Ministry Calling Courage
My name is Elizabeth Cook and I have ministry calling courage in the Lord. I live in the beautiful state of Michigan in the United States of America. My father was the pastor of our church and I grew up sitting at the front of the church listening to the living history of the Bible and the grace of God. I made the decision to follow Christ at such a young age that I don’t actually remember making the decision, yet, that decision was real. As a young child of eight, I re-dedicated my life to the Lord, praying and saying that I do believe and that I want to go where God wants me to go, and do what God wants me to do. I became a nurse because my mother was a nurse and always seemed to know what to do and to say and how to take care of people. I knew that in following God’s leading I wanted to have what my mother had. Fast forward, my wonderful husband Jason and I have been married for almost 12 years. We have three delightful children ages 6, 3, and 13 months. God has taught me more and more about my own personal struggles by being a wife and mother.
I felt the strong calling to women’s ministry a year and a half ago. Previously, I participated in short-term missions, pregnancy resource center, Bible camp nurse volunteer, and children’s ministry. While participating in a study of I Timothy, I realized that God calls all of us to a ministry. He gives us ministry calling courage, whether it be in working in the hospital and ministering to co-workers who do not even realize yet their need for a savior, working as a production engineer and demonstrating God’s love to co-workers who are believers while interacting with customers/suppliers with godly integrity, or being a stay-at-home mom who disciples her children and encourages her small group, and uplifts the women around her. Here is where my calling has currently brought me. I am a stay-at-home mother who has three little disciples as of yet. I home educate my children. I am a co-leader of our small group, leading the women of our small group. God’s calling to me is to encourage women in general and moms of young children specifically. My dream is to find a sustainable way to provide godly, Christ-centered encouragement to women. I am unsure in what capacity that will be.
Ministry in the USA requires constant vigilance against complacency. Christian life in our current location is not ‘hard.’ Yet, it is easy to believe in self-reliance, which leads us away from God. Many Christians have lived their lives believing in the “god” of self-reliance. The result is crushing. The realization of the inability to ‘make things happen.’ Coming to grips with having believed a lie. My dream/calling/goal in ministry is to help reveal God’s truth to women in a way that is uplifting, enlightening and encouraging. The truth that God is reliable, that God holds us in His hands and that God loves us regardless of our faults. I feel this calling because I know that God has a calling for each woman and that staying crushed is not that calling. I want to encourage women to stand up, take hold of God’s promises and live strong, victorious lives. I want to help develop the godly knowledge of women so that they can take that knowledge back to their children and raise up young men and women with ministry calling courage.
This Getting Started Class at Christian Leaders Institute has been wonderful. Through our marriage, my husband and I have been slowly incorporating more rhythms of worship into our home. This class has encouraged me to continue to further those rhythms. We are currently cultivating a practice of personal, couple, and family prayer into our home and into our devotions. A desire of our heart is to add worshipful singing in our home. Each of the classes and reading material has encouraged my heart, added to my knowledge of church history, and complimented my personal devotions. I love Steve Elzinga’s comment, “Devotions aren’t just one of the things. It IS the thing.” Reading the Bible strengthens my faith, encourages my heart, gives me hope, and gives me the ‘spine’ of raising my children and provides the substance of my encouragement to others. I need MORE of it! That is why I am pursuing formal study of the Bible through Christian Leaders Institute. I am a stay at home mom and would not otherwise be able to ‘go’ to classes on a weekly basis. My husband and I are committed to remaining debt free, and although we do not struggle financially, going to a Bible school would be a financial burden. A scholarship to CLI would alleviate that concern. My husband and I feel that there may be changes in our future for our calling. Whether that is movement or a renewed calling in our local area we are unsure. Part of ‘preparing’ for what God has called us to is to increase our knowledge, understanding, and faith. ‘Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks,’ (Luke 6:45). I want the overflow of my heart to come from God’s truths. My ministry calling is not so public that my church has a specific interest. However, my schooling can only stand to benefit my local and global church.
Specific prayers for me and the calling God has placed on my heart would be to find a sustainable and effective way to encourage the women around me in God’s truth and whether or not to pursue a blog in that same ministry calling courage.
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