On Friday, I will complete my Master of Arts in Christian Ministry with a focus on Discipleship and Church Ministry. Not only will I complete the degree, but I am on pace for graduating summa cum laude, which is icing on the cake. That was never my goal – I simply wanted to obey God by earning the degree. To end well rather than simply end is quite the treat!
For those of you who are newer to the blog, let me provide a short synopsis from the past year … In Winter 2017, my pastor gave a sermon about the power of forgiveness and grace extended to inmates. For most of my life, my heart was hardened toward inmates because I saw them as “guilty.” While I acknowledged that the Body of Christ is charged with ministering to them, I did not see this as my personal role. However, that sermon resonated deeply with me, and for weeks, I teared up every time I thought about it. I told God I was willing to minister to those in prison if He would show me the way.
In Spring 2017, God called me into professional ministry. I had no idea in what capacity, only that I needed to enroll in divinity school with a discipleship focus. I started my coursework for my degree in July 2017. Until this calling, I said numerous times that I would never go into professional ministry, nor would I return to any form of school (I already had a law degree), much less seminary.
I began looking for professional ministry positions, but I really did not want to work in a church. I figured God would guide me where He wanted me, and He did. Among the job postings listed for the United Methodist Church, I saw an opening for an executive director of a statewide prison ministry and was intrigued. As I explored the website and learned more about this particular ministry, I knew in my spirit that God was leading me there. Even though I wasn’t sure I had the qualifications, I applied and was hired in October 2017.
To be continued…
[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace with her hand on her heart by the words, “New year. New me.” Courtesy Bitmoji.]