“Trudy, I’d like to meet with you. I believe the Lord revealed some things to me while you were speaking.” My pastor spoke these words almost two weeks ago, the weekend of the conference on overcoming sexual abuse. “But not right now. Go ahead and finish your next talk, and then email me next week sometime.”
I don’t remember if that is word for word, but it’s close enough. The message is precisely what he said. I cheerfully, and confidently, agreed to meet him, and promised to contact him early in the week.
The mind gremlins didn’t miss the opportunity to swing a blow. “You probably said something way off theologically. He probably doesn’t like how you speak… wants to tell you what to say and how to say it in the future…. Probably…. Probably… Probably…. And remember how this bishop, or that preacher, or another leader called you for a meeting, just to accuse, to judge, to condemn… No preacher or pastor calls to just encourage… You did something wrong…”
They got the floor all of about that long before I said, “No. I won’t listen to that. I am doing my best to honour my God, and if I need correction, I will receive it with grace. I know my pastor. He is a man of God. He has done battle with me and for me, so I will not be afraid. He will be humble.”
“But, it’s your first meeting and if it’s correction, how will you live with it? If it’s just to set you straight, what will you do? How will you cope? What if it destroys you?”
I called three close friends in the ensuing days and asked them to pray. I shared my struggle, and the background to that struggle. And then, thank God, I laid it down.
The meeting was this past Wednesday morning, at 10:00am. I walked into my pastor’s office with courage, with confidence and a readiness to be ‘led’ by a man who has already gotten his hands ‘bloody’ in spiritual battle for me. He’s a man who, when I’ve been up against heavy battle, has called to leave a prayer on my answering machine. Never a word of discouragement. He has challenged me when he saw me go astray. Never a word of condemnation. He has extended grace and told me ‘Jesus already paid for that’, when I confessed a sin. God placed him in my life, to lead by example, and show me the Father’s heart.
Pastor Rob welcomed me, and we got started. For the next 90 minutes, or so, he blessed me, encouraged me, and told me how he, and my other church leaders, believe in God’s call on my life. They have my back. They stand with me. Yes, God has sent me to the front lines, but they are there with me.
And then he said he wants to share something God had spoken to him the conference weekend.
(Mind Gremlins: enter. ‘Here’s the part he really called you in for….’)
Instead of a judgement, Pastor Rob shared that there was something he really felt God leading me into… something that might be a new thought, or maybe God may have put it in my heart…
“I think God wants you to write a book, Trudy,” he said. “And I think I’m supposed to help and support you. I don’t know what that means….”
We talked, we explored and then we prayed. Before I walked out the door I said, “If God gives you an outline for this book, will you share it with me? I can pop out a book, if you give me that outline.” That’s where I struggle. I can write my life story…. I can write a story… But a ‘teaching’ book, that’s different. I don’t know how to lay it out. Don’t know how to plan from A to Z, and get the letters in the right order.
Pastor Rob lit up. That’s an area of giftedness in him. Something he’s good at. He will be thinking and praying about that.
I didn’t have the presence of mind to say, “By the way, you should know this… I’ve been longing for someone to do this for me.” I’ve said something numerous times to friends and other authors, maybe even whispered a little prayer, asking God for someone. And there he was, in the form of a pastor, a church leader, who believes in the dream God has brought to life in my heart and spirit.
I stand amazed… Truly amazed. Healing comes, so often, through those representing the very avenues of pain. A father who stands in the gap… a mother… and, yes, a pastor.
For the first time in my life I was glad I got called into a meeting with the pastor. I told Pastor Rob that. Thanked him for being the first pastor in my life to call me in for a meeting just to bless me.
In that moment, I got another glimpse of God, as a life-giving, encouraging Father…
© Trudy Metzger
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