Inner Screams, Clenching of Fists, Beating the Carpet
For decades, I believed "callings to ministry" were reserved for:
Those of the tall, handsome, young strapping young man category
Those who were closer to God than the rest of us
Those who were privileged
Those who had support
Those whom God loved most
NONE of this is in Scripture. NONE. I watched, like so many of you, the emotional services at church where men would come up to the altar in tears, having received a message in their heart that God was setting them aside as holy. There may have been fanfare and celebration. Their church families would commit to supporting them. Families would weep . . . It was a big deal.
Meanwhile, we ordinaries sat in the pews watching this spectacle, wondering why our normal life wasn't this exciting.
I was crying on the floor of our carpeted, tiny kitchen/bathroom/laundry room. The soft tears were designed to allow my children to continue sleeping but they were unmatched with my red-hot face, betraying my fury and anger over our living situation.
Inner screams, clenching of fists, beating the carpet.
We lived in 700 square feet after leaving an abusive family, culture and home and I had just been told that my kids and I were going to need to find a new place. I had zero confidence and zero tools. My family had rejected me; his family had rejected me. I had no safety net. I was beginning to believe I had made a terrible mistake. I traded in all of our "security" for this? Was it actually better? Where were the leeks and onions from Egypt? I was thin and tired. I was full of terror for my children.
The daily bread felt like crumbs.
"What the hell, God? WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL, GOD?! All I have ever done is try. I've tried to follow you; I've been a good wife, mother, sister; I have gone to church. I have followed your commandments. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?"
Anger, tears, frustration and utter terror were emanating from my pores. I had supported my abusive husband to help HIM become a pastor. He had had a "calling" much like what was described above. My job, or so I thought, was to fully support his image. I had done that for 11 years. Despite all he did to us, I had managed his image. I mean, what kind of woman would contend with a special calling like his? That would make me a contender with God.
Indeed, leaving his terrorizing, every day abuse already felt like a slap in God's face. Why couldn't I manage the horror in order for my husband to do God's work?
I was looking into women's shelters. I had hit an all-time low.
Right there on the floor of the dirty kitchen, late at night, I felt the rushing of the cool, satisfying wind of the Holy Spirit. It was a rainbow of water to my desiccated, parched soul.
I am calling you to obey Me, Megan
"WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?" (me, angry)
I am asking you to love Me. And love yourself. And love others.
I wiped my face, stunned by the clarity of the words that were piercing my heart. I went to bed.
The next day, I did my first fund-raiser for the Indian Rescue Mission, raising $500 for women caught in sex-trafficking. My assignment was clear.
It was the beginning of a very different life for me. And it had all come from this guttural, painful, dark place on the kitchen floor. Callings are birthed from resistance -- they are an inexorable and resigned surrender to vibrant and thankless work. A new life of giving and not receiving. They are a "yes" when everything in you screams no.
No fanfare; no music; no one to witness. Just God and me in the depths of my ocean of tears. God broke through -- and gave me the assignment.
I'm not any different than anyone else but those who know me know that I have never stopped since that day in 2011. That day, I knew that I was an absolute speck made of dust and an intricate and powerful constellation of a human being all at the same time.
How many of us missed that conversation with God because we thought it was for the buoyant, ego-driven and (let's face it) male seminary students? It took me years to even recognize that what I experienced was a legitimate calling. Ya'll. I didn't even connect the dots until a few weeks ago.
Listen, callings are not about fanfare, fantastical and supernatural ego-building events. Callings are heard in the deepest, most broken, most humble places in our souls . . . the place that meets with the Holy Spirit. Just ask Elijah, or Jeremiah or John on Patmos.
Just ask Jesus.
Receiving a calling, in my understanding, sounds like an inescapable, overwhelmingly breaking experience. It happens in the darkest of moments; it is lonely. And you can be sure affliction will come. Even those closest to you may discourage you.
And we have been told this; it should be no surprise.
So, do it, anyway.
And if I could move forward in the middle of that mess, you can, too. I know -- there are so many blocks to our learning how to love God and our neighbor and ourselves. That's why we are here. We aren't just a counseling practice that is touting our called-ness. We are a counseling practice that is full of women who never imagined that we would be called -- mostly because we are women. We get the confusion and we are here to help you all untangle the lies, the corruption and the pain that have kept you all from seeing your constellation-selves. Be encouraged.
You've got this. Your story is not over, yet.
Thank you for trusting us.