I Wasn't a Plan…I was a Hot Date!
…or at least I’m pretty sure that was the case. You see, my parents were only 15 and 16 years old when I was born. When they found out I was on the way, they headed to the courthouse and married. Like many other marriages that begin under those circumstances, it came to an end before I was a year old.
My mom went to work as a bartender and my dad headed to Nashville. Their life choices were not improving their circumstances. Nor were they taking them to places that would reflect the love of Christ.
As for me, I found myself moving from place to place sometimes living with my mom, sometimes living with my dad and other times living with a grandparent. I was that kid who went to 13 schools in 12 years. It was the move in the last six weeks of my tenth grade year that changed my life forever! That was the place I met Jesus as my Lord and Savior when a classmate told me how Jesus had changed her life. I didn’t know much, but I knew my life needed to be changed.
A few years later I met my husband who was already called to the ministry. My biggest fears…how could someone with my past ever be a pastor’s wife?! Could our marriage survive our vastly different backgrounds?
He grew up in the world of “Ozzie and Harriett” and I grew up in the world of “Days of Our Lives.”
Through the years God has reminded me of this one truth: my ability to serve Him has nothing to do with the family that raised me, but has everything to do with the God who created me. To believe or think anything else is a non-truth that leads to the death of my effectiveness in ministry.
Just think about it…
- The serpent told Eve a non-truth, “You are good but you could be better if….” That non-truth killed her ability to stay in the Garden and serve in perfect peace.
- The prodigal son thought a non-truth, “Life would be so much better if…” That non-truth took him to places no one of his economic status should have been.
- For me, “You don’t come from a good family, how can you minister?” That non-truth could have kept me from being a missionary.
But for those who followed the truth of what it means to be a child of God…they soared.
- …and the list goes on.
Perhaps one of my favorites is the boy David.
When David went to battle with Goliath it wasn’t the heavy armor of Saul he relied on for victory. He relied on his skills as a shepherd boy because that was his talent given from God. Was it the expected talent for someone fighting a giant? …Probably not. Most would have assumed that only a well-trained mighty warrior could have won that battle and that a shepherd boy with a sling-shot would be killed instantly.
But you see it wasn’t David who needed to get the glory, it was God!
The Israelites had no question about the power of God at the end of the battle. Only God could have used a slingshot to kill a very large well-trained soldier!
In life and ministry each of us will have our own “Goliaths” to fight.
- low self-esteem
- a difficult marriage
- a hard job
- difficult or special-needs children
- desire for acceptance
- a difficult church
- a “Days of Our Lives” past.
When we stray from the uniqueness of who we are in Christ, we may miss an opportunity to experience a victory like no other. It is through our uniqueness that God gets to shine. David said in Psalm 139, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful.” If God’s works are wonderful, and we are a part of His work, then we are indeed wonderful!
When our thoughts, hearts, creativity, personality, appearance, demeanor, actions and reactions are in line with who we are in Christ, then the “Goliaths” that come our way won’t be a problem.
Was my “Days of Our Life” world difficult? Of course. Did God defeat it? Yes! Through Christ Jesus. Has my past been effective in ministry? YES! John, Julie, Lindsay, and Melissa are just a few who know Christ because I could say, “I’ve lived your life and Christ can overcome it.” When I begin to worry about my past God reminds me of the countless times HE has used my past and me for His glory. I am an example of God using the unexpected…And I get to soar.
Do you worry about your effectiveness in ministry? Take that “heavy armor” off and soar! You are a child of God! What are your Goliaths? How has God equipped you to face them boldly and victoriously? When will you soar?