"Still, accepting God's existence is one thing; honoring his command is another matter entirely, especially if we're required to go back when we'd rather go forward."
~Liz Curtis Higgs
~Liz Curtis Higgs
from Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible~
I've not read the book, and am not familiar with the specifics of what the author was writing about. My post today is my viewpoint from experience regarding the quote.
My husband and I have been in ministry for almost thirty years. My husband has been in several staff positions and has pastored two churches. We have co-pastored for the past 15 1/2 years.
When my husband accepted his second staff position we were living in Hagerstown, MD. I was Marketing/Business Development Director in a local bank. I had been active in my banking career for over ten years. My husband's position required us to relocate to Springfield, VA.
The cost of living in the metropolitan area at that time was very expensive. I found another position in a bank in the area but was required to commute one hour and 15 minutes one way each day to work. Our children were enrolled in the private academy at the church and my hubby took them back and forth to school each day. Often times I would not arrive home until after 7 p.m. because of my responsibilities at my job and the dreaded commute.
At that time women were just beginning to climb the corporate ladder in the finance industry. After my second year of employment with this organization I received a promotion to Vice President of Marketing/Business Development and received a substantial raise.
My career was very important to me during those years. I admit God wasn't the first priority in my life even though I was a pastor's wife. That subject is for another time and another blog.
During the third year of my position at this bank God orchestrated an incredible makeover in my heart. A position opened at the academy within the church. For some strange reason this job looked extremely appealing. One thing led to another and I decided to accept the position. I met with the CEO of the bank and submitted my resignation. I began my employment at the academy two weeks later taking more than a $20,000 cut in my annual salary. Now, is that going backwards or what????
Two years after that transition my husband accepted a position as a full-time pastor in a rural community which seemed like zillions of miles away from civilization! It was quite an adjustment for our entire family but God was so good to us during that tenure of our ministry. We took another huge blow to our income since I was not working outside of the home. I became the youth pastor during our tenure which was an unpaid position. There were weeks when we only had dollars to make it from Monday to Sunday but somehow, someway, God always came through for us. We remained faithful to Him and He continued to bless our ministry in an awesome way.
Five and a half years later we were called to a church in Virginia where we have been for ten years. We came back to the metro area and God continues to bless our work in His ministry.
I feel confident, if the question were to be asked, the majority polled would say they would prefer NOT to go backwards if they had a choice in the matter. When you sell out to Christ, backwards may very well be in HIS plan. We must be obedient to God's will and His call and that sometimes will take us backwards.
Our family experienced some very challenging years financially after I relinquished my banking career. We also experienced lean years during our first full-time pastorate but where is the trust in God? If He calls us to a work He will certainly supply the need. Maybe not all the luxuries we have been accustomed to but He will supply our needs. How can we go forward in Christ if we are unwilling to go backwards if He calls us to do so?
The ministry is all about trust and faith in God. It isn't about what we want. It is all about His will and His call upon our lives. My desire is to continue to grow in Him each and every day that I live. I want God to use my life as a testimony to everyone I meet. My goal is to minister full-time to hurting women all over the world. God has been so good to me and I long to share that with women who need Jesus. How can I do that if I am not willing to go backwards for Him?
Blessings to you.