How do you know what God wants you to do for Him? It’s a question I think all Christians ask at some point. You might have dreams for your life or things you would like to do for God but are you “called” to do those things? My pastor says that if you have an idea that you would like to do for God then you should, because Satan is not in the business of giving you ideas of things to do for God, so it must be from God. I agree, but there is the other question of timing. I have dreamed since I was a child about doing Christian counseling and ministering to people in that way. I know that is not something Satan put in my head, but the timing has not yet been right for me to do that. When will I do it? I don’t know yet, someday. I think I will know when it’s time and that time is not yet. I have a number of things that I would like to do for God but the timing is not yet come. When I was a teenager I felt I was called to be a Pastor’s wife. When I married Glenn he wanted to be a missionary, so I assumed I had misheard God and missionary’s wife was what I was meant to be. That was not what God had for us, at least not in the traditional sense, but I do believe we do our own sort of mission work by adopting kids, but that’s another blog post. Anyway, a year ago Glenn and I became Youth Pastors and he began preaching at church. We are just beginning this whole being a Pastor thing and we really find meaning and purpose in it. We hope maybe to someday do full time ministry of some sort or another, but again the timing for that dream is not yet.
So, when do you know the timing is right for something? I might be called to do this thing or that, but how do I know when it’s the right time? Prayer and watching. Pray about it, and not just once, like all the time. Then watch for open doors. Watch for unexpected doors. We never thought we would be youth pastors. It’s not something I ever felt called to honestly, but here we are. Last summer we were praying about our kids. Our oldest is in 7th grade and he was in youth at our church, except there was no youth pastor at the moment. We saw that need and prayed about it and decided this was the door we were to go through. With a little hesitation I might add, because as I said we never saw ourselves as youth pastors. God does that, I have found. He gives you these dreams and then you begin to build in your mind how that thing is going to happen. I never saw being a pastor through the lense of being a youth pastor, but it has been very rewarding and just what we needed to do. It has allowed us to be pastors to our own kids and their cousins. What a better way to invest time. It’s like a two for one.
We would like to start a small group outreach to adoptive and special needs families. It’s such a HUGE need in the post adoptive world and special needs world. These families like ours don’t feel like they can attend church because no one understands and can meet their unique needs. So, most of them don’t. When we had just adopted our daughter, who was older and had severe special needs, we felt alone. Not because those around us were no supportive but because we knew no other families like us. We asked our adoptive social worker for names of other families like us and there were none. Now there are so many families who have adopted and churches have to see that there is a real need to reach out to these families, many of whom are in crisis as we have found ourselves at times over the last 7 years of post adoption. 1 in 4 adoptions will fail now due to the family finding itself in crisis and not knowing who to turn to for help. We cannot ask the church to adopt and then not give the unique support those families need after they obey the call and bring home their child. So, we would like to do that at some point in the future, and we are praying about when. But just because we see this need and want to do this, does not mean it’s God’s time for it to happen. We pray He will make it clear to us when to step out. On the other hand we can get so complacent in waiting that we never hear God telling us when it’s time to act. It’s a balance and so we have to listen closely. Usually, I have found he asks us to step out and act at the most inconvenient of times. Like last summer, when I was newly pregnant, and sick, and he asked us to be youth pastors. Not ideal timing, we thought, but it is one of the things that has sustained us as we have walked the difficult road of loosing that baby. God knows the exact right timing even if doesn’t seem like it.
Hold on to those things God has placed in your heart to do, and keep praying and listening for the right time to act. Meanwhile, in the waiting, God may put something in front of you to do that you never expected.