Back in February I had a quick conversation with a near-stranger whose words linger in my heart today.
Due to the nature of my job, we often get authors and artists who visit our building and speak in employee chapel meetings. One lady was Nicole Unice. I remembered Nicole right away when I saw the announcement for her chapel because I recalled her post in the Women in Ministry series last year. It was one of my favorites.
After Nicole spoke, I went up to talk with her briefly. I try to keep from doing a strange, I don’t want to be “groupie” but I love your calling and your ministry and your heart and could we best friends and have coffee? dance. I shared my name with Nicole, told her I remembered her previous post in the series, and also shared my love for leadership in the church. She gave me an inspirational quote from Grey’s Anatomy and mentioned she could tell I must have the gift of teaching based on my background and current role in curriculum.
Now, this is not terribly big news to me. I’ve known I have that gift since high school.
The thing is I really haven’t been using it much.
I spent thirteen years doing children’s and youth ministry, and I got pretty burnt out with being in the classroom setting. I’ve been kind of lost since then.
Part of it is I don’t think I knew that I even could teach where I truly feel called and gifted. I’ve had to discover my freedom in that area. Plus, I don’t think it has been the right timing much in the last few years.
But I believe it’s time now. As I mentioned, I continue to think about that brief conversation on a February morning. Immediately after speaking with Nicole, I was grateful for an opportunity that had already been planned to speak at a MOPS group in April. I have been pursuing more teaching since that time, with plans to lead a parenting class at our church in the fall. It feels like a renewed passion.
Truthfully, I’m surprised to find my desires shifting slightly this year. I do love writing still, and teaching lends itself to preparing and weaving ideas together in similar ways. I also don’t want to abandon building relationships in any way to simply stand in a room and give information to people. My relationships are absolutely vital to how God speaks to me and shapes me so I can use my gift of teaching.
Recently, Sharon Hodde Miller tweeted:
I love writing and teaching, but I’m beginning to see that the offerings of time and relationship yielded the most plentiful Kingdom harvest.
I couldn’t agree more.
I’m interested in how this will all unfold. I’m looking forward to sharing my love for God and Scripture and family in ways I haven’t been able to in a long time.
I’m grateful for that brief conversation with Nicole when winter was preparing to turn to spring. I can tell she loves teaching and writing too. But she offered her time in those few minutes. I benefitted from the relational moments. I hope for those future moments of connection when I am able offer an inspirational quote too (possibly from One Tree Hill?) and share what I see God doing—in His church, in others, and also in me.