There's been something on my heart for a long time and I've prayed on it, thought about it, and I finally just did it. I decided that as long as I've wanted to be a minister (more of a pastoral counselor really) I should just do it! Most of my friends look to me for guidance like this, which is how it's been most of my life. So, I just took the plunge and did it. My new name is Pastor Elizabeth Ballard! I have been ordained as a minister (non-denominational faith).
As you can imagine, with this comes some personal responsibilities that I have put on myself and typical of most blessed decision, things like this come with great tests. Not in any way do I feel as though I'm being tested by God, but I do think that evil can and does come in many forms for many reasons. It's like how you'll always find the devil fighting you hardest on Sunday morning, just when you're getting ready for church. If anything can go wrong it will, if anyone is out of sorts, it will be Sunday morning they'll choose to unlease their frustrations. The devil loves working on people on Sundays, particularly in my house.
Well, wouldn't you know it as soon as I took on this new responsibility (and yes, I do feel as though this is a huge privilege as well as carrying responsibilities) the tests came. A hospital trip with no feeling in my left leg, tremendous pain from my waist down and the need for a walker of all things was the first trial to hit me. This was quickly followed by a sinus infection and bronchitis. Not to mention how this has affected my family members and their responsiveness to my being completely incapacitated. I've been told to not drive, not lift, not walk unless with the walker, not cook, not clean, not vacuum, not not not... You can imagine how well this has gone over with my family. Their attentiveness has been overwhelming. (Do I detect sarcasm?)
But in all of it, I know there is much to be learned. There are many lessons I must learn here with my family in communication, thoughtfullness, attentiveness, preparedness, how frustration can infest your heart and become resentfullness and how this must be overcome. It is imperative I learn through this so I can help all of us work through it and grow. So, until I complete these lessons, I'm sure there will be plenty of tasks to come. Until the devil learns that I won't be swayed, until my family has turned round to a brighter more healthy and sincere focus of positive energies for the benefit of the family (and not the benefit of the one or few), and until I have come to a place of peace with all of it, I'm sure there will be plenty of fire. Keep us in your thoughts if you will.
I know that He has taught me well. I know that with Him all things are possible. I know these adversities are temporary and this too shall pass. I know that if I am supposed to be healed in my body He will bring my healing. I know that when I remember that it is not my life but HIS, and stop trying to control things too much there will be difficulty and until I learn to keep the communication flowing 24/7 there will be resentment.
I also know that I cannot make people change and I can't change people. I have to accept folks for exactly who they are and what they are and not expect anything different.
I'm excited about my new future. I'm excited about the new possibilities. I love how enriched I already feel and how much more I know is in store for me. I am thrilled about the new places I go in my heart and I'm already enjoying the new things I"m learning. I pray that I will never fail this new responsibility, I will always live up to what this new responsibility will require of me, of my heart. I pray He will always find me deserving and I hope that He will continue guiding me through my journey to becoming the counselor He wants me to be.