is what the ministry is all about, I want no part of it.”

I knew he was upset.  I thought he just meant this ministry.  But no, he meant all ministries.  He was even offered a position as youth pastor of another church, but turned it down flat.  My heart was broken.  I knew God had called me to full time Christian service and here was my husband turning away from serving God full time.  At first I thought it was temporary, just until he got over the hurt this pastor had inflicted on his young heart. But, it has now been almost 20 years since that incident and DH has not returned to full time Christian work. He has since told me that he never felt 100% sure that God wanted him in the ministry.  He did it to please his father and he knew that’s what I was interested in.

I still believe God called me to full time Christian service when I was just a young girl.  My life looks a lot different today than I imagined it would look when I was a 21 year old bride, but then, whose doesn’t? 

I have prayed for opportunities to serve God in the churches we have attended as we have moved around the country for DH’s career.  I have been involved in youth ministry, children’s ministry, and women’s ministry over the past 22 years.  God has given me opportunities to lead and speak.  Now I am at a point in my life where my children are growing up – we are not quite empty nesters, but in a few years Dear Daughter will go off go college.  I feel that God is opening doors for me to serve Him.  I don’t know what doors He will have me walk through over the next few years, but I want to be prepared to go and to serve wherever He leads me.  That is why I am praying for the opportunity to attend the “She Speaks” Conference.

There, I said it.  And I feel so much better.

To see what God has done in my life since then, click here

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8 Responses to “I’ve Got Some ‘Splainin to Do”

  1. beverlydru said

    I have been popping into your blog and want to say- wow, I hear your heart. Thank you for being real and sharing. I will be praying for open doors for you. God hears. God knows. I am also in the place of knowing there is more out there for me to do in kingdom businesss. I don’t know how, when or the many details I would like to know. But it’s exciting.

  2. PJ said

    God knows your heart. He will not call you where he does not provide the means to go as well as the message with which to minister. I’ll be praying for you.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Son of mother who throws like a girl said

    Yo Momma,

    I’m so glad to see that you are still writing this blog. I miss you alot and can definitely feel you prayers for me these last few weeks. I’m sorry I haven’t kept up with your blog as much lately. Thanks so much for all your support while I’m so far away. You’ll be in my prayers, as always.

    Love,
    YOUR “LUCKIEST STUDENT ALIVE” SON

    P.S. I recently received a package containing valentine’s day cookies from the Harry and David Co. Seeing that they were sent without any sort of “from:…” thingy i came to one of two conclusions. 1.) Either Harry or David has a rather creepy crush on me (much to Monica’s dismay) or 2.) You sent them… THANKS

  4. I just love your kid! He is so neat! About the post, I just really appreciate your vulnerability. I loved learning more about you and your history. I know God has a way marked out fo you, he may be just going to reveal it one or two steps at a time. Or maybe more than that! Anyway, I’m sending love to you. I’m so glad we’ve “met.”

  5. Chris said

    Wow. I just popped in from 2nd Cup of Coffee. And I read your fascinating real-life story of love for Jesus, ministry, heartbreak and how life doesn’t turn out like you’d planned….May God bless you with opportunities to serve him and may your DH be healed from that crushing experience…
    You are a good writer! May you get to attend the workshop. It sounds like you’d love it.
    Glad I stopped in!

  6. […] am still praying that God would open the door for me to attend this conference in June.  Right now I am preparing a […]

  7. […] the financial means for me to attend the She Speaks Conference in June.  I wrote about it here and here.  I reeaallly want to go to this conference. I have for several years.  I prayed that if it is […]

  8. […] of you have been reading my blog for awhile, therefore, you know about my desire to be in full time ministry. You may also remember that God seemed to be calling me away from the women’s ministry […]

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