MANY WHO KNOW we are currently seeking our next call have asked how we know when a call is from God. He has used many ways to guide us. To give you an idea, below is PART I of what I wrote after our move to Orlando in 2006:
Wow, the only word to describe the last year of our lives. A little over a year ago, Sam and I both began to feel unsettled. We had a sense of spiritual restlessness. We were content in our jobs, he at the church and I at the Police Department. Sam had been at the church for almost ten years, six of them as head pastor.
Through love of Christ, Sam led his flock through considerable change that impacted the entire city. “To love this city into a relationship with Christ” was his mantra. And that is exactly what happened. He loved the church and led by example. He was the Chaplain of the Orange Fire Department and also filled in as the Police Department Chaplain. Sam also played a major role organizing hurricane relief after the storms that devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005. Within three days he was able to get over 85,000 people fed at least once a day.
I worked as a 911 Dispatcher and mom. I loved the Dispatcher job and felt called to the position. It was a hard job, but each moment knew I was supposed to be there.
God caught our attention when in a one-month span, Sam received calls and letters from five different churches. Wisely, he sought counsel from his mentors for prayer. During this process the head pastor of a church in Orlando, received one of Sam’s requests for prayer, and immediately responded with a position that was open at his church. Sam being content where he was, this was not the answer Sam had been looking for.
During this same period, I heard of about a position opening at the Fire Department. It was the perfect position. Instead of twelve-hour shift work, the position was nine to five with all nights, weekends and holidays off. Anyone would be crazy not to try for it! I applied, but never had peace about it. The job was offered to me, but instantly I knew this was not where God wanted me.
Hoping to talk to Sam about it, I came home, but he had another meeting at the church. I tried calling friends, but no one was home. So, I went to my daughter who was six years old. I went to her at bedtime and told her I had been offered a great position but was not sure if I should take it. Her response came directly from God, “Mom, when Jesus speaks to us He speaks to our hearts, what is your heart telling you to do?” Okay, I was in shock! Recovering, I wiped the tears away and knew what I had to do.
Early the next morning I made the call to the fire department to decline the position. During the day, I received lots of calls asking if I had lost my mind. I knew I had done the right thing. Within an hour of my declining the position, Sam received a call from the church in Orlando to set up a telephone interview. When Sam called to tell me about the call, I knew we would be moving to Orlando.
Sam called his mentors for advice. Each thought it sounded like a good opportunity, but did not see Sam in an associate pastor position. Each advised him to pursue the position to see if God led us to Orlando, or it might confirm for him to stay where we were.
The following Friday was the telephone interview. I sat at work praying for Sam. Two hours later he called. The interview had gone great and they wanted him to come to Orlando for another interview.
STAY TUNED FOR PART II of Knowing His Call