|Posted by Susan McGeown on 23 March, 2010 at 10:17|
I was raised in a Christian home. I have no memory when Church, God, and Prayer were not an integral part of my life. My parents, married for 45 years, have shown a faithful commitment to God even through the hardest of times including the death of one child at 11 due to Cystic Fibrosis. I remember standing at the bedside of my mother in 1998, as she lay there recovering from a surgery to remove a brain tumor. My younger sister that same month had just finished her radiation treatment for nonHodgkin’s lymphoma. I said, “I don’t know what to tell everyone, Mom. They keep saying, ‘How could God let this happen?’ I just don’t have agood answer…” “Oh Susan,” she said, “don’t you think that the Lord is grieving right along with us? This is not a perfect world, we don’t have perfect bodies. I have every confidence that He is in control of all of this and He is right here beside us as we go through it.” That’s the kind of parents I grew up with…
At age 8, I made the personal decision to ask the Lord to come into my heart and be My Savior. This was not something in character for me, nor was it a whim or just done because everyone else was doing it. I was a shy, quiet, regularly-terrified-of-everything type of child. To go through all the motions involved inmaking a profession of faith: making the initial request and standing before the church, interviewing with the Pastor, attending the special baptismal classes, meeting and being questioned by the deacon board, and participating in the full submersion baptism, truly was the Holy Spirit’s work. I remember feeling not alone. I remember feeling comfort when I was fearful. I rememberbeing unable to NOT take this journey. At 8 years old, this still is the defining moment for me in my spiritual journey. It was not until I was much older that I realized what a gift this was, this personal calling.
The desire to be a teacher has been with me from about age 6. I kept a journal, as soon as I could write, of things I would and would not do as a teacher. My high school guidance counselor tried to discourage me from this path as it was not a “promising professional choice” at that time. It was another instance of me being unable to NOT take the journey. My chosen profession is part of my spiritual journey because so much of what I am about has to do with my love of teaching. The Lord has made this gift in me His Tool. It was not until I was much older that I realized what a gift this was, this knowing what I wanted to be.
It was through my professional successes that I gained personal confidences. Through my 20’s I became an opinionated, outspoken, confident young woman. It was not a smooth journey. It was not necessarily an exemplary journey. But the Lord was always there, always faithful, always consistent. My spiritual journey in my twenties taught me to be thankful in all things – good and bad. It was in my twenties that I learned that even the difficult parts of life must be lived through to get to the places where He wants you to be.
My thirties brought marriage and motherhood. If there is a lesson to be learned there, it is that some things are worth that wait – even for over thirty years. Marriage, to a man who supported, encouraged and inspired you, helped me achieve things I didn’t even know to dream about.
In my thirties I went from the mother of one child, to two children, to three children. I also became a Children’s minister, a deacon, Preschool Committee Chair, the Head of the Deacons, led a Bible study out of my home , and was one of three people on the Pastor Oversight Committee at our old church. I led meetings, organized church functions, and helped get a preschool up and running. I regularly found myself in very difficult situations making tough decisions, writing strong directives and dealing with people that would have at one point in my life intimidated me into speechlessness. I cannot tell you how many times I got in my car after a very difficult late night meeting and thought, “Who was that person speaking so eloquently and diplomatically in there? Where in the world did those words come from?!?” Although it came from my mouth, it was not me speaking. In those difficult times I grew more spiritually then I ever had in my entire life. During my thirties, I learned that anyone – regardless of race or gender – can do anything if the Lord wants them to. It was during this part of my spiritual journey that I came to the passionate belief that those who exclude women in positions of authority in a church just because of gender are wrong.
Here I am in my forties now. My spiritual journey is not over! This little Baptist girl seems to be headed toward becoming an Old Reformed Woman. Ha. I like realizing that while religions distinguish themselves because of different histories and methods of worship there are still many who recognize Christ asThe Way, The Truth and The Life. Whether I call myself Baptist or Reformed, the important thing is that I am using what the Lord has given me in a way that pleases Him. I still am passionately involved in my Ladies Home Bible Study. We’ve studied all the women of the Bible, all the major religions, and now we’re working through the men of the Bible. We’ve been meeting faithfully for over 4 years. I’ve enjoyed running VBS here at NBRC two years in a row and I don’t think Joy’s going to let me escape for quite a while. I’m now doing the Young Pioneers and having a hoot with that. Joy’s got me signed up for teaching the Adult Class for three weeks in January. I have fun seeing where the Lord is sending me. David and I have a saying,“Breathless Anticipation of Things to Come.” We know the Lord won’t give us any less than we already have, but we really wonder sometimes, can it really get any better?
Categories: Spiritual Tidbits