When was the last time you did something that really scared you?
A couple of months ago I was listening to a sermon by Rick Warren (Author of A Purpose Driven Life). He started sharing a story about the new grief ministry at his church in California-and something inside me just came alive! It was like my heart was bursting with excitement, and in that moment, I felt strongly convicted that I should be involved in a ministry like that.
After losing my brother to a drug overdose 18 years ago and suffering through the grief and trauma that lead to years of alcoholism and recovery – I have always felt called to hold space for others in crisis.
I started asking around to see if our church had a grief ministry and was directed to join our Prayer Team, which is a group of volunteers who go to the altar immediately following the service to pray over anyone in need of prayer.
I thought back to the first Sunday after my brother’s funeral – sitting in church and going to the altar to be prayed over. I was desperate for any sense of comfort or scrap of hope to cling to in my overwhelming sorrow. And I just knew – God was calling me now to do this.
The only problem was I was scared! I’d never done anything like it! I tried to talk myself out of it 100 times! I kept thinking God, you’ve got this all wrong. I am not equipped! I don’t know how to pray over other people, I haven’t read the Bible cover to cover yet. I haven’t memorized scripture. You can’t really be calling ME to do this! How will I know what to say? What if I sound ridiculous?
And yet…despite all my doubts and fears…I decided to take a step in faith and attend the training. That first service after the training, I was so nervous as I made my way up to the front of the church my knees were shaking. After standing there a few moments talking myself into heading straight to the nearest exit, I noticed a couple timidly approaching me. With tears in their eyes, they told me they had just buried his father, and he was having a hard time coping.
As I reached for their hands and started to pray all my fear melted away into a deep sense of peace. I realized this had nothing to do with me at all. I was simply a vessel of God’s love and light and he would direct me what to say. And he did.
Now, instead of fear, I just feel a sense of excitement to see where this new walk with God will take me. The Prayer Team Pastor has already asked me to help him start a brand new Encouragement Ministry with him later this year. I know, that if I hadn’t forced myself out of my comfort zone, I wouldn’t be growing in my faith, and in this new opportunity. It made me think of the old saying: God doesn’t call the equipped, he equips the called.
What new thing is God calling you to do?