–verb (used with object)
1. to invest with ministerial or sacerdotal functions; confer holy orders upon.
When we were in high school, Matt and I went with our youth group to SIFAT in Lineville, Alabama for a week. We loved SIFAT so much, we have been back many times since, and even spent 3 months working there as interns one summer. SIFAT is definitely dear to both of us, and each time we have gone has changed our lives in new and amazing ways. SIFAT has taught us about the reality of the rest of the world living in poverty. SIFAT has taught us about other cultures. SIFAT has taught us about faith and trust in the Lord. Our SIFAT experiences have provided us with some of the best friends we could ask for. BUT – the biggest impact SIFAT has had on our lives is this one that wasn’t fully realized for a number of years.
That first trip we took in high school was June 14-21, 1997. While we were on that trip, Matt first heard his call to ministry. The story of his call is a beautiful one, but it’s one that I will let him share. Perhaps he will someday on his blog! A little more than two years after this trip, Matt and I were engaged to be married. We married in 2002 while he was in college, we moved to Wilmore, KY for him to attend seminary, and we have been in ministry since his graduation in 2007. After many years of study and tests and mentoring and learning and preparing, Matt was finally ordained at our annual conference on June 11th. Almost 14 years exactly from the date he received his call to ministry.
In an auditorium full of people, Matt knelt before the Bishop to receive his ordination. Clergy who were integral in his ordination were gathered around to lay hands on him. Dozens of people stood in the audience in support of him. It was a really beautiful moment – one I will never forget.
The story that God is creating for me and Matt is one of obedience. I obediently opened my eyes and my heart to Matt’s love because of the Lord’s leading. Matt obediently followed his call to ministry. We are obedient together by serving the churches God has given us to care for – even when it’s hard! We have been blessed a thousand times over for our obedience too. God has given us deeper love for each other every day, and has stretched our hearts to love the people in our churches more and more every day. It’s an amazing thing to be in ministry!
I’m so proud of Matt. The journey to ordination is not easy in The United Methodist Church, but he has navigated it with grace and integrity. He’s the most amazing man I know, and I can’t wait to see where God takes us.
Congratulations Rev. Beefcake! I’m so proud to be your wife!