by Pamela Gonzalez – Director of Communications / Valpo FUMC
I admit it. I read today’s devotion four times before I fully understood it’s meaning. My mind kept going back to a very personal experience that I’d like to share with you that I’ve kept pretty much to myself for years. Hopefully, my experience it will also help you in your reading today.
I have a musical background. Classically trained on the piano, singing, and drama production. I ended up becoming a part of a dynamic new church and soon ended up as music/drama director and worship production director.
For three years I worked very hard but they were the best and most meaningful years of my life. The ministry was dynamic. Weekly attendance grew by hundreds of people every year and I had free reign to do whatever I wished. We accomplish so much and I found fulfillment like I never could have imagined. There were no funds in the beginning to hire me but as time went on the pastor kept telling me to hang on, the day would come.
After three years it was finally time to hire for that position but the pastor told me he couldn’t hire me because I was a woman and women couldn’t be in a position of authority over men. (I guess it was okay when I was free.) I was devastated.
I cried out to God over the injustice. I begged Him to find a way to use me that would be as fulfilling and meaningful as the last three years had been. But God was silent. I felt myself falling away, throwing out all my Christian music and destroying all my ministry books and paperwork. I remember driving in my car and verbally telling God that if He ever wanted to use me again he would have to come and drag me because I would never seek to serve in church ministry again. In the last 20 years since that time, I have only sat at the piano a handful of times. I’ve not sung in front of a microphone since then and I’ve told several people that my painful experience caused a part of me to die.
Today’s reading had me take a good hard look at my life. I came to the realization that my problem is that only part of me died way back then and that more of me should have. Perhaps then, God wouldn’t have been silent all these years. Perhaps He could truly have used me, but I didn’t fully surrender. Can I find the strength to put the rest of myself on the cross so that my resurrection can be realized? He can’t truly use me until I do.