The dream of building the camp was no more. But something was stirred – a remembering: even when I was in college for my engineering program, I felt something about ministry, in particular about being a pastor. Heck my bride even married me with that in mind, and she agreed that it was probably my calling. The problem was that I bought into the lie that ministry had to be full time and paid through the giving of others. I was wrong.
In the spring of 2008, I had attended another mountaintop event – my heart continues to yearn for that (but hates the snow)! I had had the opportunity to connect with about 25 of the men that trip about deeper things, Spirit-led things, that were encouraging in all sorts of ways. First, confirmation from some of the guys I had barely known as to some experiences I had been having pertaining to my calling. Second, a life-saving intervention pertaining to my sleep-apnea. If you’ve ever seen or been a part of a drug or alcoholism intervention, you know what I mean. “You know we love you, but you’re killing yourself and in danger of leaving a widow and two beautiful daughters.” Again, some guys I had never previously met!
In no less than 3 isolated events was my calling verified. A phone call with a friend, an email, and a specific interaction at work (where I had been an engineer – at that time – for 12 years) that simply supported my next direction. Counseling.
That summer, I was ready to register for school. But my bride couldn’t confirm the timing. It wasn’t about the money it would take to make it happen. For the record, she wasn’t concerned about the money at all (which is unlike her as well as many women in America today). In fact, I received a wonderful gift from her, “I think you need to do it. You’ll be great at it.”
She asked me one small favor in return for her complete support. A year (12 months or 365 days) of prayer and research into programs, licensing requirements, and funding. That was all. Thus, a year (to the day), I asked her again with almost the same intentionality I had when I proposed to her 11 years prior, “It has been a year. I’d like to be a counselor.” She smiled at me with almost the same intentionality she had when she said yes to my proposal 11 years prior, “I’m still confident. Sign up.”
Thus, I started my education to become a licensed counselor. Sidenote: I’ve been in school now for 4 years and she’s still behind me 100%. I’m humbled and blessed.
The next post will conclude the series (I think!). Stay tuned.