What a wonderful ministry life my husband and I have had for the past 40+ years! Have I always felt that way? No, as in the early years of our ministry, I didn’t always understand God’s call upon our lives.
We started our marriage and ministry traveling across the United States preaching in various churches. We spent 11 1/2 years meeting pastors, meeting new people in churches and endeavoring to minister where God called us, ministering what He spoke to our hearts. Life was good! We loved traveling and ministering in churches despite the fact that we moved every week, lived out a suitcase, lived in hotels and ate in restaurants. Some of you reading this may think, “What a miserable life!” We loved it, were happy and fulfilled because that was God’s call upon our lives.
From that point in our lives and ministry, things begin to change. By that I mean, change and transition because transition is change. Transition, for me, hasn’t always been easy. I have even fought against it at times. However, the changes and transitions I have fought against have turned out to be the greatest times of adventure and fulfillment and blessings in my life.
...the changes and transitions I have fought against have turned out to be the greatest times of adventure and fulfillment and blessings in my life.
I can remember the first major transition for us was when a church called us to be their pastor. We had been traveling for almost 12 years and had the traveling “thing” down pretty good. We had a system, we had a routine (at least, what we called a routine), we had a rhythm. Then a church called us and asked us to pray about becoming their pastor. I told my husband, “I am NOT moving to ____________ and pastoring that church.” My husband responded, “Ok. That’s fine. If God tells me to go pastor that church, I’m going. You are welcome to stay here. Here’s how much the house payment is and you are welcome to stay.” After about 10 minutes, I walked into his office and said, “If God calls you to go then I’m going to.” Now before you make any judgement toward my husband, you have to understand. He knew I would follow him wherever God called us. I just needed to know that he was praying and would hear from God.
I fought against moving to that place and pastoring that church even though I knew deep down that it was God’s will for our lives. I did finally surrender my will to God’s will and talked to myself daily. I spoke Psalms 40:8 to myself almost daily. “I delight to do Your will, O my God.” The result? I loved our time there, was so fulfilled and thought we would be there for life. Little did I know that God would move us two years later. Another transition I didn’t want but we both knew God was calling us to leave. I have to be honest with you. I loved pastoring. I loved having the security of a paycheck every week. That transition led us to moving to Ukraine, which totally changed our lives and ministry.
“Thank You, God. I couldn’t see the plan at the time but You knew.”
Change and transition have never been easy for me. There has never been a transition that was something that I had been dreaming, praying or asking God for. They have been things that I never thought I would be doing, things I felt uncomfortable doing and things that required a physical move. I am thankful that I have a husband who prays, hears from God and obeys the voice of the Holy Spirit. We never make a move until we both are in agreement and we move together in unity.
We just completed another major transition, which required a major move from a place that I loved! This one has been the hardest transition and change in my life. Again, one I didn’t want but knew that it was God’s plan. So again, I surrender to His way and His plan. Jim and I have always lived our lives by this motto, “Obedience always commands the blessings of God.” Already, I can see God’s hand in this transition. I don’t understand God’s ways because they are higher than my ways. So, I look forward to the adventure that lies ahead, knowing that I will look back and say, “Thank You, God. I couldn’t see the plan at the time but You knew.”
I have learned to hold onto homes, positions and possessions lightly and not allow myself to get too comfortable. As we finished our move and transitioned to a different city and home this past summer, I thought, “Don’t get too comfortable, Pam. God has yet another adventure.” The best is yet to come! The best is yet to come for you, too, as you say, “Yes, Lord, to Your will and to Your way!”
Uncomfortable Surrender is the final entry in October's blog series, Transition. To read the first three entries, click here. Are you walking through an uncomfortable surrender in transition? Share your thoughts or prayer need with us in the comments below.
Pam King is a lover of God, her husband, her children, her grandchildren, and her life's work in ministry. Alongside her husband, Jim, Pam has been in full-time ministry for approximately 40 years, with 30 years spent in missionary evangelism to Ukraine and Israel. Pam's "no-nonsense" approach to life and ministry has made her a viable resource in teaching and speaking on a myriad of subjects, including a personal favorite of "Marriage and Family". The Kings are the founders of Awaking Hope. The mission of Awaking Hope is "to follow Christ and His example of bringing hope and healing to people, to awaken hope in the hearts of those whose hope has grown dim, and to extend a helping hand to those less fortunate.