4.12.2013

Women in Ministry Series: Conversations from Courage Road

Discerning a call to ministry can be a disorienting and intimidating experience. Kristin Lucas captures the confusion, excitement, and grace of vocational discernment... with a little help from her husband.

My anxiety was palpable as I stared out the passenger seat window at the dark road before us. Orange streetlights whizzed by every few seconds, and we passed a dingy old Waffle House, where a few lonely people sat at the counter. As we merged onto the wide highway, I wrung my fingers in my lap and opened my mouth a few times before the words actually came.

I need to tell you something, and I need you to tell me whether or not I’m crazy. 

He turned his eyes ever so slightly toward me, intrigued. We’d been married for seven years, but still, this felt hard. He nodded and I continued, taking a deep breath.

I told him how I sensed God doing something. Saying something. And how even though I wasn’t totally clear on what He was saying, or why, I thought that maybe God was calling me into ministry. Into leadership. That maybe God was preparing me to be a youth pastor...

(The entire monologue, every few sentences, was littered with the disclaimer I know this sounds crazy.)

Once I finished, he looked forward, quiet for a moment, and directed the car to our exit. We sat at the red light at the end of the ramp for several seconds as he collected his thoughts, turned to me, and spoke decidedly.

You’re not crazy, you know. Not even close. It makes sense. You’d be perfect. 

---

Six months after that conversation, I was the newly appointed youth pastor of our church. And I was terrified.

I’d never done ministry before - at least, not vocationally - and it was strange.

I’d spent the previous two years as a full-time stay-at-home-mom to my two young daughters, living an unscheduled and unhurried life. Things changed rapidly. All of a sudden, we had to juggle babysitters and preschool and sick children and cleaning the house and cooking and coffee dates and staff meetings and doctors appointments and weeklong trips to the beach with teenagers and retreats and so much more while we both worked jobs we loved.

We were stretched. Things felt out of kilter as we tried to figure out how to balance our family life with another job added to the mix - a job with particularly odd hours and a high relational cost. It was frustrating at times, and we learned some hard lessons about sacrificing for one another - and the importance doing so joyfully.

On Sunday mornings, when I would leave for church in the wee hours and he would arrive later with our two precious girls - having woken them and fed them and dressed them in their favorite “fancy dresses” alone - I experienced pangs of guilt as I wondered if I was hurting our family. While God was doing some truly amazing things among the youth I worked with, and while I felt more energized and affirmed in my position than any other job I’d had, it felt like a lot to ask of my husband, somehow. I started to wonder if this was right. Did God really want us to live this season of our lives this way? Did I need to be at home?

And quietly, I began to ask myself the same questions that haunted me at the beginning. Is this right? Am I called? Am I crazy? 

---

Those thoughts had badgered me for a few weeks when we found ourselves once again driving on that dark road with the Waffle House and the whizzing orange lights. I don’t know what it is about that road, but it seems to give me courage.

Would it be better if I were at home with the girls and everything became easy again?

He looked over at me, startled, and remained quiet for a long time.

He didn’t answer directly, but reminded me of something I’d forgotten - the story of his grandparents, and how for their entire married life they’d ministered together as pastors in small, out-of-the-way country churches, where God used them in the lives of countless people.

He spoke of his grandma, a woman I know and love. A woman who raised nine children in parsonages all over eastern Ohio and who still somehow managed life as a pastor. A woman who today still takes calls, performs marriages, presides over funerals. A woman who shaped my husband’s life in undeniable ways.

And then he turned his eyes toward me and looked at me good.

What you are doing - it is important.You are needed, and you are right where you belong. What kind of husband would I be if I weren’t willing to make sacrifices for my wife so that she could follow God’s lead?

I felt something settle deep within.

Oh, and by the way, you’re not crazy. You’re called. 

And with that, he reached over and took my hand and, together, we continued down our dark road of courage.

About Today's Contributor
Kristin Lucas is wife to Ben and mom to two hilarious little blonde princesses, Molly (6) and Caroline (2). She is youth pastor to a fantastic group of teenagers and freelance writer in her spare time. She and her family live in Atlanta, Georgia with their golden retriever, Livy, and a ridiculous amount of pollen this time of year. Connect with her on twitter (@KAL_lelujah) and browse around her blog (www.kristinlucaswrites.com), where she writes about all things life and faith.


About the Women in Ministry Series 
The Women in Ministry Series is a collection of guest posts that aims to provide an alternative to the women in ministry debates by telling the stories of women in ministry and encourage women to explore their God-given callings.

Contributions Welcome: Contact Katherine at katherinepershey[at]gmail.com to pitch your post idea in 2-4 sentences. You can stay updated on the latest post each week by signing up for the weekly e-mail list.

Comment Policy: Everyone is welcome to leave a comment. However, this series takes for granted that women are called by God into every facet of ministry. This is not the place to debate that point and such comments will be removed. Women have been told “no” in far too many places. This is one place that is committed to saying “yes.”

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