My Faithfully Sure Calling

Sometimes I question my calling to be a pastor’s wife. I’m not your typical type of pastor’s wife. I didn’t go to Bible school. I didn’t grow up in a Christian home with examples of what a godly wife should look like.

I grew up in an urban setting, later moving to suburbia. It was there I met my now husband. We chose to stay close to home and attend a very liberal and large public university.

We found ourselves leading the campus arm of an urban house church plant with a pastor who wasn’t afraid to shepherd a group of young adults with hearts for Jesus. God used this time to begin to show us what ministry would be like. Still, I saw ministry more as serving as a lay person in the church, leading Bible studies at a large church wherever my engineer husband and I would end up.

I clearly remember when the Lord showed me my “sure calling.” I was at a denominational conference representing our group of house churches and fielding questions about church planting and campus ministry. I was praying for direction and Adam and I were seeking direction on where we would ultimately spend our life together. I remember praying and all of a sudden the idea of full-time ministry was the only clear answer. It was a crazy answer. I was supposed to teach high school English and I was engaged to a mechanical engineer who was looking at graduate school for nuclear engineering.

But the answer to my prayers was so strong in my heart. Full-time ministry was the only answer.

That left me with the scary task of going home and telling Adam what I believed God was leading us toward. What would he say? Would he think that I had lost my mind? But also, what if he thought I was right? Had we just thrown away years of hard work in college just to be back at square one without a Bible degree?

The words tumbled out of me in the restaurant as I poured my heart out to Adam. He calmly listened and then stared quietly at me. He was a little unsure (he’s more of the steady-and-no-deviating-from-the-plan type). But he promised to pray and think about what I had said. Soon he came back to me with an answer of how he had been hesitant about what our future held and he felt clearly this was the correct direction.

How amazing is our God, that not only did he make the mountains and the ocean, but that He also moves the hearts of people in such a way?

Time and time again, God has shown himself faithful to us. When we take one little step of faith, even in surrender or confusion, God blesses us.

God cleared the way for our decision, leading us across the country to Dallas Theological Seminary. He plunked us down there in our first small church in the land of outrageously large, urban churches, giving us a glimpse of what our future would be in a small-town, small-numbered church. He guided our lives as we learned about building community with neighbors and taught us so much from the Bible during those long hours.

He proved my English degree enhanced my calling as I taught to support Adam through school, edited his papers throughout all of his post-graduate work, and now put those skills to use through the Flowers for the Pastor’s Wife website. God showed Adam that his engineering degree was not in vain, but he’s placed us these last 10 years in the land of engineers near Caterpillar, Inc. headquarters where at least ½ of our congregation are engineers or like-minded folk.

When I hesitate in my calling, as a mother, a pastor’s wife, a writer, a good friend, I look back and see how God has done all of these things. I then try to look at the situation and see how God might use this insecurity to show Himself faithful once again. It doesn’t always take away all the fear, but it allows me to give it back to God and let Him do the work He’s so good at doing.

1 Corinthians 1:9 (ESV)
God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

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About Cara Kipp

Cara and her husband, Adam, have ministered in a small-town church for more than a dozen years. The town is small, but sadly not small enough that she can raise chickens. However, she is raising three plucky kids and a six-toed cat. Since being saved as a teenager, she’s been involved with the local church, using her passion for women and intergenerational ministry in church planting and church strengthening. She has a passion for Jesus, working out, knitting, and coffee.

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