The Dark Room is a blog series that will continue to highlight the lives of people who are answering God's call to minister.
God never stopped calling me. Sometimes I couldn't and sometimes I chose not to hear. I've been super busy since I heard God call me to ministry in 2003. Busy with having children, getting married, sin, distractions, gigs, making new friends, moving, kicking addictions, recording and publishing books. But over the last two years I have been more still in all of my adult life. Some of that stillness was due to unemployment and some of it (all of 2017) was God's literal intention to hush me up and sit me down. Nevertheless He never stopped saying my name. He never stopped inviting me to walk with Him in this specific way. I just figured I was already doing the work; I didn't think I needed to do more than that. I was wrong.
I needed to pick up the phone because
He (God) was calling.
The Lord has been calling me to serve and minister to people in a very strategic way. I wanted to serve and minister in broader ways, in ways that He has gifted me but it wasn't the full throttle. I write & share poetry centered in His love. I serve in ministries at church. I try to be a good friend, sister, wife, church member and colleague. What else is necessary?
The truth is it is necessary for me to continue answering the specific call of God and to God. It's not enough for me to have been doing the work but not really answering His call. The truth is it is exciting and I'm nervous. The truth is I have been in a supernatural dark room for at least two years that I can count. God has been developing me in this room and at times (most of the time) it's been uncomfortable, painful, frustrating, but it has also been rewarding.
In January (2017) I heard God say this would be a quiet year. No gigs (spoken word or workshop facilitation), and if I was invited to speak somewhere other than my local church He empowered me to decline (I learned how to say no this year). Do you know how hard that is for someone like me? Haahaha. Our combined income in our home is about $33K less than the median income where we live. Those gigs and speaking engagements help to offset our expenses and God was inviting me to say "No" to them! That was really hard at first mostly because part of my issue (transparency moment) is that much of my esteem and validation from other people has been something I've been addicted to. But now that the year is just about over I am so blessed, happy and proud that I followed God's plan (mostly - i'm not perfect) to sit down & hush up.
I'm sure you're wondering by now - 'what is the call?' The call is full time ministry. The call is to go and be who God has gifted, anointed, ordained and called me to be. The call is alive. The call is servant-leadership. The call is worship as an act of obedience, to go where He sends me, to say what He puts in my mouth to say, to extend myself beyond what I think I can handle, to walk alongside people, to serve others, to stay really low in humility and prayer so I can hear what The Lord is saying. The call is to monitor how distracted I am with the scroll game, TV, and other stuff. The call is to repent often. The call is to remain teachable. The call is to stop trying to control how this looks. The call is to stop interpreting what God is saying and just do what He is saying. The call is to stop doing stuff that harms my body, mind, and soul and to start doing stuff that preserves my body, mind, and soul. The call is strategic. The call is focused. The call is pastoral ministry. Oh snap I said it. Like out loud. Like on paper. Like in front of all of you.
I'm not sure how the next steps are going to look. Will I go to seminary? Will I be ordained at a local church? Will I this? Will I that? I just know I am asking God to help me keep clean, stay focused, obedient, ever confessing and repentant and I am trusting God to help me available - not distracted, to continue serving in ministries, getting in the Word of God (yesterday I started the process of reading the entire bible for the first time), and I am waiting for God to show me what's next.
Let's get one thing clear I would have never ever ever chosen this call for myself. I'm a pastor's kid. I know what a pastor looks like after he/she takes the robe off or puts the sermon down. I know what I look like after I serve in ministry or do spoken word. I'm ratchet, irritable, controlling... I ain't got no business leading a group of people to The Christ. But I'm so glad that shepherding people has nothing to do with how good I am and has everything to do with how dope God is. I am so grateful that all I need to do is stay in #thedarkroom and allow The Lord to develop me and make sure that the masterpiece He is developing is how He intended.
Stay tuned for more posts sharing the testimonies of others that have been in #thedarkroom too.