My calling to youth ministry came while I was in college.
Being Type A, I was all in. I loved teenagers and wanted them to know the amazing potential they had to love God and make Him known through their natural passion and personal experiences. I traveled the country devoting 100% of my time and my heart to my teenagers.
But ministry does not take place in a vacuum. And God was moving my life in a direction that would change the course of my ministry in unexpected ways.
I met Andy when I was 33 years old and knew soon that he was the man I had prayed for the last 12 years. But as good as that seemed, for the first time in my life my heart felt divided.
No longer was hanging out with my staff and students my only priority; I now wanted and needed more time with my husband.
The tug toward family grew all the more as we learned we were expecting our first son.
All of sudden, I had brand new limitations. Everything shifted to making our home and hearts ready for baby. And, once again, my heart wasn’t quite ready for it.
Fast-forward. Baby number 2 is here and life is as busy as ever. My days are no longer filled with teenagers but with our growing family.
While two little ones keep me busy these days, the desire for ministry is still strong.
I’ve struggled with feeling side-lined, and I’ve had to re-evaluate what ministry looks like for me.
While I love my children and discipling them is my first priority, my longing to do ministry with teenagers forced me to re-examine what ministry means to me today.
If you are where I am, or know someone else who is, here are three resolutions I came to after a lot of prayer and reading:
Right now, I’m limited in my ability to minister to teenagers and their parents. Right now, I do what I can, when I can, and give myself some mercy when I can’t make it to youth group on Wednesday because my baby is teething and wants only me. “Right now” gives me the forward-thinking I need as a Type A that I will be able to go to camp, to retreats, and stay later on Wednesdays again. Right now is a beautiful season, so I’m choosing joy in it.
The most valuable gift I have received is the realization that my family is my first and most important ministry. I don’t say this from a defeated stance, but instead from finding the peace that comes from having my priorities in the right order. While not much is necessarily peaceful in my life with two little boys running around, I have peace that I am able to truly disciple my children with a focus not all moms get.
Finally, I take great hope in the realization that God is preparing me and my family for a ministry I never dreamed possible! After a recent conversation with my husband, it hit me that this has all been part of the developmental process God is putting me through for His glory and purpose. He is unfolding this amazing message though the very life I’m living and that restores my joy in him and ministry.
Missie Wiedman is pursuing a PhD in Christian education, is married to an NOPD officer, and is mom to two amazing little boys.