you want me to serve where?!

do you remember when i wrote  earlier this spring, about how i hate womens ministry? 
i heard from many ladies after i wrote that, about how they felt the same way. about how i am not the only lady who struggles going to things like that. 

a lady who was in my previous community group giggled at me one day. she told me that because i hate womens ministry so much that Jesus was going to call me to serve there. i told her, " i sure hope not."  i thought that would be the worst possible thing.

a few months went by, and there were a few sermons on how Jesus calls us each to serve in certain areas of the church. on how we should ask him where he would have us and be willing to move according to what he tells us. i was scared out of my mind to ask Jesus that question because the idea that Jesus might call me to serve in a place that causes me severe anxiety sacred me to death. nick even asked me a whole bunch of times, " ally, where do you feel led to serve? where do you think that Jesus wants you to serve?" and i always answered, " im not sure. i think i am fine where i am at." knowing that there was something deeper stirring in my heart, but to afraid to admit it and investigate.

we had a meeting at church and i was sharing with that same lady from community group about how Jesus was calling my husband to be an intern and we were going through that process, and how Jesus was calling me to share my journey through postpartum depression more candidly and openly. she giggled again, and said something about " womens ministry" and i instantly thought, "please no, Jesus. anything, ANYTHING but womens ministry." but i couldnt shake that feeling. there was a weird peace feeling in my heart when i actually thought about serving in that way. 

that weird peace feeling started to turn into an ache. and i started to pray about it. asking the Lord to make it clear to me where i should serve. asking him what this ache in my heart was for and if he could take it away. asking him to just be very clear and show me what to do about it. 

immediately after i asked him that question i got a facebook message from a sweet lady at our church who serves in womens ministry. as i read it my heart started pounding. it said, 
" hey we are planning for the fall study and was wondering if you would like to be a part of it? if you would like to apprentice in leading a study? let me know!" 
i didnt even skip a beat. it was totally an answer to my prayer. i didnt ask my husband, i didnt even need to think or pray about it {because i just did that} i just responded quickly with a 
" YES. i was just praying about this and it is an answer to my prayer!"

Jesus has called me to serve in the ministry that i once hated. 
he does that you know. 
not only has he called me to serve in this ministry, but he has called me to love it. 
this fall i am co leading a womens bible study. 
this coming weekend i am leading a table discussion at the womens retreat.
this next season of my life i am serving in womens ministry.

and i am dancing inside. 
i am scared out of my mind.
i am insecure.
i am nervous.
i am awkward.
and i am so thankful and excited for what Jesus is doing.

sure, i still get those feelings of " i hate this" because there is a part of me that does. i hate the way i feel so scared about being around women. but i have a love for these ladies that is deep. a love that is passionate. i want these ladies to know they are not alone in their struggles or their life. i want them to know that they are valued for more than their outer appearance. i want them to know that Jesus calls his people to do what he wants them to do, and will equip them for that role. 

as i re read that post i wrote this spring, it makes me smile.
the last paragraph makes me realize that Jesus was already calling me to serve when i wrote it. 
so, the title of this post is a little misleading. but i am okay with that. because it is true. i hate women's ministry. i hate the stomach aches i get because i dont like talking in front of people. i hate the way it causes me to obsess about my clothes and my hair and my body. i hate talking intimately to women i barely know. i hate not being able to hide. i feel like all these ladies are so much more 'put together' than i and so much more mature than i - and i hate the way i compare myself to them because of that. but i love Gods people. i love community. i love these ladies.  i love truth. {and some great words of wisdom and truth were spoken to me today.} and i love our church. and i am going to continue to go and to face my fears, to look them right in the eye and tell them that they do not define who i am, Jesus does. i am going to replace all my insecurities with the reminder that Jesus always teaches me, tenderly loves me and encourages me through events like this.i am going to work on my heart and stop hating this. i am going to surrender all those feelings to Jesus and allow him to work and mold this part of my heart, and maybe, someday i wont hate going to women's ministry. because i shouldn't hate it - i should love it. and i want to love it. i want to embrace it, i want to give it all to Jesus. and after today i am one step closer to removing the word hate, with love. i am so excited about what Jesus is doing in my heart right now.
isn't Jesus good friends? he was working on my heart in this area months before i even knew it. he was preparing my heart to be open to serve in this way. i love being able to look back and see what he was doing, and smile knowing that the lady that wrote that blog post earlier this year is sitting here writing this one now and that i never ever in a million years thought i would be sitting here and praising Jesus for calling me to serve in this way. watching Jesus redeem things to bring himself glory is something spectacular. and i can replace the word "hate" with "love" now. 

i love that every week when i am leading bible study that i will get the chance to lean on Jesus when i get anxious about talking, rest in my identity in Christ when i am worried about what others will think and lay all my fears and insecurities at the feet of king Jesus. i love that he didnt just take away all those feelings, but that he is showing me what he wants me to do with them instead. i love how this is just another way for me to grow closer to the Lord.

im so excited about this season of my life. if Jesus would call me to serve here, i am honestly a little scared of what else he will call me to do! ;) 


1 comment:

  1. ha. laughing & smiling as I read this because God is ALWAYS doing this in my life. Before I met my husband (who at that time was youth pastor) I could not stand working with the youth. So what does God do? Puts an undeniable LOVE for students in my heart. At that time, I really really disliked womens ministry & did for years. A few years later, as the Lord prepared our hearts to take a new position as worship & associate pastors at another church, the Lord began to speak to my heart about women & to start a ministry for young moms. I didn't want to because I strongly disliked women's ministry. I obeyed. Started something called Java after Jammies (moms get together at Panera for coffee every Monday night). A year later my heart loves these women so much that I can't imagine not being involved with women's ministry. Excited for you to serve in women's ministry too. Be prepared because God is going to rock your world with a love for these women like never before. Exciting season for you!


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