It is hard to believe that Will started his last week of undergraduate classes at NCSU today. It was just yesterday that I was in full “mother hen” form, gathering those things I just KNEW he needed for life away from home. Don’t worry! – I didn’t write his name in his clothes but I’m sure I thought about it. Then I snap my fingers and he is a senior at NCSU, graduating in less than 3 weeks.
Now the next step on the journey for him . . .
It’s exciting. It’s scary. It’s the unknown. Next steps are all of those things for Will.
And the same is true for me.
After serving for 15 years at Pine Valley UMC, I will be leaving this appointment at the end of August. I will begin a new appointment as a full-time ministry coach, serving with Passion in Partnership. It’s exciting. It’s scary to leave the known for the unknown. But that’s what following God’s call on your life is all about.
Several weeks ago, I found a copy of my application to Duke Divinity School, along with my acceptance letter from the Admission office (dated May 25, 1990). I remember how scared I was to leave the profession I loved to pursue this call that I didn’t understand. I was single. I didn’t have any savings. I had just paid off the loans for my Masters from UNC-CH and now I was biting off even more debt to go to Duke. What was I thinking?!?
I wasn’t really “thinking” as much as I was trusting – trusting that this call to full-time ministry was the next step in God’s plan. I had no idea where God was leading me. I just knew that I needed to take the next right step.
Noah came into my life a few months later and by November 1990 we were engaged. He finished residency, I finished seminary and then we were off to the next step on the journey. Will arrived in May 1994 and the journey continued.
And now all these years later . . . God is calling again.
This week while reading the book, Know Your Story and Lead with It by Richard L. Hester and Kelly Walker-Jones, I came across a quote by Albert Einstein: “If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be called research.” It leapt from the page because it applies to more than just research. I might rewrite it: “If I knew what I was doing, it wouldn’t be called faith.”
Sounds a lot like Hebrews 11:1 – “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
All I can do – all anyone can do – is take the next right step.
For anyone who wants to know more about ministry coaching, check out the Passion in Partnership website: www.pipcoaching.net