Rachel Dotzler – Interim Junior High Pastor, Mesa campus It was a Tuesday afternoon around 4:45 pm and I was just beginning to pack up my things to leave my office in the Creative Arts building. I was interrupted by a phone call that would change the next few months of my life. I answered the phone reluctantly because it was a little unusual that this person would be calling unless it was important. Nevertheless I answered it. When the conversation starts by, “Are you sitting down?” you know its either exciting news or news that you need to brace yourself for in a bad way. As the next line was spoken, I slowly began to sink further and further down into my broken, Ikea office chair, chin tucking completely into my chest. Silence.
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Now you may be thinking, “oh no, was it really bad news?” My reaction of engulfing myself into my broken, Ikea office chair would have you assume it was horrible news, but I assure you this wasn’t a bad phone call nor a bad conversation. However, I was terrified of where this was going. “Rachel, I need you to prayerfully consider filling in as the interim Mesa junior high pastor.” Silence.
Let me walk upon the waters
“You want me to WHAT!?” I actually did hear what he said, I just didn’t want to accept it. You know when you have those memories of childhood that are blurred in your mind and you wish you remembered the whole memory? This is how the rest of the conversation went for me. It’s all blurry to me now. My mind was racing, my heart was speeding up, and I seriously thought I was going to black out. You may be thinking this is absolutely absurd that I would have such a crazy reaction and you may be thinking clearly you said no because of your silly response.
Wherever You would call me
I have been serving in students at Central for four and a half years, more specifically the Mesa campus. I have been on staff for just over two years as the Marketing Coordinator on the Creative Arts team. Leadership at Central clearly saw something in me that would make them to believe that I could do this, because I did not believe in myself. So for two long days I contemplated and prayed about this request. Doubt filled my mind, fear took over, and I was certain I didn’t want the responsibility of doing this.
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
I went home that day in tears. At that time, I really didn’t know why I was crying, but I know why now. God had literally taken hold of my heart. I got home and plugged my iPod in and put a few of my favorite worship songs on. I went for an hour-long walk with my brindle, one blue one brown-eyed, Australian Shepherd dog. A song came on that is one of my personal favorites, and to be honest it was the deciding factor on whether or not I would accept this request that was asked of me. Of course my husband made it sound like a no brainer too. His words, “Why wouldn’t you, you live and breathe for teenagers!” Marriage…I wanted to hear what I wanted to hear (that I couldn’t do it), not what I needed to hear.
And my faith will be made stronger
You probably are wondering why these random lines are appearing in between my paragraphs. This is the chorus of the song Oceans, which we sing here often at Central. This chorus ruined me, in a good way. I love this song but it wasn’t until this Tuesday evening came around that I actually began to grasp every word that it says. I am passionate for teenagers and I am realizing that this isn’t a normal feeling for most. My heart beats for them and it was in this moment, listening to this chorus of Oceans, that I realized God was not going to abandon me. He put this passion in my heart and I knew that I had to do it; no I wanted to do it. You see, when God places these kinds of things on our hearts, we would be fools to ignore it. God gave me this passion for students and the leaders that make student ministry happen, so how could I not trust Him that He would lead me through it?
In the presence of my Savior
These past 6-7 weeks have been the most incredible weeks of my life. I get to help transform God’s kingdom and guys, you better believe that I have had zero to do with what is happening in junior high at Mesa. I literally handed God my heart that one Tuesday evening and told him, “God, I trust you, do with me what YOU want and destroy my selfish desires and fears that I have going into this.” God has been transforming not only student ministries, but also me. I have put my utmost trust in God during this season of change and transformation because frankly, I cannot do this on my own. The fear I felt when I received that phone call was because I believed I could not do this, that I wasn’t equipped to do this. Well of course I am not, but we’re not supposed to do this alone, we can’t do this alone. God will equip us with everything we need, He just asks us to keep the focus on Him and only Him.
Central, whatever it is that God is calling you to do, whatever passions and desires He has laid on your heart, I challenge you to jump in like your trust is without borders, and you would walk on the waters wherever God calls you. I pray that God would take you deeper than your feet could ever wander and that your faith would be made stronger in the presence of OUR savior. Do not be afraid. God has equipped us all for HIS glory and I am thankful that I did what He told me to do because I get to play a little part in this gigantic story of His, and my love and trust for Him has grown incredibly because of it. Don’t miss out on the opportunities and curveballs He throws your way, they may just change your life.