I remember the first time I heard it. I was in mid praise, my arms were wrapped around my body, eyes closed. I was at Phillips Metropolitan CME Church when we worshipped at Martin Luther King Jr. School in Hartford, CT. I heard God calling me to be a minister. I had no idea what that meant outside of pastorship because my dad is a pastor. But pastoring? Nah. Not me.
Let me back up - the first time was actually when I was 5 years old at Triumph Baptist Church on 16th & Wingohocking, Philadelphia, PA. I answered the invitation to walk in Jesus' footsteps via baptism. I was sure. I didn't ask my mother or father to walk me up to the front. From what I recall: I just got up, walked down the aisle and a few weeks maybe months later I was being baptized.
I remember the second time I heard it. I was in New Hampshire. Working at my favorite job, Dartmouth College as the Sexual Abuse Awareness Program Coordinator. It came out in conversation with my late mentor/sister/friend/pastor Dawn. I confessed to her that I had been writing poetry for several years but that I now desired to use poetry for God's glory. I told her I wanted to write poetry that talked about Jesus but that I didn't want it to be corny lol. I wanted her to just pray for me. Her response was "So you're a preacher, you're preaching in 2 weeks!" I laughed and said "Nah!" or something like that... I realized she was serious 2 weeks after that conversation, because I was standing before students and faculty/staff in attendance at Morning Glory Fellowship preaching "Who You Wit?!"
This time the unrest and inability to shake what I am hearing has the same impact. I have a hard time telling anyone when I am hearing God reaffirm and declare something specific in my life. But this time I am answering the call as I hear it vs. as I have interpreted. It is the same voice I heard the first two times. It is the same call. The only difference is:
I'm older, so I want to get on the road asap
I'm sure about what I've heard
It's not any 1 thing. Its not about a specific position or role, it's my posture of surrender to be a specific person operating in a specific spiritual gifting.
Tonight/morning (12:19am est) I lay in bed ready to see how The Lord of my life peels back the next layer of this onion. What will He show me next? This is starting to get exciting. What part of my soul will He reveal to me now? Wow, has He really been preparing me all this time?! WOW! I am literally amazed that He never stopped calling me. This is starting to make more and more sense. I'm not comfortable with sharing what He has called me, yet. I need to tell my parents lol and I need to get used to what it all means. This is weird - no other words describe this. I'm excited and trembling.
It is going to take #RatchetFaith to share the nuances of this call as The Lord leads me to do so. #RatchetFaith because I honestly don't want to be like them (others that have/are walked in this calling). I have taken great pleasure in rebellion. I have not wanted to sound like them or dress like them lol even though I am just like them. It is going to take #RatchetFaith because there are so many people who say people like me should not even consider that God would call me to do this. It is going to require me fighting with #RatchetFaith in order to keep me from running & hiding away from what I hear; which would give satan such excitement. Please tell (pray) Jesus about your girl!
One thing gives me so much assurance, confidence, and boldness. The One who is calling me knows how to prepare, show, unveil, build and direct me.
God is calling you too.
Do yourself a favor and start answering the call.