Monday, March 1, 2010

Longing To Find My Niche

 There are many opportunities to minister in my church to be sure.  As a younger mom, I feel like I'm automatically pegged for children's ministry.  The truth is, I do not care for it and don't feel led in that direction at all.  I find it tests my patience and I leave feeling more frustrated than fulfilled. I love being a mom. I adore my children. However, I do not feel that God has called me to children's ministry, nor has he gifted me in that way. Am I the only one who can't seem to figure out where she fits in the body of Christ?  I do feel that way sometimes.  Everyone else has their little ministry and niche in the church, but I can't seem to find my place.  I have been praying for a ministry that uses the gifts and experiences that God has given me. 

In my quest to find my niche I took a spiritual gifts test I found online at  According to the instructions on how to 'read' the results, I am to look at the list of gifts below and pick the gift, or two, in which I ranked the highest score. These gifts would probably be one of my primary gifts.

These are my results:
Exhortation - 12
Giving - 8
Leadership - 7
Mercy - 15
Prophecy - 6
Service - 11
Teaching - 8

MERCY: to be sensitive toward those who are suffering, whether physically, mentally, or emotionally, so as to feel genuine sympathy with their misery, speaking words of compassion but more so caring for them with deeds of love to help alleviate their distress.

EXHORTATION: to come along side of someone with words of encouragement, comfort, consolation, and counsel to help them be all God wants them to be.

I am not surprised by these results.   I've always been one to write notes of encouragement to someone going through an illness or trial; to see the one person in the room looking awkward and uncomfortable and go make them feel comfortable; to bring a neighbor and their sick family a pot of soup; to cry over an e-mail I receive of a friend who has had another miscarriage, or to sing in church with the desire to touch the hearts of the people hearing.... I find immense satisfaction in doing those types of things.  If indeed mercy and exhortation are my gifts, I understand  now why doing these things brings me such satisfaction!  It is satisfying to use the gifts that God  gives us!

As I read the definition for both of these my heart quickened in affirmation.  I really would like to use in a ministry the things God has taught me during my first pregnancy and my recent health issues.  I have to admit sometimes I question God.  Was there a purpose in allowing me to go through a life-threatening illness and a liver transplant?  Deep down I feel like He must have bigger plans for this than just changing me.  At the moment I do not see how God is using this experience in my life to minister to others.  It is a struggle that brings me to tears.  "Why God?  What are you doing?"   Is it wrong for me to want so badly for there to be more of a purpose to that experience than just changing me?  In a sense I guess it would justify the experience.  I desire a ministry in which I can sympathize with the physical and emotional struggles of others because I've been through similar struggles. A ministry in which I can share the lessons He has taught me through those struggles to comfort and encourage.  A ministry in which I can bless others as I have been blessed by caring believers.

 In writing this blog God has encouraged me. Although I am not part of an organized ministry using these particular gifts, I can continue to use these gifts doing the things I have already been doing.  I pray that God will open my eyes even more to ways that I can be of encouragement and comfort to others. So here I sit, still praying and waiting on God to direct me into the 'right' ministry; yet with renewed purpose and direction.
Romans 12:4-8 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

1 comment:

Tiffany said...

Oh, Melissa. We are so very much a like. It is always hard for me to find my niche at church, too. But like you I love encouraging others with cards and other acts of kindness. I do think that your blog (although not connected with church) is an incredible ministry. You never know who God will lead to your site to read your story and be changed because of your testimony! Praying for you.