If you haven’t already, read Part 1.
God called me into ministry leadership. This terrified me. For a long time after I surrendered to ministry, I would be bound by fear – fear that I wasn’t good enough, that I couldn’t do the task at hand, that I didn’t know enough, that God could never use someone like me. O how true this is if it isn’t for God’s grace in my life! There is no way I could do this if not controlled by the Spirit.
I began getting involved in ministry. I figured youth ministry was what God wanted me to do since I had a passion for young people my age. I’ve recently learned that isn’t the right direction. Many people have told me that I should be a pastor – again, not the right direction. I believe God has definitely called me to ministry leadership, but I have no idea exactly how that looks, as of now, in my life. I do know one thing – he has given me a burden in two areas: missions and discipleship.
This brings me to last summer. I went to downtown Phoenix, Arizona as a summer missionary at Church on Fillmore through the Mississippi Baptist Convention and the North American Mission Board. While there, I was involved in inner-city ministry. I started to learn much more about ministry as we created relationships with kids, homeless, and other people from all walks of life. It is during this summer that the gospel fully clicked for me. Don’t get me wrong – I knew what the gospel was for the most part, but it fully clicked last summer. I was overwhelmed by the reality of the gospel of grace. There is much I could say about my summer there, but I’ll move on.
All throughout last year – my senior year – the gospel fueled me. Any of my friends would tell you that I talked about it all the time (and still do). As I mentioned yesterday, graduation was right around the corner, and I was terrified. I thought to myself – what’s next? People would ask me what I was doing after graduation. My answer? I have no idea. And then, through several situations, God reminded of Proverbs 16:9 and Proverbs 19:21. We plan, but God establishes our steps. It is His purpose that will stand. Again, this is something that I knew, but didn’t really grasp. God is sovereign. He knows what he’s doing, especially when I don’t. All the fear and worry – gone.
And this is where my current season comes into play. I had no idea that I would return to Church on Fillmore for a second summer until the application process began. I knew God was leading me back to Phoenix. This summer in Phoenix was extremely difficult at times, but very rewarding. It was great to see some of the kids start asking questions about the gospel and why Jesus did what He did. The summer began to come to an end and God led me to begin the process of returning to Phoenix for a year as a missionary. After discussions with my missions coordinators in Mississippi and Arizona, I began the process. The church accepted my request and an application was filled out and sent into NAMB. I left Phoenix on August 2nd with an estimated date of re-arrival around the beginning of September.
It’s almost a month later and I’m still in Alabama. A friend sent me a text one day recently and asked if I had heard any news on the Phoenix front. I answered that I had not. And I was asked this – “Real talk. How are you doing with that?” No one had asked me that. I hadn’t thought about it. Obviously I’m eager to return. When you know where you’re supposed to be in the next season of your life, you want to be there. As I began to think about it, though, I saw that I was not anxious (despite the eagerness).
I know God will bring this to pass in his timing, not mine. It had actually surprised me to know that I’m not upset or worried about it. Even if it’s another month from now, I am trusting Him because His purpose will stand. I’m thankful that my friend asked me that hard question. After this year in Phoenix, I have no idea what will be next. I do know one thing – God is sovereign. I have learned to trust Him regardless of the circumstances at hand. And I have experienced such great growth in these seasons of change.
Thanks for reading. I hope that you are encouraged by the peek into my life during these recent seasons of change.
- Have you had a season of change in your life recently that God used to teach you? If so, I would love for you to share.