When I first became a born again Christian I had brought with me a lot of spiritual baggage. Baggage that I did not claim, much less know that I was carrying. And, like most young Christian’s, I was on fire for God and I was going to change the world! Little did I know at the time that the reason I was on fire was because of the power of the Holy Spirit now actively living inside me and the only changing of the world was going to happen through me, by this same power, not because of me and my, er, pride.
I quickly became involved in any ministry that I could. If a ministry needed help I didn’t even raise my hand, I just jumped right in. You might be experiencing anxiety just reading and thinking about how overwhelming this was. Perhaps you’re thinking I crashed and burned relatively early. The answer is, “no”, I did not. What happened was God’s grace, but I didn’t see it that way back then, pride had its talons securely clutched on and in me. What God did was to gently close each door to each ministry that I was involved in, one by one.
Now what was I going to do? Back to that spiritual baggage. It was during this time that God had put a woman in my life, who has become one of my best friends and my ministry partner. She explained a simple tier to me. God at the top, then my husband and my children, then investing in others and then ministry. What?! Was she crazy? As it turns out, no, she was and is not! God used her to show me the things he wanted me to start exploring with Him. First and foremost, my relationship with him. How could my marriage and my children benefit from anything I did for them when I was trying to accomplish taking care of them by striving on my own. And, how fair was it for my family that I put investing in others and ministry before them? Simply put, I had the tier upside down. I was so busy being involved because I didn’t want to deal with the spiritual healing that my spirit knew needed to take place but my heart was refusing to accept.
I would love to tell you that as soon as I grasped onto this concept, everything in my life changed immediately and for the better. That did not happen. What did happen is that God, ever so gently, began to pull one article at a time out of the spiritual baggage I had been carrying and starting peeling away the layers and revealing the lies I had been believing and showing me His truth. I would also love to tell you that it has been an easy process and pain-free, that also did not happen. It has been painful and messy at times, but through it all, God has been with me constantly and has sent other wonderful people into my life, who were willing to walk through the muck with me, so I could begin to experience spiritual freedom. With his artful and careful hands, he continues to shape me into the woman, the wife, the mother, the mentor and the leader He wants me to become.
These days I am involved in one ministry. I have been called to teach and speak as an ambassador to God’s kingdom, specifically to and for woman. I am so blessed and privileged to share this calling with the woman I once thought was crazy! I still struggle, at times, with desiring to become involved at many different levels, but I always try to remember to consult God first. In doing so, not only do I have more than enough to share with my husband and family, my cup still flows with enough for others and ministry.
God first, spouse and family, others and ministry. May God bless you and keep you as you seek Him for His will for your life.