Sometimes we have to make decisions that just don’t make sense…
Sometimes in ministry we have to make decisions that just don’t make sense to the world, to our friends, maybe not even to our families. In fact, we may just find ourselves, standing in front of the mirror one morning, shaking our heads and saying, “You really must be crazy! Are you really going to go through with this?”
I had one of those decision-making moments a few weeks ago. But first, I have to tell you about another moment.
Work was crazy that Friday. Multiple times, I’d had people on both phone lines with two or three customers at my desk, vendors in and out, and residents just passing through. For some reason (I don’t remember why), I was the only one in the office that day.
Suddenly there was a lull. It was quiet for about five minutes. Then my cellphone began to ring. It wasn’t my habit to take personal calls at work, but when I realized it was from one of my single moms, I answered. I listened as she said, “Rachel, I think I have someone you can help.” She went into a very long explanation of a heartbreaking situation. I realized God was opening up an opportunity to walk with a mom in need from the very beginning—before the child was even born. Then someone came into the office, followed by the carpet cleaners, followed by both lines lighting up on the office phone—I had to end the call.
I promised to help in two areas: finding parenting classes (something we would like to do in the future) and chasing down some leads on housing. I squeezed in a visit to LaVie Pregnancy Center later that week and managed to make one call on housing, but there was no answer. Then my job took over again.
Day after day, I tried to get out of the office in time to follow up on other resources for this new mother, but to no avail. Day after day, I drug myself from my desk to my car at the end of the day, having not eaten since breakfast, never had a break, never stopped running—always exhausted. It got to the point that the only time I was making it to the FTN office or to other FTN related work was if there was an actual established appointment with another human being. I was overwhelmed, and keenly aware that I was failing at the work that was most important.
A week after the initial phone call, I received a Facebook message from a friend and FTN partner. “How did it go ministering to that mom this week?” she asked. I cried. Then I answered, “It didn’t.”
The decision had already been made, even before this moment. In fact, even before the initial phone call I had already been talking with my manager about an exit strategy. This incident just drove home the fact that I had made the right decision. God is good, and He has given us a second chance. A week ago, I met with the single mom who originally called me to see if we could help. We had a very good conversation about the situation. Now we wait to see what the needs truly are as things unfold.
But I still had to make that choice, the one others might not understand. I had to resign my job. Not only was the situation destroying opportunities to minister but it had also become very unhealthy. I am convinced that if I stayed even a month more, I would have been in serious trouble health-wise. I praise the Lord for giving me the job, for using the strange way it all unfolded to open the door to get FTN back on its feet after Dad passed away, and I praise Him for answering my prayer and showing me when it was time to walk away.
Now I ask that you pray with me for wisdom for the next step. God has begun to open doors unexpectedly (unexpected to me, not to Him). This week a friend has hosted an online event that has allowed us to share about FTN with several people who are new to the work. In October, Lord willing, I will be in three churches to share about the ministry and to speak to ladies’ groups. Later in the month, I will be attending a meeting in St. Louis where, Lord willing, we will talk about the need for ministry to the fatherless. These are exciting events. I see God’s hand in them, and am excited to see what else He has in store!
Please pray that the Lord will continue to guide and provide. FTN is currently only at 7% of the funding that we estimate we need to be fully functional. This means that neither Mrs. Trout nor I currently receive any personal support through the ministry. I want to give as much energy and time to the ministry as possible. We are trusting that God will provide and give wisdom as we go into this new chapter! I am excited to see what He will do!
If you would be interested in hearing more, in setting up a time for us to share about the ministry, or in partnering with FTN, please feel free to contact me.