We all have a story about how God brought us to where we are now. Here’s mine:
When I was sixteen, I felt called to some type of full time ministry. At that time, I really had no idea what that would look like…to be honest, most days I still don’t 🙂 I figured I would marry a pastor and spend my days as a pastor’s wife.
However, I fell in love with a farmer! A couple of months after we married, we moved to Ellendale, ND so my farmer husband could go to Trinity Bible College. Maybe being a pastor’s wife was in my future. However, after a year and a half in Bible college, we realized that Brad just doesn’t feel called to be a pastor. So, we moved back to Fergus Falls, MN where he could finish his accounting degree from Minnesota State University Moorhead and continue farming.
I poured myself into our local church. I was on several committees and on the worship team. I taught Sunday School and helped with youth group. I did my best to fulfill what I thought God was calling me to do.
In January 2007, I decided I wanted to go back to school and finish my Bachelor’s degree. I had a two year Associates degree, but always wanted to finish four years. Brad had kept in contact with one of his teachers from Trinity Bible College. This teacher “happened” to be (yes, I know it was God) in charge of Trinity’s new distance education program. We contacted him the first week of January, and I started classes the second week of January. Aahh! That was faster than I had planned! But, that seems to be how God works in my life.
After two crazy years, I finished my Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies with a Church Ministries minor. During those two years, my heart for full time ministry began to grow. I had high hopes that as soon as I finished my degree, God would open the doors for me to begin some type of ministry. Not necessarily full time at this point, but something. Much to my disappointment, the doors did not open. I prayed. I talked to people. I grew my faith. However, in the end, Fergus Falls just didn’t seem to be the place where God wanted to use me.
Mother’s Day 2010, our pastor preached an amazing sermon on finances. I told him,”Best sermon on finances, worst Mother’s Day sermon!” He preached on how you can’t follow God’s plan for your life if you have consumer debt. At this point we had a car loan, a boat loan, and school loans- over $38,000 in debt! I left the sermon in tears because I really wanted to do what God wanted me to do. So we (I) took drastic steps! I sold everything that wasn’t tied down. I cut back on my spending. I paid off that debt! All of it! Within a couple months!! What a great feeling! I will never be in debt like that again!
Around that same time, we had a Sunday School class on margin (having extra in your life so you are not stressed). This really spoke to Brad. He realized that he had negative margin in his life regarding time. He had WAY more to do than he had hours in the day. After looking at his obligations (he couldn’t quit his job, we couldn’t get rid of the kids, he was stuck with me!), we both agreed that the thing that needed to go was farming.
Unfortunately, it was not that easy. We were connected to the farm: financially, practically, and emotionally. We couldn’t just walk away. We needed God to make it possible for farming to not be such a commitment. So Brad prayed and God answered. In less than three months, God had arranged everything so that we were able to drastically cut back on the amount of time farming was taking in our lives. Amazing! God is Amazing!!
The seed that we were supposed to move was planted about this time. We wrestled with it. It is a BIG decision to move your family across the country. We wanted to make sure.
In January, 2011, our pastor preached a sermon series called “One Month to Live.” He asked a lot of questions about living your life as if you only had one month to live, without regrets. Brad and I felt that it was time to make a decision regarding whether or not we were supposed to move. So we devoted our prayer time to hearing God’s voice in this area. We prayed and we prayed and we prayed. One day we would be sure we should move and the next we would be sure we should stay. We just didn’t know.
Then one Sunday morning in March, Brad said that he just couldn’t move. He couldn’t leave our house and the farm and all the complications that would mean. I said okay and prayed “God if you want us to move, you change his heart.” That same night after prayer at our church, we both looked at each other in the car and said “We’re supposed to move.” God had confirmed it in both our hearts. The question then changed from “If?” to “When and where?”
Texas had been on our hearts since January. (And all the Texans said, “Of course! Why would God call you anywhere but Texas!”) There was really never any question in our minds that we were supposed to move to Texas. In April, Brad started applying for jobs. In the middle of May, God started to move! Brad was contacted by Lone Star Ag Credit in Sherman, TX (an hour north of Dallas). They set up a phone interview for a couple days later. A few days after that, they flew Brad and I down to Sherman, TX for a face-to-face meeting. Two days later he was offered a job. And two and a half weeks after that, we packed up our family and moved to Texas!
We spent three years in Sherman, TX. They were great years! We made a lot of wonderful friends and really began to call Texas “home.” Brad loved his job and I was enjoying the ministry opportunities God had provided. I taught Bible Study at our church. I taught youth Sunday School and helped with the youth group on Wednesday nights. I hosted a Bible study in our home. It was great!
It was here in Sherman that God provided for me a mentor who continues to speak encouragement into my life. She opened my eyes to the truth about women in ministry. For years I had thought the only thing women were allowed to do in the church was teach children and work in the kitchen. She opened my eyes to the truth of the Gospel that says women are called to ALL areas of ministry: preachers, teachers, pastors, evangelists, missionaries, etc. It was at this time that I received my license to preach with the Assemblies of God.
God was moving, but I still felt as if I was waiting. Was this what God called me to? Is there more? Was I doing everything He had created me to do?
In May, 2014, God called us to move to Fort Worth, TX. Brad’s job transferred him to their corporate office. So once again we packed up everything we owned and moved. This time it wasn’t across the country, but it still felt like starting over.
A lot happened, in our first two years in Fort Worth. I wrote my first Bible study: Paused: Protecting Your Faith When God Says “Wait.” Waiting has become something I’m quite accustomed to! However, I look back at everything that has happened since I first felt called to ministry and I can’t believe how much I have learned! I would have been totally unprepared for ministry if God had opened the doors the day I graduated from Bible college. I guess He really does know best!
In 2015, I became an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God. I don’t know exactly how God is going to use me or what He has planned for my life. But, I do know that whatever it is, it will be amazing!
Thanks for joining me on this journey!