My call to ministry began in 2009. My family had moved the year before from East Texas and settled in a midsized rural town making our home on a small rural acreage in a well-developed subdivision in Southwestern Oklahoma. We had decided upon this location for ease of access to our extended families being halfway between each set of parents. We began attending one of the local churches participating in many of the activities yet not fully invested in any ministry. God began to lay upon my heart a burden to help struggling families utilizing God’s word as a foundation from which to build upon.
I knew I had been built for a purpose, I had so many good and not so good life experiences from which I learned a lot about myself and my relationship with God. Those experiences shaped me and strengthened my relationship with Christ. As I began to pray about what this ministry might look like to God I knew I would draw from those experiences and use them to help others. II Corinthians 1:3-5 says that we receive our comfort from Christ and we in turn can then comfort others with that same comfort (paraphrased).
Over the course of my lifetime God began to steer my career path from nursing to social work to counseling. As I prayed, searching for direction and clarity on my calling God began to direct my counseling practice from secular to faith based. At the same time placing people in my path that needed to hear the word of God spoken into their problem. People who needed to know the lifesaving hope that only comes from Jesus.
God also placed a gift of writing and speaking within me when he made me. Over the years I have utilized that gift in a variety of ways; in school, at my job, as a tool to cope and in my daily quiet time to be able to reflect back upon the goodness of God in my life. I began to understand that I would use this gift to benefit the kingdom of God.
After my husband’s conversion a restlessness overtook us in our current church and after much prayer and searching we began to attend a different church within the community. We had attended this church for a couple of years participating in activities becoming more and more involved in various ministries; when my husband and I believed we were to begin a ministry to help other couples form strong, healthy relationships with God as the foundation. This ministry stalled as we detoured into separate ministries in our church; he into men’s ministry and myself into women’s ministry. It was a growing period for both as preparation for the next phase of God’s plan.
I believe my Heavenly father has a desire to see me utilize my gifts and abilities to further the kingdom of God. I believe God’s plan for me includes writing, speaking and a ministry to families in need. I believe God is leading me to at some point be a counselor in the church, a speaker for creating strong families using God’s word and a writer of faith based books on various topics. Until He takes me there I am learning and growing as a follower. I am a Christian counselor within my community and have the blessing of being able to lead a ministry within my church to help families in our church and community grow and become strengthened as couples in Christ.
Copyright © 2016 Melanie McKinley. All Rights Reserved.