So, where do I fit in? By Dinecia Gates
I’m a first generation Apostolic. I don’t have an Apostolic name or an Apostolic lineage.
Although I’m a professionally trained public speaker, and give pretty good advice, I haven’t been called to pastor or evangelize.
I can’t play a single instrument.
I really wish I could.
Well, I can but, it would be classified as “joyful noise”. De-emphasis on joyful and special emphasis on noise.
I can lead a mean worship set but, I haven’t been called to be a mainstage worship leader.
So, where does that leave me? Where do I fit in?
In our movement it can often be hard to find your place if you don’t have a name, niche calling, or “pulpit” ministry. Furthermore, as a woman I believe it can be even more difficult, and confusing, attempting to find a place to “fit in”, be accepted, or feel a part.
We, as women, often spend years warring and struggling to find our place only to end up disjointed and discouraged.
I was asked to share my journey, thus far, with you in hopes that in it you find encouragement.
Here it goes!
I had a pretty good childhood traveling the world with my military family. I was taught the value of respect and a strong work ethic. I was encouraged to stay focused and to get an education. My parents instilled in me from a very young age that I could be absolutely anything I wanted to be.
I mean what else would they have taught me?
The slogan for the Army the majority of the time my Dad was active duty was “Be all you can be”.
I got it, honest.
I have always had high hopes, great expectations, and big goals. I knew I wanted to go to college and I knew, without a shadow of a doubt I wanted to change the world.
I had no idea how, but I knew that’s what I wanted to do.
At the age of 13 I remember distinctly, praying this prayer one night in my room, shortly after my family moved to Fayetteville, NC in 1999:
I know there’s something more. I know I am meant for great things. Please, help me find it.
A week later I found myself sitting on the pews of Antioch United Pentecostal Church. Before I left service that day I found what I was looking for; purpose.
I was filled with the precious gift of Holy Spirit my first service and was baptized in Jesus’ name several months later.
I spent the following 10 years being taught, encouraged, nurtured, and empowered to pursue “my God given purpose” by two of the most loving and dedicated people I’ve ever met: Wilbert & Glenda Blandon.
Pastor and Sister Blandon have invested so much time and energy into helping me find the answer to the infamous question, “What on earth am I here for?”.
They encouraged me to confidently and boldly pursue my God given purpose. They taught me to pray and held me accountable. They also never failed to let me know that I was valuable, my input was valid, and I had purpose.
One day sitting at their dining room table Pastor encouraged me to ask the Lord to show me what gifts He placed in me. Not only that but, to ask how He intended for me to use them.
That was a daunting thing to ask, in my opinion. And, umm what was I to do when Jesus actually gave me an answer?
Well the answer to that question was simple, as my Pastor and his beautiful wife sated; “Pursue it”.
So I did.
I prayed and I pursued.
I was, and still am convinced that God didn’t give me gifts He doesn’t intend on using.
After graduating from high school, I went on to study something I was naturally good at and completely enthralled by; communication.
By definition, the National Communication Association states that communication: focuses on how people use messages to generate meanings within and across various contexts, and is the discipline that studies all forms, modes, media, and consequences of communication through humanistic, social scientific, and aesthetic inquiry
It’s amazing, to me, how powerful communication is. One word can change everything. We see it in scripture.
Jesus tells us that simply speaking to a mountain can cause it to be removed.
For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.- Mark 11:23.
We also learn, in Proverbs 18:21 that there is life and death in the power of the tongue.
As crazy as it sounds, I truly believe I have been called to communicate.
Furthermore, I have been called to be a catalyst for communication.
A catalyst is an agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action
OR the medical definition that I particularly love
a substance that enables a chemical reaction to proceed at a unusually faster rate under different conditions than otherwise possible
I have been called to be an agent and a vessel of change.
A vessel that God can use, any time, any place, and in any capacity, to ensure that God’s will in heaven is accomplished here on earth; through my actions and even more importantly through my words.
Some days being that agent means praying for a sick friend to be healed.
Some days it means posting an encouraging word on my Facebook page.
Some days it means speaking to a Hyphen group on a Sunday morning.
Other days it means sending an email to someone to let them know they have been accepted to Urshan College; a place that will educate, equip, and empower them to pursue their God given purpose.
My journey has been, and currently is, way different from most. It doesn’t fit into the “normal” ministry parameters. Quite honestly, I believe that’s exactly the way God intended it to be.
Everyone was born to do something, not many are intentional about discovering the what or the why. I know my why.
Mark Twain said it best: “The two most important days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why.”
Have you found your why? If not, my advice to you is to ask the Lord how He desires you to use what you have been given for the Kingdom. Once God tells you; pursue it passionately.
Don’t be afraid if what God tells you is different from what “fits the mold”. Maybe, just maybe, God wants to use you in ways you’ve never imagined.
I’m sure Esther didn’t grow up thinking she’d save a nation. But, she did.
Be confident, be brave, speak life, and above all “Pursue It!”.