I grew up in a small town in Virginia in a pentecostal church, with a good praying mother and a father who only came to know Christ at the end of his life. My life has taken me from that small town to college, through law school and several bar exams, and a legal career. My husband and I permanently settled in Washington State about 18 years ago, where we currently live with our two boys, who are 14 and 11. I left the legal profession six years ago, intending to take a short break and return to a new job. However, unknown to me at that time, God had other plans.
God recently called me into women’s ministry, although I am unsure of what that actually means. Having spent my entire adulthood either practicing law or preparing to return to practice, it came as a complete shock to me that God had different plans for my life. It just didn’t make sense! I had all that education, great professional mentors along the way, good legal jobs, and I was licensed to practice law in four states. Being an attorney was my identity; it was my calling (or so I thought) and I enjoyed it. Surely, it was God’s plan for me to be an attorney! After all, why would I have to go through all that stress and put in all of that hard work toward that goal, if I wasn’t going to have a long and successful legal career? Well, it was not until God called me into women’s ministry that I realized that while I thought my education and professional experiences were preparing me to be an effective attorney, God was actually preparing me for something greater. He was preparing me to be an Ambassador for Him. He was preparing me to share my story and all that God has done in my life with others. Although, I still have thoughts of going back to work, God has made it very clear that I cannot do what He has called me to do in that environment. It is up to Him whether I will ever return to the practice of law, but whatever His decision, I shall be obedient to His direction.
Our Story – by Michel Williams
Prior to Valley Church’s ladies retreat last January I didn’t know much about Angie Hughes. As a part of the Ministry Team I had only heard about her through Rachel Hopkins, Angie’s spiritual mentor. She shared how Angie felt called to tell her story and that Rachel felt it should be at the retreat. Privately, Rachel told me that Angie and I should meet since both of us are self-proclaimed bible study junkies. I heard she did Beth Moore studies solo so she sounded like a girl after my own heart.
Leading up to the retreat the team prayed for Angie as she had expressed fear about speaking. During most of the retreat I was busy so I didn’t interact with her much beyond a passing hello. The first time I really saw her was when she spoke. Her story is amazing but what moved me most was her bravery. She got up in front of a crowd of fifty-five ladies and killed it despite the fear I knew she faced. She was obedient to what God called her to do despite it and that was something I wanted (a “calling” is Christian-ese for “God told me to do it”). God had called me to write but I was struggling with fear. I wanted to know how Angie pushed through it.
Shortly after the retreat I messaged her which led to a coffee date. Right off I felt connected to Angie in a way I don’t with most people. I am an introvert, don’t do well with small talk, and can be socially awkward at times. I was shocked when 2 ½ hours had gone by. We talked easily. She shared her experience in pushing through the fear and encouraged me to do the same. Over the months since the retreat Angie and I continued to meet for 2-3 hour coffee dates learning more about each other and what we felt God was calling us to do. It quickly became clear that we were on a similar path.
For Angie, God called her initially to speak at the retreat, then to starting “a website” (later clarified as a blog), and also to leading women’s bible study at church.
In January, I said yes to God with regards to writing. I offered the desire/gift he had given me to be used as He would. Shortly after, He called me to write a guest post for the Collide women’s ministry blog then to starting my own. I was hesitant about that though and was looking for confirmation.
When Angie said she felt that “the website” God was calling her to start was actually a blog, I was a little stunned. I didn’t think it was by accident that we were on the same path and neither did Angie.
Right around this time I was working through Beth Moore’s bible study, The Quest, per Angie’s recommendation. In one particular section, Beth writes about Jesus sending His messengers out in pairs to share the gospel, which is to tell others about who He is.
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. ~Luke 10:1
Beth asks the reader to list five reasons why two are better than one. Here are my five reasons:
- If one falls, the other can help (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).
- Encouragement when things are tough and you feel like giving up.
- Accountability. Keep following Him even if it’s hard.
- To bear witness to what Jesus is doing and to celebrate.
It struck me that this was Angie and I. We were called to go out into the dumpster fire that is the internet and start blogs at the same time to bring a little more light into the world. I knew it in my soul. We would need each other because it would be hard. Only God could bring together two small town girls He called to share His message in the same way at the same time. This was not by accident.
By this time we both felt we were supposed to write blogs but Angie went on ahead as I was called to help the Wrigleys; a family in our church whose 10 year-old son/grandson, Bailey, was diagnosed with stage four cancer on May 7. Meanwhile, Angie took a class about blogging, started working on her site, and then launched it. On June 10, after a quick and fierce battle, Bailey went to heaven to be with Jesus. This left me sad, depleted, and a little lost not knowing what God wanted me to do next.
Shortly after, I had the privilege of listening to a sermon given by an old friend, Sam Middlebrook, Lead Pastor of Graceroots Community Church in Yakima, WA. He said being a Christian long enough on this earth you will eventually have to “play wounded;” meaning, you will get hurt and bad things will happen but that doesn’t mean you stop doing what God called you to do. God meets you in the hurt, hard, and sad places and gives you what you need to go on. He brings light to dark places. I thought of that with regards to what God called me to do with writing. The call didn’t change even though I was wounded.
At the end of June, Angie messaged me asking, if God sends out in pairs, should we be doing the blog together? This was an interesting thought. It had not occurred to me that a blog could be done together as I am not necessarily an outside the box thinker. I had assumed it had to be done separately. Both Angie and I had no idea if this was what God wanted but were open to anything as our respective blogs would be His not ours. We committed to pray about it.
After spending time in prayer and talking, we decided that, yes, we should blog together. The realities and constraints on our respective lives would make it hard to do alone. We are both called to do it and God knew that neither of us could do it alone. He made a way before we even realized we needed one made.
Angie and I are excited about our new adventure and about what God has in store for us as well as you. We pray that you will feel and know a little of the love of Jesus through our words. He loves you. That’s it. It’s as easy and as complicated as that.