I recently had someone tell me that God doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called. What a weight lifted off my shoulder in that moment. Here is why:
I grew up in a Christian home. I was in Church on Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday nights. I was at every youth group event and every Church potluck. I was a really good "Church go-er." But, I was a terrible Christian. I didn't follow Christ really at all. I followed my social life. I grew up mischievous and rebellious, testing authority any chance I got. In high school I experimented with drugs and sex and partying. I became a single mom at the age of 20. This mildly calmed down when I had Jessica. Mildly. I still continued to follow my social life and love of partying right into marriage and having more children. In 2006 and into 2007, my marriage hit a rock bottom that saved my life.
Nate and I have had many ups and downs. We've lost friends along the way. We've hurt people. We've been hurt. We've hurt each other. At the heart of it all, God met us in a more intimate way than He ever had. Calling us to follow Him. To give up ourselves and really follow Him.
We are doing it so imperfectly. But, we're doing it. And it gives me more joy and peace than I can even explain.
Along the way, we've been told we aren't cut out for ministry and that we don't deserve to be in the ministry. Personally, I'd agree. I don't feel cut out for ministry. I don't feel good enough or equipped enough. I'm so thankful that God doesn't take the advice of people. That He is sovereign and knows what's best for my life and the life of my family. That through Christ, He makes me good enough. That He equips me because He has called me. Nate has preached several times in the last few months and I get encouraging emails about how much his teaching touches people or reaches people.
I had my 15 year high school reunion this past weekend and had several people ask me what my husband does. When I replied (kind of quietly) "he's a pastor", I would get a strange look. One old friend said "how the heck did that happen?" I heard one guy at my table say "I mean, Melissa Jones marries a minister. Who woulda thought?" Nate and I laughed about this the whole night and even some the next morning as we told stories from the night before to my parents. But it reminded me how much God has intervened in my life. And for that, I'm so immensely thankful!
Thank you Lord for continuing to write my story differently than I ever would have. You know best.