God Found My Niche But It Wasn’t What I Wanted

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“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.”  Proverbs 3:5, 6

God found my niche for me…you know, that place God has for you when you grow up and become a responsible adult. It wasn’t even on the radar screen of what I wanted to do with my life.

As a child, I loved to read. I read so much my parents limited me to three books a week. I would go to the library just to be there among the books. My favorite library, in San Ysidro, CA, had an old book musty smell. If I close my eyes and think hard enough, I can conjure up the smell. Best. Smell. Ever. I desired to be a librarian where I could hang with books every day.

Low on my list of career choices was ministering to children.

I love my sisters, always have and always will. However, from the age of ten until I left home at seventeen, a large portion of my life involved babysitting my three younger sisters. (I had a sister a year older than me who babysat too.)

We made great memories…playing baseball in our tiny trailer and accidentally blowing up the stove (long story), me cooking inedible food for supper, having fashion shows, putting on plays, dropping Alka-Seltzer into bottles of coke (messy fun), sneaking out of the yard trying not to get caught before our parents came home. But I also missed out on hanging with friends, going to football games, parties and dates.

Once I left home, although I enjoyed being with my sisters, I had no desire to spend more time with a bunch of kids. Been there, done that. And yet, God had other plans.

At first, I fought His calling like crazy.

A pastor needed a Sunday School teacher and he begged me to do it until I relented. Hated it. I traveled with an evangelistic team for four years; for one year I conducted children crusades as the child evangelist. Endured it. I worked as a secretary at a large church in Chula Vista, CA. The Christian Education director wanted me to be a part of the bus ministry and teach Sunday School. I agreed to help even though I felt coerced into it.

Somewhere along the way, I began to embrace the idea I did have a call in my life to work with children. An eighth-grade all-boys Sunday School class clinched it for me. I loved those crazy boys and, after that, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

Since then, I’ve taught Sunday School and Children’s Church, been a Christian Education director, been involved in Wednesday night outreaches, and summer programs. I’ve been to kid camps and teen camps. For several years I taught at a church school. I loved teaching kindergarteners how to read and high schoolers how to balance their checkbooks. Later in life, I tutored reading and grammar while helping to homeschool a couple of my grandchildren.

At seventy years of age, I’m still hanging with the young’uns at church and home. You can tell which yard is mine by all the neighborhood kiddos sitting in my crabapple tree and eating popsicles.

I never would’ve picked kids as my ministry choice. Thankfully, God did. I don’t regret allowing God to direct my steps because He knew all along where I belonged. My life is rich and full. Spending time with children has a lot to do with the satisfaction I feel. Some of my best friends are sixty years younger than me.

If you’re kicking against God’s will for your life, maybe you should quit fighting Him and allow Him to direct your path. Trust Him to know what’s best for your life.

Be like Isaiah. “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”  Isaiah 6:8, 9