Seven Years of Adventure: My Time in the Vineyard...So Far

On Friday, March 24, 2006, God called me to enter ministry.  It has been an adventure ever since that day.  I don't share the story of my call to ministry often, for a variety of reasons.  But, I was planning to share my story on March 24, 2013.  Since that day is Palm Sunday, I am led to share it now.  I mentioned recently that this lenten season has been full of revelations.  Lately, I have been noticing that if a person's ministry is "unconventional" people do not take the person or the ministry seriously.  I place unconventional in quotes because, just because people label it unconventional, does not necessarily mean that the ministry is in fact unconventional.  That's the lawyer in me.  People will say, "God wouldn't tell him/her to do that" as if they have information about ALL that God would and would not do.  But, as my husband, who is also a preacher, has been reminding folks recently, including me, "God doesn't have to run something by you, for your approval before God does a thing."  So, I share my story today for many reasons, most important of which is to encourage my colleagues who have "unconventional" ministries.  At some point in the not too distant past, being a woman, called by God to minister, preach and teach in the Kingdom was unconventional.

I got saved in November 2000.  At that time, I was a full-time day student in my first semester of law school dealing with Contracts, Criminal Law, Property, Torts and Legal Research and Writing.  Because parking was at a premium, I would get to school around 8:30 a.m. even though I did not have class until 10:00 a.m.  I would study until class began, go to my class, take a lunch break, go to another class, take a dinner break, and go to the library until midnight, which was closing time.  I would go home and sleep.  Get up and do it all again the next day.  My weekends consisted of living in the library.  It was a lonely existence, to say the least.  In October 2000, my best friend moved to Atlanta.  More isolation.  God has a fantastic way of getting our attention.  When we think that we have no one.  God reminds us that God is always with us and God is all we need.  So, on Sunday, November 19, 2000, my sister invited me to attend church with her.  My son was at his father's house, so I had no excuses not to attend church.  The message was definitely for me.  I don't know who else it was for, but the message was directed at me.  I thank God for that day.

Between law school studies, bar exam prep and working at a law firm after graduation, my relationship with God was nonexistent.  As I look back to those times, I can see God getting me through despite our lack of relationship.  In January 2005, I began a plan of reading the Bible in one year.  I had a basic knowledge of the Bible because I had attended Sunday School as a little girl.  During this study time, however, I learned so much about the biblical figures and God's promises for me.  I was so excited about what I was learning, I actually finished the schedule a few days before the end of the year because I read ahead.

In January 2006, I wanted to take classes to learn more about the Bible.  I wanted to experience more depth than what Bible Study was offering.  I did some research and thought about being a Community Fellow at Drew University Theological School.  Community Fellows attend classes on an audit basis for a small fee.  I thought that participating in the Community Fellows program would give me the intellectual stimulation that I was seeking.  One of the ministers at church knew what I was contemplating and introduced me to a member who was a Master of Divinity student at Drew.  That member invited me to attend her New Testament class on Friday, March 24, 2006.

During that class, God spoke clearly to me.  "Get a degree.  Use your degree for teaching."  I was excited and determined.  After the class ended, I walked to the admissions office and picked up an application.  Although I am an introvert, I could handle this assignment because, in my mind, I saw myself as a Sunday School Teacher or Bible Study Teacher with a small audience.  Although I am a litigator, I don't want to speak in public more than necessary.  Nevertheless, I applied to the Master of Theological Studies program and was accepted.  I began at Drew in the fall of 2006 and took two evening classes.  That is not the end of the story.

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