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The Importance of Where You’ve Been

More often than I’d like to admit, I wish there was something different about my story. I wish I was involved early on in communities of faith who welcomed and affirmed women in ministry. I wish I could have started in ministry sooner. This doubt and uncertainty leads me to wonder about the investment of both time and money in my educational career.

I worked for five years in a classroom of some sort and yesterday I found myself back in the classroom in on the second floor of a church working with students from high poverty and supporting an incredible ministry called Koinonia. As I drove to the church, there was certainly a bit of anxiety fluttering in my stomach as I wondered whether my teaching muscles were too stiff and out of practice to work, but as soon as the students walked in, I knew that teaching would always be a part of my story.

My experience teaching students in high poverty settings has led me to develop and lead a VBS for kids in government-subsidized apartment to teach ESOL and welcome strangers into the United States. Yesterday  that experience led me to model and team teach with an elementary education major who is about to head into student teaching. Now, I am sure that there are some who would look at this and say that God’s plan for me was to have me to teach and have these experiences and then to move into ministry.

Maybe.

But maybe there is a reality in which I could have lived my calling to ministry in a classroom setting and done good important work.

Maybe the journey of our lives isn’t so much about a particular setting, but about the realization and understanding we have as we are where we are. Maybe the experience of being a disciple of Christ isn’t about particular actions, but about a particular mindset of serving and loving others. Maybe God is in classrooms and churches and coffee shops and grocery stores whispering to us to see the divine interrupting our lives, changing our paths, looping our paths, inviting us to be a part of something much bigger than ourselves.

Maybe God is asking us to stop worry about where we are called and instead worry about who we are called to be.