The Center for Leadership Excellence, in partnership with COSROW, is pleased to lift up the voices of women in ministry encouraging fellow women in ministry. Please enjoy this month’s Encouragement from Kristen Hanna, Associate Pastor at Christ Church UMC. Anyone can sign up to receive these monthly emails here.
This summer, in our neck of the woods in Chapel Hill, we have been journeying together through the “humble beginnings” of God’s people as recounted in Genesis. A few weeks ago, we came to the story of Jacob’s vision of the ascending ladder filled with angels traveling back and forth into paradise.
Genesis 28:16 (CEB):
When Jacob woke from his sleep, he thought to himself, The Lord is definitely in this place, but I didn’t know it.
Verse sixteen of the pericope struck me. How often have I encountered God and been surprised to find God there? Or, how many times has the Holy Spirit snuck up behind me, completely unawares?
And furthermore, how many situations have I walked through and been surprised to encounter the Divine around the corner, waiting like an unsuspecting friend who was there the entire time?
I have always joked that my best intentions for the summer months are to catch up on everything that I’ve needed to do, but every time summer rolls around, I find myself in a new kind of busy. Sure, it’s not the same fast-paced rhythm that comes with the cooler fall and spring seasons, but it is a different kind of hectic, one marked by schedule changes, VBSs, travel, mission trips, Annual Conference, and the list goes on.
As we straddle the middle of July, savoring these last summer weeks before the coming onslaught of fall scheduling mayhem, I wonder what it would look like to pause, to rest, and to dream as Jacob dreamed. Who knows, God may show up in the places we least expected!
Center for Leadership Excellence and the Commission on the Status and Role of Women