What a difference a friend can make!
To say I was “unhappy” when I realized God was calling me into ministry is an understatement. My reasons for why this was a bad idea were shallow and selfish. For instance, I judged that some of those Christian people on TV have really bad hair, and I didn’t want people looking at me and judging me like that! (If you saw my hair you would realize the irony in my reasoning…and yes I know we are all noticed and judged. I didn’t say they were good reasons!)
So what did I do about this calling God put on my life? I went to church more seriously. It was all I could bring myself to do except cry. I told God that I wanted to be the person He created me to be. I lost a great career. I had been taken to the edge of the ledge with my health and finances, and my family was beginning to think I had lost my way past the point of bouncing back. And THIS was the big prize you had for me, God? Your ministry?
I reluctantly resolved to move in the direction of learning more, and signed up for a class at church. It was a good class but I needed more. An acquaintance that was also in the class with me knew I was ministry-bound and I had mentioned CBS to her. She assumed that I intended to go, and was so excited she actually applied! She offered the kick in the pants I needed. Without knowing that I had not yet applied, she started talking about the classes we could take, carpooling and being “study buddies”. Finally I confessed I had not applied and I had no answers to her questions: why? why not, when are you, have you? I finally applied because I didn’t have a good reason not to.
One of my fears was that when I had been to school before, I had not performed well. If I didn’t do well this time, I feared it would confirm that I really was an idiot.
Once I took the plunge, I was relieved! I proudly became one of the religious freaks I made fun of when I first went to school. My girlfriend would pick me up and we would greet each other with “hello freak”, and off to class we raced. She knew my hesitation and encouraged me. She helped me get back into the rhythm of studying and bought me a cup of coffee when I couldn’t afford it so we could sit and discuss our assignments!
My classroom experience was greater than I could have ever imagined- with like-minded students and professors whose ministry is education. Without any prompting my professor told me there was no reason for me to doubt my abilities. I cried!! Thanks to my friend, my classmates and professors I graduated with a 3.98GPA. This means that I am officially NOT an idiot, which is a good thing because now I work for CBS!!!
Testimony by Pam Hensley