I first considered going into ministry around the age of fourteen, before the chronic illness world ever crossed my mind. I had been reading the Christy Miller series by Robin Jones Gunn. I was introduced to missionaries through one of the books and instantly I wanted to be a missionary. My dream was to complete college than spend at least two full years on the missions field.
Many events continued to shape me spirituality and as a person from short-term mission work to retreats. I was given unique opportunities to serve. I also faced typical adolescent struggles.
Two years later I went on a pilgrimage to Taize France. It is a community organized by brothers who dedicate their lives to serving God. Their main focuses are teenagers and young adults assisting them in growing in their relationship with Christ. http://www.taize.fr/en
I am convinced there is nowhere in the world that possess the Godly peace offering a transforming experience. It is difficult to wrap it up into words that paint a clear picture. Taize is a community. A journey. Silence and simplicity are hallmark aspect of the three daily worship services. To an energetic young American the concept of spending seven minutes of silence while surrounded by hundreds of people was a foreign concept. To many this concept causes them to tense up it seems unnatural.
The experience was amazing beyond words. It is a unique place and experience. The silence was incorporated in each service for a few minutes. In addition, we had Bible study. Towards the end of the week, one of the brothers told us we were going to spend an hour in silence. I was beside myself. I thought it would be impossible for me to do. They had us pick a spot to spend this time. I ventured down to the source with two of my friends. I sat on a bridge. There God called me into ministry but did not provide details. I knew my life would be dedicated to serving Him in one way or another.
I shared my calling with some people in my church. Their reaction shocked me. They had said they had known I was called into ministry. Apparently I was the last to find out.
I questioned my calling and still do at times today. I wonder at times how I will serve with my illness.I have considered a number of possibilities, but God did not give me a road map. It is not important for me to know this moment how I will serve God. I have the willing heart and I know in His timing He will guide me.