Choosing opportunities is an everyday, life-long process. "Have you been praying?" are words I will never forget that have helped me make decisions, and rely on God.
The weekend before our wedding, my husband and I ran into a friend who had asked if he could give our information to a pastor and we said yes. That day was the start of something huge in our marriage because a few weeks later my husband received a phone call from the pastor about scheduling a meeting with some of the members, so we agreed to go for a visit. My first experience ever in a search committee meeting was pretty intense. I didn't think they would ask me any questions. I thought to myself, "I am just the wife." Well, I was wrong! I had so many questions directed towards me that I had to respond. After the meeting, I told my husband there was no way we were serving at this church. Weeks went by, and I was so set in my ways until my husband said, "Have you been praying?"
We served as youth ministers here for two years, and during those years I learned to be patient and grateful. It was rewarding to see seeds being planted in our youth. At this moment, I knew God had called us to something bigger than ourselves. This verse comes to mind, "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV).
It is okay to struggle with knowing which opportunities to take. Our pastor gave us some wise advice; he said, "Go where you have to rely on God the most." Serving alongside my husband, I struggled with finding my place. I have always struggled with comparing myself to others and being insecure about myself. I would constantly question myself about not being able to answer every question or why would a student want to meet with me. God has revealed to me that I just need to be available and completely surrender to the chances He makes available. Jesus said, "No procrastination. No backward looks. You can't put God's kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day" (Luke 9:62, MSG).
The opportunities with God are endless, but do we choose to take advantage of them? Being a minister's wife can be overwhelming and stressful. So many times in ministry I am asked to grab a cup of coffee, or grab lunch, and I say yes often. Oftentimes, my first inclination is to say no. (sometimes I do say no, and I know it is okay to do so). Selfishness comes in, but then God so quickly reminds me of His grace and love. God reminds me that He does not need me to fulfill His plans, but He still allows me to make the choice to be His hands and feet. We need to be women who are strong and courageous, who are slow to speak and quick to listen. We need women who take every opportunity and use it to glorify Christ. We might not know what decision to make at all times, but when we decide to rely on the Holy Spirit we will have a winning attitude. This is more important than knowing what to do at all times.
Le-Ana is the wife of Daniel Ward, who is currently the Associate Director of the Texas State University BSM. Le-Ana loves to go on walks with Daniel and their dog, Duke, as well as watch movies and worship.