“When we adopted my oldest son, his birth mom was 15 going on 16. We met her father one day, we introduced ourselves and the visit was only a moment and he left. A few moments later he ran back to the door and said to us “I feel like this moment is just like in an Olympic race, were the runners cross the finish line and they do not even know they won, they have to look up and see, “I just won.” He said I was about to drive off and I realized, You all are exactly what we wanted for her, you were standing right in front of me and I almost didn’t realize it. He told us more about the struggle of his daughter getting pregnant and how this (adoption) was exactly what he wanted for her. “I just wanted to say Thank you.”
How many moments do we have like that in life? Moments when we need to pause and realize gratitude is in order. Where all the sudden what you have been praying for, waiting for, working for, happens. I want to share my story of a dream that was placed in my heart and the journey that brought me to my “finish line moment.”
In 2005 I graduated with my Degree in Church Music from Oklahoma Wesleyan University, I had married December of my Junior year and now my husband had been offered an administrator position at a Christian School in Brush, Colorado. I left my family and friends here in Oklahoma and we moved to Colorado. Up until this point, music had been my life. There is nothing like reality hitting you in the face as a young graduate with degree in hand, and no job for you, or at least not in your degree area. I knew this point would come, but I did not want to go through it. I knew at some point music would be put on the shelf and God would have some work to do on my formation, but like any other educated, young 21 year old, I entered into this season kicking and screaming. This time in Colorado became a pivotal moment in my journey and I believe it uncovered my purpose.
While in Colorado I got a job with the city of Fort Morgan as the “Arts and Crafts Coordinator” of an after-school program for 5th -6th graders. I also ended up getting to coach soccer for the high school. Brush, Co had 3,500 people and its little neighboring town of Fort Morgan had 11,000. In this little tiny town I witnesses one of my 6th grade girls get pregnant and listened to my soccer players talk about what they were calling the “baby barn.” The high school was building a nursery for all the girls that were getting pregnant, so they could stay in school. It was during a quiet moment by myself in Fort Morgan, Co that I felt strongly impressed that this is why I am here. I felt that the mission for my life was impressed on me: “Help keep young women “pure.” (Pure-meaning free from contamination.)
Our time in Colorado was short and we came back to Oklahoma where I had a job waiting for me in the Student Life Department at our alma mater. I was excited to be back and I had doors open up to where I was going to get to work with young women from the college in many different venues. I ended up having many different opportunities and many struggles. I was young yet trying to be an adult, and there were many growing pains. I ended up working 5 years there. The last 2 years where increasingly difficult as I found myself so far away from the passion and the calling I felt was impressed on my heart. I felt forgotten. I struggled with the questions of “Did I miss God’s voice?” “Did I disobey?” “Has the trajectory of my life changed.?” “If I never sang in front of people again would I be okay?” “Maybe I was wrong about my mission, maybe I will never work with young women?”
During this time the Lord gave me my oldest son, that is a whole other story of God’s amazing grace and plans. During this season he also gave me new songs about trusting in him and laying down my life and he taught me many lessons. I grew professionally in so many ways and developed so many practical skills. Yet I was miserable, I had so much inside me I felt was being squelched. I was looking for jobs all the time and one night I came across the posting for The Director of MUTUAL Girls Club. I knew nothing about it and had never heard of it. I called my sister and told her about it and said “I am going to apply for this job!!” she said “You should go for it!” Then I looked down and saw my belly perturbing with a 9 month baby inside and said, “What am I thinking, this is not going to work, I am 9 months pregnant!” In 2010 I gave birth to my first son.
Seven days after he was born, I was online again and I saw a job posting for a Wednesday night worship service at East Cross UMC. I called immediately and the Pastor told me “We are having interviews tonight can you come in?” When I walked in the doors of East Cross immediately to my right was a bulletin board and the first thing I saw was a brochure for The M.U.T.U.A.L. Girls Club. I quickly learned that MUTUAL stood for Methodist United to Use Applied Love. As I read this I literally felt like my heart stopped. In that moment before I ever walked into my interview, I felt so strongly “that this place was going to connect me with my Destiny.” I interviewed and led one evening for them and waited to hear the verdict. I still had some decisions to make. It was less money and no benefits, do I quit my other job? I had just been promoted, I was leading my department and I was really good at what I did. For the 9 months previous I was in so much turmoil over what I should do. Do I keep working, do I stay home? Would I be unhappy at home? What if we lose our insurance? What about nursing? You know all the stuff you cannot know the answers too? I got the call, they wanted to hire me for the leader position at East Cross.
Soon after, I went to have a meeting with my VP and we discussed several things about my job and I remember walking out and thinking “it is time to leave.” I was in complete peace. It was as clear as day, this is what I needed to do. I now cling to that experience to remind myself that I can worry and try to figure out all the plans, yet when it is time, it is time, when God say now, it is clear. My mom always says “Follow Peace.”
Not long after I made the decision to quit, I went to a staff meeting with my new bundle and one of my coworkers said to me “Wow, I have never seen you look so peaceful, you look so happy.” That was exactly how I felt. February of 2010 I started leading at East Cross and this is only the BEGINING of the amazing story God is weaving.
This is already super long and I really am only getting started, so I am going to break these up. I hope you are inspired. To be Continued….