Originally published on private blog Sunday, October 12, 2014:
Life often takes a path that we didn’t expect or plan for. I’m not really sure as a child what I expected or thought my adult life would be like. I changed my mind on career ideas several times, from being a teacher (about the only profession I knew at the time, roughly 3rd grade), to a dietician, a psychologist, sound engineer, counselor. In college I began with a counseling degree, switched to a 2-year degree expecting to transfer, then decided to stay and switched back to counseling, only to end up changing again to a General Ministries degree. As a result, my college courses consisted of several counseling classes, drama classes and Bible electives. My Bachelor’s degree is in Bible, with a General Ministries emphasis. I had no idea I would get into secretarial work and that would be the career path I would take.
While apparently I was never thrilled about the idea of having children, I remember in high school thinking that I would have kids because I would love my husband enough to have them for him. In hindsight, that’s a terrible reason to have children, but at the time I expected it. When the subject of kids came up with Jono and we realized neither of us cared about having them, it was a relief. Looking back now I don’t think I would have done well at all as a parent, with the emotional and health issues I struggled with, along with the levels of stress that I seem able to handle.
After my freshman year of college, I returned to Kenya for the summer to stay with my family and was involved in helping them with their various ministries in Nairobi. One of the ministries I did that summer was help teach a 5-year-olds Sunday School class at the Kenyan church we had planted. Most of the children didn’t know English yet, so an interpreter was involved. I discovered that I was not good with teaching children and that was not an avenue to explore for further ministry. Sometimes it takes trying different things to see what we’re good at.
Later I learned that teaching children and teaching adults are two completely different things. Just because I didn’t see myself able to teach children didn’t mean that I couldn’t teach adults. The opportunity came up at a church we were going to for me to lead an adult Sunday School class. I found that I really enjoyed the prepping for it and the actual teaching as well. Maybe this was something to consider, not as a career, but as a ministry. But with working full-time I found my energies depleted and my ability to be involved in ministry limited.
Now that I’m no longer working full-time, I wanted to try teaching women to see if I still enjoyed it. In finding that I did still enjoy it, and getting some affirmation from others that I did have ability in this area, I began pursuing leading studies. Doing a summer study seemed a good way to try this out – a short time commitment but long enough to get some idea if this was what I wanted to do. That showed me how much I don’t know! And the desire for training became high.
So now the trail has led to my desire to teach and lead women’s studies and getting further training to be more effective in this ministry. As I participate in some options, some providing training, some still a potential for training, I wait to see how God directs and leads in this area. I need to be willing to wait on His timing and for His opportunities not my own. Doors may not be open or timing may not be right. But I can trust God to fulfill His purposes in me as I wait on Him.