We’re loading boxes into the moving van when the phone rings on the floor of the empty living room. It’s a call from the Office of the Registrar letting H know of his acceptance into the master’s program at seminary. We look at each other and laugh.
Maybe it was an assumption on our part, packing up before the official call, but we knew we heard from God. Heard him say seminary through the voice of our pastor and then all the details, they just fell into place.
One ordinary Sunday, our pastor walks off the platform, puts his hands on H’s shoulders, looks him in the eye and tells him he has a call on his life for vocational ministry. We walk to the car holding hands silent and cry until we’re the last car parked on the lot. His words, a confirmation of what our hearts already know.
My husband had just completed a five year architectural degree.
We sell his car to a friend for a month of deposits, pack up wedding gifts, and drive from Phoenix to a small town in southeastern Tennessee. A town we’d never heard of before. A short window exists between our bank account and finding employment, not to mention a place to live.
Twenty-two years and eight moves later, I’ve never doubted that decision of crossing the threshold into a vocation of sacrifice.
On the days of wearing coats and gloves while making dinner because heat seems extravagent, I never doubted Him.
On the days wondering how we’ll eat, and a bag of groceries show up on the doorstep, I never doubted Him.
On the days when those who invite you to sit in the seat of prominence, turn their backs like they never knew you, I never doubted Him.
On the days of steely-eyed confrontation and pointed finger disapproval over lunch at their house, I never doubted Him.
On the days when your husband lays out weary from the expectations of others, I never doubted Him.
On the days when unjust acts in the name of righteousness make me want to surrender, I never doubted Him.
On the days loneliness inhabits my marrow, I’ve never doubted Him.
Because all these moments of sacrifice in the work we call ministry, they lay on the grassy knoll under a weathered cross. And when I look up from my place at His feet, I want to catch the tears dripping from his eyes in my cupped hand and remember how redemption feels. Redemption, it’s why I’ve never doubted Him.
I know very well how foolish the message of the cross sounds to those who are on the road to destruction. But we who are being saved recognize this message as the very power of God. I Corinthians 1:18
I’m sharing My Hazardous Faith Story as part of a synchroblog connected with the release of Ed Cyzewski and Derek Cooper’s new book Hazardous: Committing to the Cost of Following Jesus. To discover more about the book and to read others’ Hazardous stories, click here.