When You Don’t Want to Walk Down the Road…

It was just another ordinary day when the letter arrived. It plopped quietly onto the front door mat, along with the free newspaper and several bills, and lay there for a while before my husband picked it up.

I looked over his shoulder as he opened the envelope, and tried to focus on the words amidst the noise of our young sons charging up and down the stairs.

Dear David, it said. We, at the preachers’ meeting, have been praying about who God might call to become a local preacher. We wondered whether this was something you might consider?

I stopped reading. I was a little astonished. My husband was a sales rep. He sold home improvement products. Surely he wasn’t being called to preach?

You’re not going to do that, are you? I asked incredulously.

I might. David replied.

I was astounded. I had been brought up in the church all my life. My dad was a local preacher, but I wasn’t prepared for this. I can still remember the tone of my voice that day. And I can still hear what I said next, even though it was over thirty years ago. I’m not proud of it.

Well listen David, I fumed, You can become a local preacher (as if he needed my permission) but just don’t tell me you want to be a pastor…because I want to choose my own carpets.

I don’t think he answered me. And even if he had, I wasn’t listening. My mind was off somewhere, flying down the road of self pity, imagining a life of poverty and parsonage living; a road that took me away from the cute little home we owned, with its newly built conservatory and leaded windows; a road that led to houses I would never own, and carpets I could never choose.

And that is exactly what happened. A few years later we packed up, left the only home we had ever owned, and spent the next thirty years traveling that road.

But we never traveled alone. And one day, at one of the curves in that road, God was waiting. I just didn’t see Him at first.

He was sitting quietly in the room at Trinity United Methodist Church, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, listening to the conversation, as my husband and I were introduced to some of our new church family.

We don’t own a parsonage here, one of the members explained. But we’ll give you a housing allowance, and you can buy your own home.

I almost laughed out loud. And I’m sure God was laughing too.

Here I was, over thirty years later, discovering something I had never imagined would be possible:

My husband was still a pastor, and I was about to choose my own carpets….

Two things that I never thought could co-exist together- an impossible combination. But God specializes in the impossible. And while I thought that saying yes to God was synonymous with sacrifice, God knew that saying yes to Him is synonymous with blessing.

 

 

And do you know a funny thing? I am no longer interested in carpets. I don’t need them anyway – our lovely new home, which we have owned for the last four years, has beautiful hardwood floors.

And I think about that journey I was so afraid to take, and the road I still travel, with its ups and downs, and curves, and bumps. And this I know:

We never travel alone;

God goes ahead of us;

Helping us climb every hill;

Waiting at every curve;

Stepping in with surprises;

Seeing what we cannot;

And blessing us as we keep walking.

And far, far better, is the road that leads away from the world, and leads us closer to God.

18 thoughts on “When You Don’t Want to Walk Down the Road…

  1. Anita Balgenorth

    LOVE this story – so similar to my reaction when Jack told me he was called to the ministry. We’ve had many blessings and met many wonderful people through Jack’s ministry, and I am thankful for those short 5 years.
    Thank you, once again, Glenys, for your words of wisdom and encouragement. They mean so much to me as we continue to search for a new church home. I miss our friends in Schoolcraft, but know that you can’t “go back” and expect things to be the same – always a new experience waiting out there. And as David told me more than once, I am blessed with my quilting group – as he put it “they are more of a Christian support group” than many that go by that name. They don’t judge or criticize – ever – but are always supportive and encouraging. I am blessed by them and especially by our friendship with you and David. Praise to God!

    Reply
    1. Glenys Post author

      Well Anita, they might have been only 5 short years, but think of the seeds you have sown, and continue to sow, in the lives of others. There’s a church out there that will be blessed by your presence!

      Reply
  2. Helga Mortensen

    Thank you, Glenys! We have been missionaries all our married life (27+ years) and I still dream of owning our own place :). Have NEVER chosen my carpet or anything, but we have had many adventures. I rejoice with you putting down some roots. Maybe it will happen someday for us!

    Reply
    1. Glenys Post author

      Well just keep walking with Him Helga! It took me 30 years to own a home again…I never thought it would happen, but God just loves to surprise us!

      Reply
    1. Yvonne Schwandt

      I too share a similar story of entering Ministry after marriage, as a surprise! Jim was not a salesman though. He worked for a parts company that supplied the big 3 with all kinds of stuff! I wasn’t exactly sure what his job was, and truthfully I didn’t care. We were newlyweds. I was madly in love!
      Six months later on a car ride in Traverse City, God came calling into Jim’s life, and by Association mine!! The Blessings God has given us are too numerous to count of course! Even though I went kicking and screaming the first few times!

      Reply
      1. Glenys Post author

        Hi Yvonne! I love it that you commented! Well you are a wonderful person & a wonderful pastor’s wife. No wonder God called you & Jim into ministry. You are a blessing to all who know you 🙂

        Reply
  3. Joy DeKok

    Another excellent post! I’m not fond of the road I’m on – my mom has dementia. But He is there in the beauty of moments. I know God is teaching me to look where I least expect to find Him and there He is. And today He used this post as a gentle reminder.

    Reply
    1. Glenys Post author

      Thank you Joy. As I look back over my life, that road has not always been easy, and none of us knows what lies ahead (my dad has dementia too) but one thing we DO know…God is ahead of us on that road, and, as you said, is sometimes where we least expect to find Him. I’ll be praying for you & your mum as you come to mind.

      Reply
  4. Pam Cowgill

    Glenys,
    I needed this today. My life has been on a really bad place lately and I feel God has left me but I know I am the one that left and need to get back. I don’t know when or how, but it will. Thank you for your prayers and words of encouragement. I will find my way back someday.

    Reply
  5. Betsy Weems

    You and David continue to be an inspiration to me. You both speak from your heart, and live life with authenticity and kindness. Love reading your blog, Glenys! Thank you….

    Reply
  6. Mary Hawkins

    Loved your thoughts, Glenys, and can identify with them so much.
    On the 19th of December I will be celebrating 50 wonderful years of being a minister/pastor’s wife. For many of those years we were mainly used by Him in church planting. Most of those years we were “self-supporting” which meant at different times Ray having a part-time job as well and my working as a nurse and then becoming published when God opened the doors for my Christian fiction books. We have raised three children who love the Lord and are very active in their local church fellowships. Of course there were some rather tough times but I do so understand your post here and say Amen and Amen to God’s faithfulness in all He did in and through us and how He met our every need – note “need’ not always “wants”! I look back in awe at all He has given us over these unforgettable and wonderful years in ministry.
    Thank you so much for sharing this post. Has brought back wonderful memories.

    Reply

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