There have been times in my life when all stood still and I couldn’t breathe. When I found out that having children naturally was not an option for me. After adopting our first child and planning where he would go to college, being told by the school that he would always be in special education.Being informed that our middle son, who was also adopted, would need open heart surgery every five years to replace an artificial heart valve because of a birth defect.Seeing my little brother’s picture on the evening news because he had been arrested for murder, and a few years later, discovering that he had been clinically diagnosed in prison as bipolar and schizophrenic. Finally, when I gave in to God and answered the call to ministry, which I had fought for five years because of issues with insecurity.
What all of these moments have in common is a loss of control, the feeling of being completely helpless, I couldn’t run away or fight to make things different. I was stuck in an impossible situation with my hands tied, watching as everything unfolded before me. Each of these situations forced me to my prayer closet (a literal closet), where,hungry and thirsty for the presence of God, I poured out my soul. It was in those most vulnerable moments of prayer that I realized;even if nothing changed, the presence of God was enough.
Our first child is still in need of special education, and our middle child will still need open heart surgery every five years until he is 18. The little brother I grew up protecting, is still in prison and continues to struggle with mental illness. I have been a local pastor for three years now and sometimes I still struggle with insecurity, but in looking back, something is different. I can breathe! Something profound happened in those secret moments of prayer.
Though my circumstances have not changed, God continues to satisfy my hunger, quench my thirst and give me peace.I truly have so much to be grateful for, God helps me as I walk through my struggles and causes me to grow in spite of them. I am constantly reminded me that no matter what comes my way, God is with me, that God’s presence is enough!
Rev. Nicole Boddie is a part time local pastor at Sabine Pass United Methodist Church and St. John’s United Methodist Church, Port Arthur outside of Beaumont, Texas. If you are ever in the area, her congregations would love to have you for worship.
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