God. God! If you called me, if I heard you correctly, then stand by me! Show yourself strong on my behalf. Justify me. I’ll go. But you have to make the way.
I had been in church all my life. I had been in ministry all my life. My grandmother had been superintendent of the Sunday School and her life was as that of a minister. She trained me in the same way. So by eight, I was playing for the church. By nine I was teaching a Sunday School class. I had been a junior usher at six and a member of the junior choir. Our life was church ministry. I didn’t understand that then. But when the church needed to be cleaned, my grandmother would send me to do it. I wasn’t bothered by that because I knew it needed to be done.
But by 24, I was having serious conversations with the Lord and the yearning, pulling was urging me into a direction of which I wasn’t sure. I sought counsel. I prayed. I cried. I yielded to who I believed was doing the calling. And we communed in new and brilliant ways.
Jumping over many years and tears, when I applied for seminary I only needed one more thing; a letter of recommendation from my pastor. He said No. Well, not no, but offered the opportunity to convince him of my side of the story. But the bottom line was that if it hadn’t been spoken to him, it surely hadn’t been spoken to me. Not by God.
Everything else was in and on time. The admissions officer gave me a deadline to get that letter in, as most seminary students were not admitted at that time without the recommendation of their home church. It was then that I cried out to the Lord. I was certain that I’d heard what I heard. I was certain because I kept putting myself in position to hear. And to see. And to be formed and informed.
And I needed God to be on my side. In that moment. Because the deadline was quickly approaching. And I was ready to go. I was ready to begin. I was more than ready to sit at the feet of teachers who would prepare me for the journey ahead. Teachers I hadn’t met. But I felt sure they were the ones who would pour into me and help me become a teacher.
And. God. Heard. My. Cry.
The semester was to begin on Monday. I received a call on Friday morning. From the admissions officer. I was fearful when I heard her voice. But I hadn’t needed fear. Not in that moment. What I needed was dancing feet and a joyful heart. Because God had heard my cry. She told me she would see me on Monday. She wouldn’t let one thing stop me, in the light of the other things that had been highly supportive.
I cried out to God. And he heard my cry. And the journey began.