Who knew pulling nails, serving food, or doing numerous loads of laundry could bring so much joy? But my “second career” has brought incredible satisfaction to my soul!
In the past, I was involved in prison ministry and a regular homeless outreach. But a 2016 radio announcement changed my life and opened the door to full-time service.
Flooding had affected 40,000 Louisiana homes and Eight Days of Hope, a disaster relief non-profit, was inviting volunteers to serve. I went over a long weekend and was among nearly 700 people to respond. For the next three years, I continued with the same organization, going to other disaster-affected areas. As much as possible, I volunteered around my work schedule. Yet, I wanted more time and ability to serve.
In mid-2019, I took a financial leap of faith and stepped away from 30 years in pathology. I downsized my home and as a single woman, yielded my desire for a ministry partner. But God knew my heart and within a short time, I met my husband, a fellow volunteer, and we were married within a year.
We find such joy in going where needed and in doing whatever we’re asked. We’ve logged hundreds of days and thousands of miles. Serving can look like organizing the many volunteers, coordinating with churches to reach their communities, organizing building supplies, hauling debris and tree limbs, hanging sheetrock, operating a laundry trailer, or serving food to volunteers and residents. We’ve also been involved in setting up safe houses for human trafficking survivors.
Even amidst terrible disaster, we’ve often witnessed God’s mercy. Recently in Mayfield, Kentucky, a woman’s home was destroyed except for her prayer closet, which she was in during the tornado. We see the best of people in the worst of times. Folks extending a hand across racial, cultural, religious, and political bounds. It’s an amazing way to see God at work.
When you realize what Jesus did on the cross for you, you understand you owe Him everything. And He blesses you in ways you can’t even imagine. There are just no words to describe it. There are smiles, there is joy, there’s a lightness to your step, even if you just dragged tree limbs for eight hours.
I’ve discovered that the joy of serving Christ and others is such a satisfaction to one’s soul. Nothing else compares.