NAME: Jessica Morris
JOB: assistant pastor of ministry & moms at hope ministry leader
FAMILY: Tommy, Delle (2.5) & Hagen (10 months)
so, i figured i would just start off by being honest- this wasn’t my plan… working, being a mom, seminary, ordination. none if it. well, in all actuality, the mom piece was part of the plan but in my perfect little life plan i would be married for a few years… (check). travel a ton (check). and then when tommy and i felt like the timing was absolutely perfect we would begin a new journey as parents (sort-of check).
i honestly thought i would do youth ministry, get married and then when we started having kids – i would quit my job and enjoy the leisurely life of having kids and sipping coffee all day. that’s really what i thought moms did all day… sip coffee with a side of laundry. i still laugh thinking about this.
very quickly “plan a” became plan b, and then plan c, d, e, & f…
everything changed for me when God called me to leave my youth ministry job, go back to school, and pursue a masters of divinity (which would take me about 4 years to complete). this was not my plan. i fought it. ignored it. and even thought i could trick God and get an easier, shorter degree that didn’t involve any Greek or Hebrew. God didn’t fall for my trickery and eventually i gave in and began my seminary journey.
i was a little over half way through seminary when tommy and i got excited about started a family. until month after month it didn’t happen. i was confused. hurt. and felt abandoned by God. but it was during this time, this trial, that God revealed (and forced) me to pursue ordination at Hope Church. he stripped me of my plans and revealed something new and far less selfish than my coffee-drinking, nap-taking hopes for the future.
literally 2 weeks after i gave in, began the process of ordination and completely let go of getting pregnant… you guessed it – we got pregnant.
the only catch was Delle’s due date-right at midterms during the semester i HAD to take Hebrew. i was convinced she was going to come out of the womb either seriously confused or speaking some form of hebrew. so far, we are in the clear.
when the time arrived to graduate seminary and prepare for my ordination exams… yep, pregnant again. this time around it was a mix between a miracle, with a dash of complete and total surprise. we were ridiculously excited, but were in a little bit of shock. the only catch (again) was the due date – right smack dab in the middle of ordination exams.
long story long, i ended up taking (and passing, by the grace of God) the toughest 3-week exam of my life… at 9 months pregnant.
but here’s what i’ve learned along the way… don’t make ANY plans, God will change them.
kidding… well, only a little.
i’ve learned that the best plan is the least expected. the plan that i didn’t see coming or the plan that i could never have imagined.
the toughest part for me was letting go of the life i envisioned and truly embrace the plan God had for me.
i still wrestle with it (if we’re being honest). but i’ve come to embrace it. to drop my plans, and open up my hands and let God do what God does. i still have no clue why God has and is doing the things he is or even why he is using me to do it. i’m way too insecure, doubtful and filled with more worry and fear than faith… it makes no sense.
but part of me thinks that is the reason God keeps doing crazy things in my life… because it makes NO sense. no one should pass hebrew or ordination exams while pregnant. and no one should begin a job as (the first female) pastor with 2 kids under 3. no one.
but the only way i did any of that was because of God. because he gave me a strength and a power and peace that was beyond anything i am capable of achieving. there is no questioning it; it was ALL God.
i honestly believe God does some of his best work when we are at our weakest. sometimes i think it’s his little reminder that he is God and we are… well, not.
and that’s what i hold onto as a mom, as a wife, as a friend, as a pastor. that it’s all about God. it’s all about his plan. his strength. his power. i just have to keep following and remaining obedient to where he’s leading… no matter how crazy or tough or far fetched it seems.