Written By Guest Blogger: Evangelist Wallisa Lankford
We both grew up in church, his father was in Ministry, and my grandmother hauled my cousins and me to church. Our story was not the typical meet in church and fall in love as you hear or see on TV (or should I say like Josh and Cheryl’s). There were actions and adversities to our story that was not pleasing to God, but we overcame them. In 2009, we were married with one child together and pregnant with our son. Aug/Sept 2009, my husband Keith told me that the Lord had called him into Ministry to preach. My first response was “stop playing with me” because he is such a jokester. After the initial shock, I think I was still trying to grasp what he had told me. My second response was, “he called you, not me.” My third response was a forceful acceptance; it hit me when he was on the pulpit on Oct 17, 2009, giving his initial sermon. This was a change I was not willing to embrace.
Here I am, a young mother still recovering from childhood traumas, with her first child out of wedlock, one on the hip and now a minister’s wife. I just knew God was playing a joke or something. I started to think about all types of things. My number one thing was being judged. Will I have to change who I am or how I act to please “church people”? Am I not allowed to go out and have fun because of my husband’s title? All these things were running through my head. During this time, I reverted to what I knew; I tuned everything out and focused on my children. Which was NOT GOOD! I was existing and not living. I became resentful because this is not what I signed up for. These thoughts were starting to weigh heavily on me, so I began to pray, read, and seek guidance from my First Lady. Her words encouraged and lifted me so much. She told me to “get out my head” and made me realize nothing changed besides Keith sitting on the pulpit and preaching. She then told me to “pray and ask God to release any and all ought and confusion I may have” and to go out on a date with my husband (LOL).
A scripture crossed my sight. Psalms 61: 1-2 KJV (1. Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. 2. From the end of the earth, will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I). I knew my flesh was not going to be able to release the frustration I had. As I read and reread this scripture and honestly give it over to God, was I able to release all that resentment I had built up for no reason. God began to move and work. My marriage grew stronger because I now wanted to pray with him not out of obligation to him, but to communicate with God on our behalf, our children, family, and friends. I wanted to grow closer to him so that my praise and worship became authentic again.
As my relationship grew with Christ, I have learned that God indeed has a sense of humor. Remember I told you my response was “he called you, not me” well in 2015 while pregnant with our son, God called me to preach the word. No matter how much I wanted to shake the feeling or ignore the call. He made it so that I would hear it through my Pastors sermons, a scripture text I was reading/studying, and even though my husband. So yes! I embraced the changed and God indeed is working in my family’s life.
I said all that to say; sometimes we are our own hindrance. We block our blessing or calling for fear of what others may think or say. When God has a calling on your life, you can run and hide all you want. He will reveal to you just what it is he would have you to do. It may not be preaching; it can be singing, serving on the usher board, serving as a volunteer in the soup kitchen, or helping family and friends with their children. Do not let fear from your past hinder you from walking in your calling. God allowed you to go through it to bring someone else through. The question is, will you answer YES LORD and embrace your change to receive all that God has for you?