I am so humbled by the gift this past month has been. As my husband shared our calling and our mission, I would get to see the Church respond with encouragement, support, and love. Over and over again this month I have thanked our Father for opening doors – some that we weren't even knocking on. But most precious to me in this season was Travis's ordination. In November you will receive an update from Travis, but today I want to share with you my reflections on that special time.
I encourage you to listen to this song, or have it playing while you read.
"Set apart" were the words Ken Hughes (Travis's long-time mentor and lead pastor at Lakeview Baptist Church) used when talking about Travis's ordination. As Ken read through scripture and explained the true meaning of ordination, the weight of those words and this calling finally hit me. For so long we had be gearing up for Travis's ordination. Packing and preparing for our trip, traveling, and combining the visit with our mission updates left little time for reflection until the moment arrived.
The words "set apart" echoed in my heart. As we sang in worship, the words felt honest. "You can have it all, Lord. Every part of my world. Take this life and breathe on this heart that is now yours." I am a visual processor. I think and feel in images. As I sang, I prayed an image. I saw myself carrying Travis, and laying him at the feet of Jesus. As I sang the words "every part of my world," my heart would whisper "including my husband."
As the song continued, I felt the weight of this sacrifice. I felt us enter into a new realm of the spiritual battlefield. I felt my strength leave me. Another image came into my heart. As the worship team lifted up their voices wordlessly (you can hear the exact moment I'm talking about at the 2:48 marker in the song) my heart was filled with an image – a messy image that looked hand drawn. The wind surrounded me, it was dark. I had no strength, I had no voice to cry out. But ahead of me I saw my Father. There was peace around Him in the midst of the storm. I began to run to Him, taking only two steps before throwing my arms around His shoulders, collapsing as He caught me. He knelt with me and held me. My strong and powerful Father. As I felt this image He whispered to me. "You are not meant to be able to do this. Your calling is not to be "able." You're calling is to cling fiercely to Me. I alone am able."
As I write this I smile. I remember that moment, and I am so thankful to my sweet Father for giving me so much freedom. Peace and strength washed over me as He whispered those words. I reflected on that moment when I arrived back in Bethlehem. I wrote about it in the beautiful journal that Lakeview gave me as a gift for Travis's ordination. On one page, I drew the image I was given of being held by my Father. I didn't realize there was a bible verse at the bottom of the page until my pen came to it. It said "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Cor. 12:9). As I finished reading it I looked above it to the finished image. My heart was full. "Blessed assurance." I am thankful for my Father.
I love our call to ministry. I am beyond proud of Travis, whose heart is continually after the Lord. I am humbled by the many gifts my Father has given me. To live out a life of obedience alongside Travis is second only to the gift of my Savior. It is my joy.
Thank you all so much for being prayer warriors alongside us. You mean so much to me. And I would like to thank the women who, one by one, prayed over me during Travis's ordination. I will treasure those prayers, tears, and hugs in my heart always.
With love and a heart that is full,