If ministry and preaching your Word is for me, please give me the strength to do so God.
I’ve been running. Running away from preaching God’s Word for a long time now. Fearful that I won’t be good at it and also fearful of the Huge – did I mention HUGE – responsibility it is.
Just a quick recap of my past. I started out college majoring in Pre-Med: Biology because I knew I liked to help people and maybe partly because of the money I could make as a physician. I’ll be honest.
But I later felt like Bio wasn’t for me as I struggled in almost every class. Everything was just so hard to understand. I even dated a girl with the same major as me and who shared similar classes and still struggled.
It was bad.
One summer break, I was back home in St. Thomas working to help adults and teens become more computer literate. One day as I was driving home from work passing a Wendy’s downtown (I remember exactly where I was), I heard God speak to me and He just told me to read a chapter of the Bible a day. I was going through a lot of mental battles in my life then, had thoughts of suicide and needed a way out. So He provided me with a reminder of His Word and what to do with it at just the right time.
So that night or the next day I started reading a chapter of the Bible, everyday.
My days started to get a little better, but they were still tough. I went back to Hampton University (my first college) thinking I would just push through and get my Biology degree and somehow become a doctor. I mean that’s what all my family wanted me to be and I was so lost as to what I really wanted to do with my life as I had wished to be like others when I was younger.
But the date came that I was supposed to graduate. May of 2011. All my Biology friends were graduating and getting ready for different medical schools. All of them except for me. I was a few classes short of obtaining my degree and it hurt. It hurt badly seeing all my friends succeed, make their friends and family so proud and move on to the next chapter.
While I, unfortunately at the time, had to stay behind confused and frustrated.
I ended up leaving Hampton like everyone else after that year. I couldn’t take losing my close friends and struggling through Physics and Cell Biology anymore. So I went back to Washington, DC where my grandparents lived and stayed with them. Mind you, through this whole time I was still reading a chapter of the Bible everyday. It had been maybe a year or so, I believe, from when I first heard God tell me to read His Word to when I missed my graduation.
Ok, back to the story.
So I went back to D.C., still in my Word everyday, but still confused as to what I needed to do next. I enrolled in a local college in D.C. because my family wouldn’t let go of the fact that I needed to finish college, get my degree and become a doctor. They really wanted me to become a doctor. They still do.
But I just kept reading the Bible, hoping for some kind of guidance from God as my frustrations grew more and more. I knew at that point, for sure, that Biology wasn’t for me.
Well, God came through.
I remember being pressured by my grandparents to drop this dog walking business I had created while attending the local college in DC to focus solely on school. As I had stopped going to class to focus solely on my business. After holding tightly onto my Bible this one day, I remember going downstairs into my grandparents kitchen and saying I was going to be a pastor.
I don’t know where it came from, but it came out. My grandfather almost fell out of his chair in frustration. Like I said – my whole family wanted me to become a doctor so this was an utter shock to hear those words come out of my mouth.
Mind you, my family is “Christian,” but we rarely ever go to church as a family or consistently at that. Our church is mainly listening to gospel music on Sunday’s on the radio at home. I won’t get into if we live lives as the Bible instructs us to, as I am not “perfect” in that either. But you can say we needed some work. We need work – sorry.
So yeah, my family was shocked to hear that I had made that decision. I was just as shocked as they were because I didn’t expect to say that.
So I went back upstairs, confused as to what to do next. My mom later came over and said I needed to make a decision fast on going back to college because my student loans were set to kick back in if I didn’t go back to school. I hit up my buddy Google and searched for Christian colleges in Orlando, Florida. I loved Florida because I had the best time their as a kid at Disney World.
Crazy, I know. But that’s where my heart desired.
Multiple schools popped up, but one in particular caught my eye and my heart. Warner University in Lake Wales, Florida. Never heard of the school or that part of Florida before. I tried scrolling up and down to look at other colleges, but I couldn’t move past Warner. It felt like God wanted me to choose Warner.
So I did. I applied and soon was accepted.
To wrap the story up, I obtained my undergraduate degree from Warner 3 years later in Transformational Christian Ministry (started Church Ministry, but later switched), with a minor in Biology. They had to give me something for Bio since I had over 100+ credits coming from Hampton.
Had an AMAZING time at Warner too! Better than Hampton if you can believe it even though I was their for a shorter time period. Enjoyed my classes (made the Deans list), enjoyed my instructors, made some Great lifelong friends and even got to explore Orlando, Florida like I had wanted to on certain weekends with friends as it was only 45 minutes away from our school.
Look at God!
I grew a lot spiritually as well at Warner. They required us to attend church at least once during the week and that didn’t include Sunday service. It was cool seeing a church full of people your age on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
I also “finished” (you can’t really finish) God’s Word at Warner. I remember exactly where I was sitting too in my dormitory. That was a glorious day! It took 3+ years to read the whole book a chapter a day, but I did it!! I was so proud and am still proud of myself that I accomplished that. Funny enough, I actually took the next day off from class. Haha – hey, I was tired.
I left Warner not wanting to go to Seminary though like all my other friends. First, not going to medical school like my friends and now not Seminary either. Man Ibsaa, what’s going on with you?
But it’s been exactly 3 years now this month since I’ve received my degree from Warner and ran away from Seminary school. The only difference I believe now between me running from medical school and me running from Seminary, is that I can only run from God’s calling for so long.
At least the calling I believe to be on my life.
It’s also been 3 years since I’ve been back in His Word consistently. But having experienced life these past 3 years after obtaining my degree and the mental battles coming back, I’m back in His Word a chapter a day like I used to be. Maybe this is a lifelong endeavor and journey He meant for me and not a temporary one.
Either way it’s working. In these past 3 years, I’ve seen two therapists, read over 3 self help books, been active in church, and even took medicinal marijuana. But none of them worked. Not until I got back in my Bible a chapter a day. That is, by far, the only solid foundation that has given me true hope and healing. Though the others did help.
Praise God for all of them!
I guess I had to experience life some and grow a little after college. See how much I truly needed God and His Word in my life. See that no therapist, self help book, trip back to St. Thomas a.k.a. Paradise or medicine could heal me like His Word. See that I could try multiple good paying jobs, but none would ever truly fit me.
I needed that.
So now I’m back God.
Back then and still to this day I didn’t care that I left medical school in the rear view mirror. But God constantly reminds me that I left Seminary school behind me. Having this burning desire to preach His Message, always wanting to learn more about the stories of the Bible, always wanting to help others beyond just physically. It’s all there. The signs that is. At least I believe so.
But if I am really called to be a pastor, I need a few more conformations before I apply to Seminary school. I need to know that others see it in me as well. Particularly the leaders or elders of the church. I haven’t heard one person say I am meant to be a pastor or leader in the church now that I think about it.
So am I just trippen with this blog post?
If not, I’ll just keep pushing and find the right job or career for me. I won’t be mad as you can see that I’ve been running from “the calling” for a while now. I’m not just scared to become a pastor, I am terrified!
That’s a HUMONGOUS responsibility and I know that I will be judged differently by God when I die. I will be judged in how I led His people and I don’t want to mess up.
So yeah, I need help. I need help in first realizing that I do have a calling on my life to preach His Word. If I do, I then need help to find the path He has for me to get their and strength to preach His message. You all see how many insecurities I have from reading my previous blog posts. How dominat fear, anxiety and feelings of being overwhelmed are. How much greater will they be when – if – I become a pastor?
“God, if I am meant to become a pastor or any leader within the church please guide me to that position. As reluctant as I sound to embrace it, I am ready to pursue it if it is for me. I am tired of bouncing from job to job, struggling to hold a position for more than a few months. Feeling different than everyone else and not knowing what to do with my uniqueness. If that is indication that I am meant to lead within your church, please direct me to the role you have for me in your time. Please allow leaders and other people to step up and confirm this calling on my life if there is one. Help me like you helped Jeremiah when he was scared to preach the message. If, in fact, I have a message to preach. I’m scared God. Terrified. I’m losing my train of thought in fear. Please help God. Thank you for putting this on my mind and heart to share. In Jesus name, Amen.”