Ginny Scott has made a decision many of us can’t even imagine. And now that she’s done it, she knows it was a ‘God-thing’, completely Spirit-led. “I couldn’t make this up,” she says. “It’s not humanly possible.” What prompted her to make such a massive change in her life?
Her story starts over a year ago. Ginny was struggling in the church she was working for. There was drama she didn’t want, but that still impacted her. She tried to stay out of it, but it was hard to do her job as youth pastor under these circumstances. Then there was her boyfriend, who had started a new job, but now lived 7 hours away. It led her to ask: should I stay or should I go?
At the Women in Youth Ministry Campference last year, she sought advice. Talking things through with someone helped her get perspective. She came back to her church, feeling prompted to have a conversation with her senior pastor. “I reached out to him, told him I was on his side, that I supported him and his decisions. I tried to build a bridge and it worked,” Ginny says. Things got better, but they still weren’t perfect. However, she had hope, also because she really loved the kids she was working with.
And then tragedy struck. Having lost her own parents as a teen, Ginny now lost her stepdad as well. It left her a ‘true’ orphan, but it hit her 15-year old brother the hardest. She says, “Loss and transition have been a theme in my life, but now my brother was going through the same thing. I was his age when I lost my parents and I knew how hard it was, what he would be dealing with.” The question was: where should her brother live?
Ginny starting praying for God to show her what to do. She also started talking with her boyfriend, by now her fiancé. What did he think? The wedding date was set for December, but what would they do with her brother? She was 26, was about to get married, so what would be the right course of action? Her brother had an aunt in Virginia he could live with, but Ginny doubted of that would be the best course of action for him. So she prayed and took the time to seek God’s will.
Then she made a decision. She would step up and become her brother’s guardian, effectively raising him into adulthood. It meant moving into the home she’d grown up in, hours away from where she now lived. Once she made the decision, she let it sit for a bit, wanting to know for certain it was the right thing.
“It didn’t feel like an obligation. I knew I had to do this. It was time, it was the right thing. After I made the decision, I experienced this peace-feeling, this God-feeling when you know you’re doing God’s will.” Her fiancé fully supported her decision. “He said family comes first, that we’re a unit now. We need each other.”
Ginny quit her job, since she would have to move about five hours away. But what would she do for a living? This is where God started opening doors beyond what she could have imagined. Ginny was moving back into her hometown, close to the church where she had volunteered after she’d left high school. This is where she’d gotten her first experienced in youth ministry.
“It turned out, they had an opening for a children’s director, so I applied. They still knew me, even though it was a different pastor, and they liked my resume. But instead, they asked me if I would be willing to step into a new position, one they had though about creating for over a year.” After formally applying for that job, Ginny became their new Director of Youth and Family Ministry. “God did this for me. I could not have dreamed I’d end up at my old church in my hometown.”
She just started her new job, after taking a month off. “I asked my new church if they’d allow me to start a month later, so I could take time for self-care. With everything that had been happening I had not been taking good care of myself and I needed to take a step back and recover. They were absolutely fine with it, encouraged it.” Another God-thing.
Ginny now has a new perspective on the struggles she experienced in her old church as well. “When things were rough, I talked to my old youth pastor. He suggested that God might be preparing me for things that were to come. Now that I look back, I think he’s right. It was hard to leave that church because I loved the kids, but it was the right sacrifice to make. I’m showing Jesus’ example. I’m making the right choice.”
p.s. Our word for this year’s Women in Youth Ministry Campference is ‘Prompt’, so we’ll be sharing stories around this theme. If you’re a woman in youth ministry, don’t miss out on this awesome conference!