From the time I was very young, I wanted to be a wife and mother. I think it's because I know I have one of the most amazing mother's ever created.
I was in elementary school and I can remember hearing a missionary speak at a mission's conference at church. I was so young, but I remember tearing up, and knowing that the Holy Spirit was moving in my heart. I knew I was supposed to "go".
I went on several small trips with youth groups and then in college, my chance finally came. I was asked to be a part of a team of students going to Kazakhstan. At that time, I was dating Bryan (a college minister) and to tell the truth, when I got to KZ, I was pretty sure I was NOT going to be a missionary there! I don't think it was because I was hoping to marry BK and stay in the states. In fact, I knew he was open to going anywhere for the Lord. Turns out, the Lord just had other plans for me!
While in KZ, the missionaries asked that we pray for the local church there, specifically for there to be more men involved in those churches. As I prayed, I became overwhelmed by how many godly women seemed to be a part of my Christian circles, but how few truly godly men there were. It was during a prayer time reading in the Psalms that my heart was filled with a desire to be part of raising up godly men for the Kingdom of God here on earth ( i know that sounds weird!) I prayed for sons. For boys. And for our churches to be filled with men who would be leaders.
When I got back from that mission trip, that time of prayer stood out as a highlight of my summer. It was such an intense time with the Lord and I knew He had really spoken to my heart.
Bryan and I got engaged that fall and married in the spring. Though we were surprised to see a positive pregnancy test that summer after just 3 months of marriage - we were not surprised to see an ultrasound at 20 weeks that revealed a BOY!
Since then, everyone is always hoping that I will have a girl.... but I know better! This is my calling. And 4 sons later, I am amazed at how personal the Lord was that summer in KZ.
But it doesn't stop there! This is the part that gives me chills.
We knew our last year of seminary that the Lord wanted us to begin a work of Urban Ministry. It didn't take me long to see how much deeper this calling of raising up men for the Kingdom of God was going to go. Our streets are filled with boys. Young boys, who spend their free time outside on the street with no fathers in their homes. Their role models are the drug dealers who just so happen to be their cousins, uncles, or older brothers. They can't even imagine a life outside our neighborhood. There is no thought of college or marriage. No thought of growing old with the love of your life and playing with grandkids. There is such a need for a new generation of men in my neighborhood - men who love the Lord and who will stand for justice and righteousness, and then raise their family to do the same.
And the Lord has brought them to my house by the car full!!
In many ways, this has made my life so easy! I KNOW what I am supposed to do: Raise my own 4 sons to love the Lord and do whatever will help my husband as he shares his faith and life with the boys on my street. To open my home for snacks, school projects, sleepovers and video games. My prayer is that HERE, they will sense love, mercy, and acceptance, and that it will make them long for Jesus, who can give them all those things in abundance. I am constantly praying for God to show me what other ways He wants me to engage, but for now, this is enough.
The Lord is GREAT and GREATLY to be PRAISED!