I remember when I first realized I had a call to ministry.
It was about six years ago, and I was halfway through a 13-month program for my master's degree in business, completely up to my ears in financial spreadsheets and questions about manufacturing and general plans and details about the business idea I had gone there to create.
I remember the realization one afternoon that all this planning and development was taking me further and further away from the central care of my life: people and their stories. Being at the helm of an organization that would require leadership and financial solvency and ongoing oversight of things like manufacturing and distribution would keep me far from the people this business was meant to serve.
"I don't think I actually have a call to business," I slowly realized. "I think I have a call to ministry."
I knew in that moment that once I finished that degree program, I'd be enrolling in another — one that would equip me well to serve the needs of the soul.
I could name to you so many moments in the past six years that served as continued waymakers for me in the confirmation of that call: the discovery that I already owned five of the six books on the book list for my first course in that next graduate program; the way I felt like I'd come home when I started my training as a spiritual director; the experience I had one day while visiting a Catholic church of God standing behind me and placing his hands on my shoulders.
To name a few.
I can see how my life has been about preparation and equipping for that call and being faithful to it since it came. And as my therapist, Debbie — whom I have described as being an amazing blend between Brené Brown and Moses — would say, there's been a lot of deep and intentional development of the "prophet" and "priest" roles of my identity and call.
But perhaps, she said, it's time to further develop the "queen" role of it.
(I'm speaking here of the threefold ministry of Christ — prophet, priest, and king — which various Scriptures confirm we are meant to exercise as well.)
Queen? Yikes. I confess hearing that made me nervous. It felt scary. Exposed. Big. Even today, the thought of it makes my breath catch in my throat.
And yet since she suggested it to me, I've not been able to shake the image of a territory in my mind's eye. It's lush green and surrounded by water on at least three sides. Its capital city is on its southern tip. I know people live inside its borders — people I love and want to serve well.
What do the people who live here need? How would they describe the experience of being one of this kingdom's citizens? What do they love about their life here? What do they fear? What does it mean for me to be its queen?
These are big questions I'm pondering right now. It feels like an invitation to own the leadership of this land, first by learning what that even means.
And all these questions swirling in my mind has me wondering if you have big questions you're pondering in your mind too — questions about an invitation deeper into some identity or role God's presented to you.
Are you being invited to develop in some way that feels new to you? What questions are you asking about it?