"Where's MY ministry, God?" | What it feels like when a 4 year old tells you how to serve!

Growing up in a Christian home I had parents who served the Lord...In some capacity and on some sort of (if you grew up Baptist like I did and everything had a committee...committees even had committees) committee. We were always at church. My dad sang in a Southern Gospel quartet and my mom decorated what seemed like everything at our church so we (my sister and I) were always there. They served as Sunday School teachers, taught in VBS and Awana on Wednesday night's.  You name it and we were there. We were the kids playing in the baptism as mom hung the Christmas garland and we used pews as hide-and-go-seek hiding spots while dad and his group practiced on Tuesday Nights. We were just always there.

As a young married adult I longed for the days of having my own purpose in ministry. I had been on a mission trip where I fell in love with that sort of ministry. I had helped with VBS and Middle School Camp as a teenager and loved that. I served as much as I could as a kid, but I always wondered what ministry God would give me one day. We lived in Texas for a few years where we were stationed in the Army and spent some time serving in the kids ministry there. I say "serving", but we never sacrificed anything for God in this time. We showed up and followed the very easy layout of kids ministry that was already prepared for us. Don't get me wrong, it was nice to be "serving" cause I don't think you should ever be idle for God...but it still wasn't "our" or "my" ministry.

Moving back to our hometown was so nice cause I. JUST. KNEW. it was our (Trevor and I) time to shine for God. Not in a self-righteous way, but I felt like surely at our home church God would give us somewhere to serve and call our own. For months and months I felt so lost and didn't have a true place to serve. I let this really take a toll on me. I began to try and forge my way into things and God had not given me any sort of go ahead on that. I never actually forged my way. I'm being dramatic. But in my mind I had already forged my way into every ministry from the praise team all the way to the nursing home ministry. I just wanted so badly to be needed and wanted in a ministry. I served in the nursery and I was happy with serving there, but wanted more than that.

*It would probably help to know that we got out of the Army cause we knew God had called our family to ministry, and we didn't want to run from that. We knew moving back home was what God had for us and we were being obedient in that.*

For a year and a half we (mostly I) were sorta out of place. We weren't serving in any capacity other than me in the nursery for an hour every 5 weeks and I started to wonder what was even going on. I had talked with my friend and (she recently reminded me of this) told her that I wasn't sure how God planned to use me. I told her I was unsure about where I fit in ministry and if I fit in at all. I told her I had asked God "WHERE IS MY MINISTRY GOD??" And I didn't understand why my willing heart wasn't being used. Soon after we had a place to serve and had an opportunity to be in a Wednesday night class with 4th & 5th graders. It actually interfered with my favorite service of the week which was our Wednesday night service, but we said yes without hesitation.

I could say so much about what we have learned and about how God's used very simple stuff from us being able to minister to the kids, but I want to tell what happened that is even better.

Some time ago I was in a low place personally and had (yet again) accepted the lies and defeat from satan. I had allowed the lies to be what I built myself on and had decided I would just live a less-than blessed life. I had my iron friend who didn't allow me to stay in that place. She called out those shadows hanging over me and challenged me to take control and accountability for what I allowed to hang around in my life. I decided to take control and make my moves match up with what God would have me to do. If it wasn't about Him it had to go. If it wasn't honoring and pleasing to Him it had to find a new home. Whether it was my attitude, my reaction, or just my speech in general I had to give it all to Him and find ways to glorify Him even in the small stuff.

When I had the revelation I began to find ways to serve God literally everywhere I went. I decided if I saw a need I would do my very best to meet it. If I saw someone who needed prayer I would pray! I would move like the hands and feet of God should. I decided that nothing was going to bring me down and keep me from glorifying God. All Satan wanted me to do was be so busy and caught up in my own situation that I missed all the hurting people around me. He knew that if he could lie to me enough I would be useless to someone who was in need of prayer cause I was so far from God myself. Satan wanted me isolated so I was no good for anyone including myself.

But in those times of pledging my days to finding ways to serve others I found my ministry. You see God doesn't limit us to certain rooms and buildings in a church. He didn't call you to JUST kids ministry..or JUST music ministry. He called us to be like Jesus. Jesus walked the earth and ministered to EVERY SINGLE NEED He came across. He never once said, "Sorry folks I only service to leppers on Thursdays...you will have to come back then."  No! He lived day by day and met need by need. Isn't that how we should be ministering??? We can be so busy in "ministry" that we MISS the lost and hurting right under us. We see them in Sunday school and NEVER ask how they are and if we can pray for them. We "serve" beside them in Kids Church and NEVER stop to think about why they have been acting funny the last few weeks. We see the unfamiliar faces walk in and out of our churches and NEVER once reach out to say anything. And if you are like I was you are so desperate for a "ministry" and you're missing needs everywhere you go.

Today I witnessed people pull together and minister to a man who almost left church before it even started. He was new and hadn't been before (to my knowledge) and slipped out the side door as I was walking in.  As I sat my things down at my pew I looked up at my friends and said I think I need to go after him?? The Holy Spirit had immediately nudged me to run back out the door. I was able to catch him and talk for a few minutes and ask him what was going on. He told me a few things and I boldy asked him if he was fighting God(again the Holy Spirit kept nudging me). He said he was and soon after we had began talking and I got some of his story I put two of my brothers in Christ on the spot and they ministered to this man. (Little did I know God had already weaved this together cause they had met the man the previous day) They prayed and God healed this man of something that was physically hurting him and I believe God is making a way for him right now for a job and other needs he has.(Pray and believe with us!) God weaved together every detail of that situation. As simple as it was I just kept my eyes, ears and heart open and was able to merely be a vessel for God to work through.

On the way home from church my 4 year old son was asking me about what I learned at church. I told him about this amazing way God had moved to heal this guy and what was going on in his life and he told me this :
Mama remember how that man in the Bible had bad sores on his body and needed to get in the pool to be better? I learned about him today. And you know what mama?? Maybe that man at church today needs us to carry him to the pool. Maybe he needs to be healed, but he can't get there by himself. Maybe he needs us?? I think we can do that mama! And I don't mean a real pool. I just mean we can help him and pray for him and see what kind of things he might need. He always could need a case of water from the store. 
And this is when it hit me today. As I teared up with such pride and joy. My 4 year old is right. There are so many people who just need help to the pool. They need us to carry them when they aren't strong enough to carry themselves. They need our time. They need the long (or short) conversations. They need prayer. They need us to ask questions. They need that text that you have them on your mind. They need your prayers. I'll say that again cause PRAYER changes things. They need us to obey the Holy Spirit as it nudges us. They need us and this is our ministry.

There is no tshirt for it. I don't have a color theme or catchy rhyme to put in the church bulletin. It isn't something I can mark attendance for. I can't advertise to draw folks in. God hasn't placed me on a committee or an authority position, but He has given me a ministry. And that ministry is to build His kingdom. And if that's the only ministry He ever commissions me to I will gladly serve all my days!



                    With Love,
                           Jamie Lee



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