When I walked out of the daycare, having worked my last day on Dec. 31, 2001 ~ all I knew was God had very clearly called me out. I left a career of 25 years to follow God on something He had entrusted to me. Little did I know that He had something completely COMPLETELY different in store for me.
I had been encouraged by Bill Fast to see if our church would consider allowing Women Refreshed at the Well to “umbrella” under our church until we got our own charitable status (from now on, I will use this acronym: WRATWwhenever talking about the ministry). Well, after some debate, it was decided that our church would not allow this to happen. I understand, and in hindsight, I am actually glad they did not allow it. This way I was encouraged to go ahead and just do all the paperwork involved in applying to become a non-profit organization with charitable status. This was the most important step at this point, as until we were able to “receipt” for tax purposes, we could not take donations.
In April of 2002 I decided to apply for the half-time position of “Office Administrator” at our church. I had been asking God to use me wherever He saw fit ~ and that I was open to being called into something new (especially while I was still taking steps toward whatever He wanted me to do with WRATW!). After my interview for the administrative job, my husband Alvin (the one with the gift of discernment!) told me that he believed the church was going to call me into something more than what I had applied for. It was his “gut” feeling. Well, when I got the phone call from our moderator, he also asked if I would consider taking on an interim pastoral position (Alvin’s gifting is also prophetic). I accepted this interim position. There I was ~ no seminary ~ only “life experience” and education in childcare ~ and I was being asked to “pastor”. I was “called out from within” our church. Our church has done this before as well. It is always great to see leaders chosen from within a church family. I felt that I already had the relationship with the people, at that time it had been our church family since we got married in 1978.
After a year, a search committee was established to find someone permanent for the pastoral position that I had been doing in the interim. I kept feeling that God wanted me to apply. So, I put out a “fleece”. I asked God if He couldconfirm that He wanted me to apply by having 7 people tell me that I should. Well because GOD IS GOD ~ He confirmed the decision with more than 7 people in less than 2 weeks and I said, “Okay God – I will apply!”
For me, really, I don’t think I ever expected to get the full-time permanent position. I knew that some wondered what I had to offer those in our congregation who were “with degrees” (after all, I was very much a “blue collar” pastor!). I was struggling. In one hand I held WRATW and in the other hand I held “McIvor Church” ~ and I was really thinking it was an “either/or” decision. Two women, Elaine and Sherryl, spoke the same words to me and told me that I didn’t need to hold them in separate hands, as they both believed that somehow God could work them together. God continued to affirm HIS decision for me. I continued to record in my journal the times that God spoke either directly, through other people, or through His word.
I really fell in love with the story of Moses. Oh Moses ~ I love it when he said to God, “You want me to do that? I am so inadequate. I am not eloquent of speech ~ take Aaron my brother!” (paraphrase mine). I was also inspired by Joshua. God continued to tell him to take courage that He would go before Joshua. I knew that if I was willing, God would show me how He takes the ordinary and does the extraordinary. He equips the willing!
So, knowing that God wanted me to apply, I submitted my resume in May, right on the deadline. I figured, if nothing else, I was being asked to be obedient!! One thing I knew about God is that when I have not listened, I don’t feel so good! I wanted to be ready and willing to do what He called me to!