“I’m walking in authority
Living life without apology
It’s not wrong, dear, I belong here
So you might as well get used to me” ~ Donne McClurkin
Do you remember when you graduated from high school or college? It was an exciting time full of possibilities and new journeys. People would ask about your future plans and goals. But when I graduated from college, I honestly had no idea what I would do. I had a part-time job as a praise team director at my church, a small child and I was still living at home. Those were scary times for sure. There was so much uncertainty. I was going through so much. My relationships were all over the place and so was my faith.
It wasn’t until I started working at the church full-time that I started to hear a call on my life from God. Instead of listening, I did everything to drown God out. I picked up extra singing gigs, auditioned for a play and landed the lead role, and even started writing songs again. I was intent on doing any and everything with my gifts except what I knew God was calling me to do.
A lot of my running had a lot to do with the picture at the top. T.D. Jakes’ family is full of dynamic ministers, pastors and teachers in their own right. If you do some digging on my Facebook page or if you know me well enough, you know that I come from a line of called/spiritually gifted preachers, ministers, singers, and laypersons. Both of my Maternal Great Grandmothers were praying and fasting women of God. My Grandad is a prolific Pastor and Bishop. My Grandmother has business savvy that she used to build the church I grew up in and a godly love for youth that permeates everything she does. My mother can sing, teach, and preach your socks off. My Stepdad is a pastor and my Auntie has an anointed voice that will send you into a baptist fit. But I struggled with what God was calling me to do. I didn’t think I had anything to offer to the “Family Business.” Quite frankly, I felt my singing voice was just “okay” compared to my mom and auntie. I had tried my hand at teaching youth at bible study, but that just wasn’t where I felt God pulling me. I was ministering from a place of doubt and insecurity that slowly became too overwhelming.
On Good Friday, April 20, 2019 all of those feelings changed. On that day, I stepped behind the pulpit for the first time as a Master of Divinity candidate, in the throws of midterms, final papers and projects to share what God had given me about the text “…I am thirsty…” (John 19:28-29 NRSV). God showed up. Not in the people shouting or people crying all over the place kind of way, but in a way that said, “This is where you belong and this is where I have called you.” It’s one thing to know what God wants you to do, but it’s a totally different thing to actually do it. I left the pulpit that day knowing that something inside of me had clicked. And while I am scared to step foot in that same position again, I welcome the opportunity to be obedient to the call that God has placed on my life.
Previously, I searched for a way to fulfill God’s call that would have nothing to do with the ways in which my family members walked in their individual callings not realizing that sometimes God calls entire lineages to lead in the Family Business. Just because my mother is a preacher doesn’t mean God can’t use me too. And even though my aunts a musical beast, that doesn’t mean God can’t use my voice too. I learned that there’s a unique sound, a sound of the genuine, within each of us that reaches out to God’s people in different ways. God called each of us because he placed something special in each of us that is meant for a certain set of eyes and ears.
At some point Sarah Jakes Roberts and Cora Jakes Coleman both have acknowledged those feelings of inadequacy that came from living with and in the shadows of their dad, America’s Bishop, Bishop T.D. Jakes. I can’t imagine living under that level of scrutiny and dealing with the calling that God has set on your life. At some point you have to come to terms with the fact that God knows exactly what He is doing and you just have to trust the process. You have to trust that the greatness in you comes from God and not your family members. You have to trust that God has cultivated or is cultivating something inside of you specifically for God’s people. And finally, you have to know that God’s Family Business is not complete without you; That there’s something special in you that no one else in your family has and that people out in the world are waiting on you to deliver it.
I have come to terms with these things; Some family lineages are graced, gifted and called to do ministry and that every person in the lineage is gifted and called to do something different for the body of Christ.
There’s room in God’s Family Business for you and for me.