Hey God, I want to go back to when my calling was easy: when never being able to bless the sacraments, or baptize your children wasn’t on my radar. These days I lie in bed and try not to cry, because I know that the next six and a half years will be just as hard as the last year and a half have been. I try not to cry over the potential that I may never raise a family, as most of my peers walk down the aisle. I try not to cry over the potential that I may never stand in front of a congregation, as an ordained minister.
Being a mother is a beautiful and glorious thing. Unfortunately, being a mother, or having the potential to be, has become a plague. My uterus has limited my ability to serve you. Due to my biology, I am incapable of leading a congregation, in the eyes of many of my peers. (Here’s the deal: I don’t even like kids. It’s the truth! Kids from 3-13 get on my nerves! I babysat from the age of 11 until this past August, I worked in a very strong children’s ministry this summer, I was a VBS leader/volunteer coordinator/curriculum writer, I taught kindergarten Sunday school my senior year of high school, I’ve done children’s sermons…. I’m nineteen and I don’t like kids. I have friends that are married/ in committed relationships/ single, etc. that want kids but I don’t. Yeah I like babies, I want to eat their little fingers and smell their heads, and press their chubby soft cheeks to my face… but babies grow into kids. I loved writing curriculum for children, but you tell me to teach it to them and I will probably tell you to turf me to the youth department where they are dealing with the aftermath of a lock-in – heck turf me to the single seniors ministry where they are arguing about Revelation and whether Christ is coming back this year or next year.) I know that was not your goal when in my mothers womb, I was formed as a girl.
God, I just want to serve you. I don’t care if I make it through candidacy, because you brought me to a congregation I actually want to serve. You presented me with a pastor that cares about my heart, and wants to see me succeed whether I stay in his congregation or not. You provided me a group of people my age that pray for me, laugh with me, encourage me, confide in me, and accept me. You have given me the opportunity to serve with your people and to humble myself, and I accepted. I have rejoiced in your grace, and will continue to do so because it is right and good. I was on the boat and when I cried out to you, you calmed the storm. I just want to serve you.
I will serve you no matter where you lead me. I did not ask for you to place a calling on my heart that would destroy relationships, isolate me, and cast spiritual warfare into my life: but it has happened. I prayed for years that you would call me to something else… but you haven’t. Now I am taking the steps whole heartedly to follow this calling, and I am terrified. I am sorry I ran for so many years. I thank you for those who have picked me up and thrown me in the sea. The time I spent in the fish has taught me strength, courage, wisdom, and passion: it’s time for me to use what you have taught me. I’m done running, and you have rewarded me exponentially for my surrender.
I can’t put you in a box, nor do I want too. So with that I thank you for the tears and heart ache. I thank you for the fire in my heart that says I can’t wait six and a half years to be ordained, and I think you for the fire that proves that my gender isn’t a limitation to who I can reach out to or pour insight into. I thank you for the ministries I serve during this wait, but know that it’s not the end all be all and neither is ordination. I thank you for the lesson of never being finished, because until everyone knows who you are and the love you provide, I am never finished and that fire must burn until my last breath. Amen.