Pull up a chair. Grab a glass of sweet tea. This could take a while.
Over the last month, I have really found myself in unhappy territory. I felt overwhelmed by my circumstances in life; mainly the circumstance of having a child with special needs. I have felt so much despair as I thought about how much further Jude should be right now. Shouldn’t he be walking, talking, and eating? Have I dropped the ball somewhere? Was there some sort of special therapy he should have been in? Have I pushed him hard enough? Have I pushed him too hard? Have I quite believing in him? Have I been unrealistic in my goals for him?
This kind of led to a depression. In fact, I probably cried for the entire first week of school with grief over my own short comings as a mother. What was really plaguing me was my shortcomings as a person.
This led to some deep thoughts… deep!
Am I doing all the things I am being called by God to do?
A couple years ago, I was faced with an issue over Jude’s needs in the church. His developmental delays and lack of disability awareness was hindering his ability to participate in Sunday School and Children’s Church. Time and time again, I would complain. “I wish they would do something.” “I wish they would start a disability ministry.” And talking openly about it, I was quick to say that disability ministry is not where I feel called; not what I what I feel passionately about… “but they could start a ministry…”
“They.” “They.” “THEY!”
Who is “they”????
Then the Lord showed me that “I” had been given His special child to love and raise. “I” had been chosen to be that child’s advocate and protector. “I” was to be the first person that showed Jesus to this child. The Lord clearly asked me what other sign did I need than to be given a child with a disability? That my first ministry is my family and now that included disability. Like it or not.
You see, I didn’t choose to have a child with a disability. I didn’t pray for hours on end to have a baby with special needs; on the contrary, I prayed for health. I did not choose to be Jude’s mom. I was CALLED to be Jude’s mom.
I didn’t want to be passionate about Disability Ministry. If the honest truth is told, a lot of times the word “disability” makes me want to throw up! I get so tired of trying to tear that label off my family.
I now believe that being called into a ministry is not always this passionate, over joyous event. Having neighbors in need with you having an ability to serve is being called. Being a born again believer in a lost family is being called. Sometimes, actually many times, the Lord places you in undesirable circumstances to serve His Kingdom. Desirable or not, you are still being called. Being passionate about the Lord is what calls you to ministry.
But here’s more truth- The Lord will give me the desires of my heart. It’s a promise. Written right there is in His Word. Truth. This doesn’t mean that the Lord will hand me everything my heart desires. It means the desire for the Lord’s will to be done is placed within my heart. I can’t tell you how many times I have prayed for a fleshly desire to be replaced if it not His will.
So… I am called to Disability Ministry. As to what scale, (to lead, to participate, to serve, to comfort) I don’t know. But if my first ministry is to my family and my child is disabled, I don’t think the calling could be any clearer than God himself showing up on my doorstep to tell me so in person.
But I feel so unequipped and unqualified for any ministry- there is no way I can lead. I can only serve. But I’ve heard too often too recently that “God doesn’t call the equipped. He equips the called.”
I am “the Called”.
Last Sunday, our pastor gave an analogy using Kate Turabian as an example. She set the standard for the writing style of college research and thesis papers with only a high school diploma. Her only credentials were that she was the secretary for the office of dissertations for the University of Chicago. She had no formal training in the writing of dissertations, but she read them day in and day out for 30 years.
I may not be a doctor, special education teacher, or therapist, but I have lived “disability” for 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the past 6 years.
All this being said, I know I am being called to disability ministry somehow, but I don’t care where. I am just going to follow the Lord and see where He takes me.
I don’t think the buck stops here. I don’t think that disability is my only ministry or will even be my biggest ministry. I also feel like I am called to women’s ministry. Why? Well… because I am a woman, obviously, but more importantly because I have a daughter and she needs me to teach her and show her how to be a Godly woman. I am her first example.
And I know I am not the only one that has been ignoring a call.
All born again Christians are called to a full time ministry!!!
We all have a responsibility to witness to, love, and serve God’s children. Each one of us need to be in prayer about our calling. God is calling you somewhere, but you can’t hear the calling if you aren’t communicating with God. I can’t hear someone tell me something if I’m not openly communicating with them.
Don’t sit there reading and inspired and say “I am not being called anywhere.” If there has been something or someone that you are thinking about a lot or causing you a disturbance in your spirit, good or bad, you are probably being called to minister to that situation or person. And don’t feel like you have to sign up to preach, teach, go on mission trips in Africa, give all your finances to the homeless shelter… If the Lord is calling you to do that, by all means trust Him. But look around you. I’m sure there are people in your life that need your love or situations in your community that could use your helping hand.
Talk about the Lord and how good He is. If you are not a good speaker, sing about His goodness. Or in my case, if you can’t speak or sing, write about His glory. Do it now.
Don’t wait on “them” to do it. It’s not comfortable. In the flesh, this is uncomfortable for me to be so bold. However eternity is more important than my insecurities!
In the book of Judges (I just so happened to start a new study of Gideon this morning and my pastor just gave a sermon on this, yet this post is been in the process for over a week and my mother-in-law has been talking about it for over a month now- How cool is God’s timing?!), the works of the Lord were lost with just one generation because no one talked about God. No one taught the children and neighbors about the works of their God. It was all lost in Just. One. Generation!! Let’s learn from the past and learn from the Lord.
It’s time to answer the call. “They” aren’t going to do it. There is no “they”.
WE are the called!