I’ll never forget the first time I realized God was calling me to ministry. It wasn’t a call I wanted to hear. I had fought with Him for weeks about His instruction to share my marriage testimony with the women of my church.
The interesting thing is that only months before I had lamented the fact that I didn’t have a powerful testimony. I’d never used drugs, never had an affair or an abortion, was never healed from catastrophic illness…how could I possibly reach others for Christ? I knew testimonies had to be powerful and life-changing. My life had consisted of being a good girl who was in church from the time she was born. Nobody wanted to hear that boring story.
And then I made the mistake of reading Titus 2. Just for the record, if you don’t want to speak or teach or mentor or help other women, don’t read Titus 2! For the first time I realized I was one of the older women in my church. For the first time I realized Paul was talking to me when He instructed the older women to “teach the younger women to love their husbands and children…so that no one will malign the Word of God.”
But what could I possibly say to women? After all, I didn’t have a testimony.
That’s when God began to reveal the first step of His plan for me and ministry. That day, sitting at my kitchen table, my eyes were opened to the miracle He had done in my marriage 15 years earlier. That day, for the first time, I saw the life-changing work He had been doing in my heart ever since.
That day, I told Him no.
During the next few weeks I continued to tell Him no. Repeatedly…emphatically…pleadingly. After all, I was an upstanding leader in my church. People looked up to me, respected me. I didn’t want them to know how I had bulldozed my way through the first 15 years of marriage. I didn’t want them to see how manipulative and mean-spirited my heart had been.
Weeks passed and I finally gave in. “Okay, God,” I said, “I’ll do this because you say I have to, but I want you to know, I’m not happy about it!” (I call that defiant submission)
A lot has happened since that day in 1997. And today, I’m happy about it! I’m happy that God could take a self-centered, bossy, hardheaded know-it-all, and show her how much she needed a Savior. I’m happy He could show me that my good deeds and perfect Sunday School attendance meant nothing compared with my sin. I’m happy that He could use my testimony of being just an average woman who learned to serve a powerful, omnipotent God.
And that’s my life-changing testimony.
“Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did….” John 4:29
Grace and peace,