Growing up in a Midwest middle-class home, it was very clear what was expected of my older brother and me growing up. My parents were middle-class wage earners with strong traditional Christian values that I still hold dear today. Although growing up for me was a well-rounded experience, I knew that there were a lot more things in the world that I had not seen yet and I wanted to see them. So in my young adult years, I began to explore those things that I had been shielded from because I had to decide I wanted God for myself.
It did not take me long. By the age of 20, I had made my decision to live my life for Christ and I started a journey to know everything I could about my Savior and Lord. The more I learned, the more I wanted to serve Him, the more I wanted to know Him. By 21 years of age, I was called to ministry with no idea on how to get there, but thank GOD He knew exactly how to get me where I am today.
I started with the basics. I taught the children and the babies in children's ministry. Then, I sang in the choir and went out with evangelistic ministry teams singing and praying on the streets in our urban areas. I, also, worked on the prayer call lines praying for folks who would call in desperately looking for Jesus. I worked the altar, too, praying for those who were ready to commit their lives to Jesus and be baptized in the Holy Spirit. Anything I could do in the Name of Jesus, I did it with my whole heart.
At first, it seemed like God had me on a fast track. By the time I was 22 years of age, I led my first praise and worship team and managed my first church office. I continued to minister to people at the altars and let God use me when and wherever I could.
At the age of 25, I got married to my darling husband. I continued to seek and pursue the call of God on my life. More praying at the altar, speaking at women's breakfasts and gatherings, and of course, leading praise and worship.
But then, my fast train stopped! About 4 years into my marriage, all my time was consumed with taking care of my husband and my children. On my 30th birthday, I cried my eyes out because I felt that I would never fulfill the call of God on my life. I could not see past the last changed diaper or made up bed or prepared meal. Looking back, I would have taken each breath slowly, enjoying the journey, instead of attempting to rush it along.
By 2005, I was ready to get back into ministry. But where? How? I had no idea how to "get back on track." So in my heart, I wanted to do it, but I thought it was too late for me. I thought I would just take care of my husband and raise my children and God would pass the assignment he gave me to one of them. But the longing in my heart to fulfill my life assignment was always there. It was only covered with household responsibilities and a full-time career to help feed my family.
I became acquainted with Tim and Kris Mann, a couple on the Eldership team at our church. They took a personal interest in me, more than I had ever had anyone do. Their tender hearts, time investments, and patience pulled me out of my shell that limited me to natural household duties. They pursued the call of God in me so that I could pursue it myself, again. In addition to leading praise and worship at our local church assembly, and ministering at women's gatherings, I was being sent to lead praise and worship at other churches. I was also being trained to interpret the Word of God to be the minister I was called me to be in the beginning. I taught disciple classes when needed, went to preach when requested, and began a bible study in my home for discipling others. I was happy and frustrated--happy to pursue, frustrated at the process. Though it was tough, it went faster than I could have imagined.
Now, I am the Director of Church Builders Bible Training Center. I write curriculum and doctrinal opinions for fellow ministry friends. I still teach discipleship classes and I always will. It is my passion to teach. I travel to preach and sing. I publish blogs both personally and for the training center and I sit on an Apostolic Round Table that has national reach and international reach. And this is only the beginning for me. In this life, one never arrives to his final destination. One only learns to enjoy the journey until this age, or his time in it is complete.
As I approach age fifty, my husband and I have been married for more than 20 years. We are the proud parents of five children and the delighted grandparents of two beautiful granddaughters. In this, I realize this next generation is not much different from my own. The young people of this generation will not settle for answers that are not authentic. They will not submit to rules that do not make sense. By mentoring, mothering and grandmothering youth of the information age, I realize the message of Christ has to be REAL, even raw at times, in order for them to receive it. It has to make sense. “Because I told you so” will not suffice. Therefore, I resolve and commit to approaching ministry with unadulterated present truth and sincerity.
I AM NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST.