I Left A Career I Loved…
A little over two years ago, I decided to leave a career I loved. This was not a decision I took lightly or made easily. One of my closest friends was with me the night I accepted the Mercy Hill residency offer via email, and even then, I struggled with the decision.
For me, ministry was not something I ever really saw myself doing and getting paid for, but when the opportunity arose and the Lord made it clear that He wanted to use me and the gift he had given me for something more—like a ministry residency, the only option was obedience.
In my first year out of college, I went straight into teaching at a local public school. I loved the kids, the challenges that arose, and the people that I got to work with each day. To say the least, I could have been comfortable and successful as an educator for 30+ years if I had stayed. But, as I have learned in the years since I followed Christ, comfort isn’t what Christ is after, holiness is.
Don’t read this and hear that a secular career—especially one that you love and excel at– cannot be used in the Kingdom of God, I hope that’s the opposite of what this gets at. At the heart of it, my teaching career was giving me comfort, and stepping into residency for me meant laying down the comfort and security that I found in my job.
As soon as I chose to fully commit to the residency, I had a lot of hard conversations ahead of me, and there was fear there. Fear of what people might think and fear that I would not be able to raise support and would have risked a salary & benefits package only to be left jobless. Fear that I was not equipped to be in ministry and work in a church.
The reality is that some of my fears did come true—support raising was not easy for me, and it took longer than I had hoped, but God was faithful even in the calls and conversations were no’s. The beauty of residency is that no one expects you to be perfectly equipped to care for people, so while that fear was true, it led me to depend on the Lord to lead in those instances.
In two years, I have seen countless people come to know Christ, I have celebrated baptism and cried with those I’ve counseled. I’ve had discipleship relationships where I’ve seen the Lord open someone’s eyes to the lost and brokenness of the world and seen Him use that to call them to the nations. I have seen the Lord heal and restore and I have gotten to be a part of His great plan for the church.
You might think that you can’t do residency and use your degree or that delaying your career for residency wouldn’t be wise, but standing at the end and looking back over the last two years, I’m confident that I have gotten more leadership development and learning opportunities here than I would have if I had stayed in my field.
I have a wider network of connections and a better understanding of my strengths because of Mercy Hill’s residency, and to boot, I have a master’s degree.
The residency helped build in me holiness and resilience, confidence and contentment. The opportunity for ministry I have been given goes beyond what I could have asked or imagined two years ago, and I am hopeful for how God is going to continue to grow in me a heart for all nations and the local church. I would have missed out on these things had I not said yes to the residency that day, and I can’t help but wonder how God could use you if you’ll only say yes and trust him with your future. Jesus has secured your eternity and so you can also trust Him to hold secure two years of residency. In all things He is worthy.
– Bekah Creech