Trusting in Uncertainty, by Dawne

  • July 10, 2014

Seven years ago I was enjoying my job as bookkeeper and office manager for my previous church. I was married to my high school sweetheart and our youngest son was a year away from graduating high school. I imagined continuing on at this church for the rest of my life, working in the office, leading women in bible study and mentoring young women through groups like MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). I had always wanted to use my gifts by being on a church staff, even though I knew that I could never be considered a pastor – I had been told that was what the Bible taught and shown the scriptures to prove it. Though I had accepted that women could not be pastors I was beginning to feel a strong sense of calling to ministry. I assumed that meant using my administrative gifts in a non-pastoral role. This was okay for me, since being in the office put me in the middle of what was going on and I was able to covertly “pastor” people in need. When I spoke with one of the pastors about my calling, he assured me that women do not experience the same kind of call to ministry as men do. I was disappointed but thankful that at least God had given me the opportunity to serve him as part of a church staff.

 

Then, everything began to fall apart. Conflict between two of the pastors came to a head and I was caught in the middle. Because of what was happening, I knew God wanted me to resign my staff position. It was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make. One of the elders apologized and said he was sad that I had become “collateral damage.” When it was all over, both pastors were gone, most of the staff had moved on, and many people left the church. I was devastated and wondered what had become of the future I was so sure of. Even more difficult was that I was now working in office jobs that I did not like and feeling unavailable for the kind of ministry I longed to do. I felt lost.

 

Four years ago God led me, through a friend, to Life on the Vine. I never imagined I would find a church I love as much, and more, as I had loved my previous church. Then two years ago I began the Master of Divinity degree program at Northern Seminary, something that still has me pinching myself almost every day to make sure I am not dreaming. My future was feeling bright and secure once again and I was finally able to embrace the call that God put in my heart over ten years ago.

 

Then, sixteen months ago, my husband told me he didn’t want to be married anymore. That future I was so sure of was also gone and I was lost once again.

 

But God …God has been with me through all of these difficulties, and more, throughout my life. I am learning to release all the things I am so sure of and trust that he has planned for me more than I can possibly imagine! I am learning to let go and enjoy the ride. And now this ride is taking me to Israel! It has been a dream of mine to go to Israel since I was a child (yes, that’s the kind of child I was)! I leave this afternoon for a three-week study trip with Jerusalem University College. When this opportunity came up, I desperately wanted to go but did not know how I could afford it. Finances have been very tight since my husband and I separated and I hesitated to take out more school loans in order to pay for this trip. However, I struggled with asking for help (that’s the kind of adult I have been)! I have always been the generous one, helping others when they needed, but not wanting to ask for help when I needed. But friends encouraged me to ask for support for this trip, so I did.

 

Many of you here supported me financially, as well as friends from my previous church, and family. God abundantly provided through all of you and, between a scholarship from school and the support I raised, I have the entire trip covered PLUS $50 which allowed me to purchase some needed supplies.

 

I don’t know what the future will look like for me, but I have learned to trust God more than ever in the midst of uncertainty and to hold very loosely to what I think is certain. I am so thankful for the loving family I have here at Life on the Vine, and my biological family, for the amazing support you all have given me in this time of transition. You are all a gift to me! And I look forward to sharing my experience in Israel with you. This is not just my trip, you are all a part of it, and I thank you.