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From Suffering and Pain to God's Calling

Pain. This life can be filled with lots of pain and suffering. A few years ago, I had an incident that created a lot of pain for me in my life. I was brought up in denominational churches. My biological father was a pastor, and my stepfather was a pastor. Both my mom and stepfather ran divorce recovery programs. Ministry was part of my upbringing. It ran deeply inside of me. In my adult life, I attended the denominational churches I had grown up in. However, it was not a positive experience for me. I was the black sheep in these churches. Being single and having children didn't cause me to fit in very well. Often I would leave the church in tears. For some reason, my mind saw changes our denominational churches needed to make in their ministries. My heart knew that if they met the people's needs in the denomination and ministered to their pain, they could minister to the community. This thought would not leave my mind. I shared my thoughts in letters to the pastors and elders in the churches I attended, but it all fell on deaf ears. They didn't understand the vision I had in my mind.

Fast forward a few years, I was leading out with the youth program at the church I attended. It was a small church, and there were very few children in that church. Yet, our church had hired a youth pastor to grow the ministry. A few weeks after this decision, I was pulled into the pastor's office and told that they no longer wanted my help. They said it was time I found a new ministry. I told them I would open a new door in a new place because I never felt accepted or loved in that church. Inside I was devastated and hurting deeply. I felt isolated, unappreciated, and rejected. My life seemed hopeless. But where they had no use for me, God was working out His plan in all the mess of my life. I opened the door to the non-denominational church that had supported my children and been such a blessing to us for years. A couple of weeks later, I went up to the front to ask for prayer at the end of the service. The man who offered to pray for me suggested I open the doors to the church's Celebrate Recovery ministry. On April 17, 2017, I opened the doors to that ministry for the very first time. I found healing and support there. God began to restore me, heal me, and raise me up to do the ministry He had always intended that I do. God didn't ask if I was qualified. Instead, He began the work inside me to prepare me for the job that He knew I was qualified to do. It was the purpose He put me on this earth to accomplish. During this time, I began to write about my pain, and people encouraged me to begin a blog, so I did. My blog shared my journey through healing to hope that God wants to provide in each of our lives. I began to share all that Celebrate Recovery has taught me. A friend also offered to help me edit my book. Door after door began to open into the calling and purpose God has for my life. I began leading out at Celebrate Recovery, and God finally opened the door for me to publish my book.

God promises to bring good out of the bad things in our lives. Now I can look back and thank those who hurt me so deeply at the denominational church I once attended. That pain and difficulty led me to open a new door in a ministry that I love. In this ministry, I am finally loved, appreciated, and accepted for who I am. Finally, I am in the right place, and I can accomplish the purpose, plan, and destiny God has for my life. I am no longer a black sheep, abandoned, rejected, and alone. I am a child of God.

Are you going through a difficult situation today? Did something difficult happen in your life? Is God asking you to open a new door? Don't be afraid to walk through it. Maybe God is preparing you for a new opportunity, a new job, something He always created you to accomplish. May you find hope, wholeness, and purpose in your life again. God always has a plan. May we never lose heart!


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