Writte By: Vicki Johnson
As a girl growing up I had dreamed of creating unforgettable characters like the ones I’d watched on the Carol Burnett Show. I tried out for every school play that came along. The love for acting shadowed me all my life.
I met and married my husband and we talked about the call to ministry, raising children, and the possibility of incorporating my love of acting into the mix. Twelve years and five kids later, my desire for acting was upstaged as my role as wife and mother assumed the lead. Discontentment eased into my heart as I watched my husband thrive in his call as Pastor. All the while I withered inside as I tried to fulfill my call as helpmeet and chief nose-wiper. I hated the resentment that was growing in me. I hated the constraints I felt were holding me back from realizing my “full potential.” Passion seeks its own satisfaction, whatever the cost.
God and I had some intense conversations, aka monologues, where I begged Him to take away my desire to act but secretly prayed that He wouldn’t. The struggle within me got pretty ugly.
I believe the Lord showed me in a dream what I really was asking for. In it I saw my husband with our children walking the streets of our town, trying to track me down. I had left them to pursue my “dream.” David got a lead as to where he would find me and it brought him to a grungy sweat shop where I slavishly labored at a sewing machine. I glanced up and saw the desperate love on his face as he waited for me to come to him. Then I awoke. The meaning of that dream hit me like a ton of bricks. Was I really willing to forfeit my godly calling as wife and mother for bondage to a passion?
Surrender to the Lord often comes in bits and pieces. Over a number of years the conflict in me slowly died, along with the hunger to act. My desire to be faithful to David and the kids strengthened, outweighing my need to be in the limelight. My passion now was to be content in God, seeking His will, whatever the circumstances may bring.
Whew! Lesson learned.
Then one autumn day, my pastor hubby handed me a script with five character monologues, each one was 8-10 minutes long, for each week of the Advent season. “I’d like to preach sermons based on these characters,” he said. “Would you be willing to help me out? I know you’d do a great job.”
Wha-a-t?! Is this a test, God? I thought we closed this chapter in my life. How do I answer him? The blessed contentment I had been enjoying until that point began to fade. To be honest, I sort of resented having this carrot dangling in front of me.
An intense evaluation began in my mind. Do I:
- Smile sweetly and respond with a quick, but decisive, “No, thanks. Not interested.”?
- Sit down with my hubby and give a lengthy explanation why this would be going against God’s will?
- Thoughtfully take the script in hand and say, “I’ll pray about it,” with no intent of doing any such thing?
- Say “Give me a minute,” run into my prayer closet and have a heart to heart with God?
As I sought the Lord for clarity in this unexpected scenario the verse from 1 Timothy 6:6 came to mind – “But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment.” God’s primary concern for me is not my happiness. His greatest delight is making me godly, conforming me to the image of His beloved Son, Jesus.
I gladly accepted my husband’s offer with an open heart of gratitude.
And then I realized that God delights in giving good gifts, in His time. In due season. As we have been prepared to receive them.
Vicki Johnson creates a lot of drama in southeastern Pennsylvania where she lives with her pastor hubby, David, and her daughter, Esther. She has written a Bible study entitled, “Following Christ – A Disciple’s Walk of Faith,” enjoys speaking, singing, working at 1075Alive/ WBYNFM as a part time announcer, writing her blog at Gracefilledgirl.com, and generally encouraging fellow Christians to walk in a way that pleases God. Her sign-off on the radio comes from 1 Thessalonians 5:24, “Faithful is He who calls you and He will bring it to pass.”