God knows what we need to go through to get to where He wants us to land. Life takes some funny twists and turns. I worked as a professional woman for the first five years of my twenties, married at 25 and continued to build my career in project management. I’m a very ‘organized’ person and loved managing projects for the phone company. My favorite was running meetings during a major outage situation. I guess I kind of liked the adrenaline rush.
Just before turning 30, I had our first child, a boy. I’d always wanted a son first. Four and a half years later, I had our second child, a girl. One of each: how perfect. At this time, I wanted to be able to be around them more (but I wasn’t the stay-at-home kind of mom), so I started working 4 by 10’s (four days a week, ten-hour days). This allowed me to be at home three days in a row, Friday through Sunday.
When our daughter was not quite two, we started attending church. We both had different backgrounds and hadn’t really gotten around to going to church. I started volunteering in the nursery to be with our daughter, and when we were there, serving alongside an older gentleman, my life was changed. I didn’t know at the time what I needed, but he did.
My life changed: as I volunteered, as our kids grew, and as I got more involved in the church. It was funny how I found I really liked being around lots of kids, not just my own, and loved the people I served alongside.
I had no idea how God would use me. Believe it or not, my project management skills came in handy at the church! It’s a large church, so it has lots of kids, and lots of different things going on for them to be a part of. As I showed what I could do, I took on more and more responsibilities in the kid’s ministry, under the leadership of the children’s pastor. I ended up being kind of his ‘right hand man,’ and absolutely loved it.
Years went by, and the children’s pastor felt called to move to a struggling church in California. This left us without a pastor to lead the children’s ministry, and a big hole where he used to be. I did what I could to help, but was still working full time.
Things in my office started changing, and not for the good. One day I came into work and my supervisor and two other project managers had been fired. That was the beginning of the end for me at the company. At the time, the church was trying to hire an elementary director to help lighten the load (they were unable to find a pastor), and I was interviewing them and providing feedback. One night, as I was putting together pros and cons on the last interviewee, it was like God tapped me on the shoulder and told me to apply for the job.
So, I did.
Funny thing was, the Pastor had recommended me, but it had to be God’s timing for me to do so.
Have you ever wondered what you were put here to do? Keep praying and asking God to show you. It was eleven years ago this past April that I took the job, and it has been the best ‘job’ I’ve ever had. Talk about ‘twists and turns!’
Get to know Shelley!
Shelley Brooks is the Early Childhood Director at a large church in Omaha, NE. She has been on staff for 10 years, starting out where her passion was, in Elementary. She recently moved from that position to the Early Childhood position, to take on the challenges of kids ages 0-kindergarten. She has been working with her team to set goals in each area of this ministry so we, and parents, will know what we are ‘teaching’ towards in each age level. She is also a Licensed Ministry Worker with the Christian & Missionary Alliance. When not working, she loves to be a Grandma to her 5 grandchildren, caters BBQ from their home, and read.