“That’s Where you Belong!” | Speaking Blessings in the Seasons of Life

Post a Comment » Written on August 27th, 2017     
Filed under: Testimonies and Stories
Rev. Rose Lee-Norman is Associate Pastor of Family Ministry at Sanctuary Covenant Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota and has served there for seven years. She lives in North Minneapolis with her husband Ryan. They have been married ten years and have two daughters, Esme and Isla. Rose is in a season of life that barely allows for much leisure and uninterrupted time, but when she has a day to herself she can be found reading, sewing and slowly redecorating (or at least dreaming about it) spaces she abides in.

Many people ask what my mom thinks about my calling and vocation as a pastor. They ask because my mom is a devoted Catholic and raised my siblings and I in that tradition. It’s wonderful to be able to say that she fully supports me and even sometimes, after attending Mass in her small city first, drives almost an hour to listen to me preach.

While she has always encouraged me in my calling to ministry, it was through her unbeknownst-to-her blessing she gave me 12 years ago that made all the difference.

Twelve years ago I was an undergrad student at North Park University (NPU). I knew I was called from a young age to seek a vocation in ministry, but was met by confusion with that call in the setting of my Catholic upbringing. Through God’s guidance I attended Covenant Bible College – Ecuador and later NPU.
It was a crisp fall day and a lazy weekend setting on campus as my mom and I walked around to the different buildings. When we came to an open area, she pointed and asked what that building ahead was. She was pointing to the seminary. I told her what it was and she said, “That’s where you belong!” She noted my desire to be a pastor and plainly stated a place like that is where a person like me belongs and should pursue.

Her words were a blessing. Not a blessing in the way we often think about in our Western culture where God gives us stuff we want. But similar to the Old Testament ritual of speaking a blessing over a family member or God creating the world and blessing it for God’s purposes, my mother’s words were a blessing in that season of life that opened up a deeper potential and movement.

Growing up Catholic and through my mother’s example I knew her faith was fundamental to her. In a way I did desire her blessing to go down another path and seek a vocation in ministry in Protestantism. While I did not go on to attend North Park Seminary, I did move to California and attended and graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary. It was a move I may not have taken without the blessing my mother gave me.

Her blessing has become a pivotal milestone for me in my faith journey. As I pastor families at Sanctuary Covenant Church in North Minneapolis, MN, I know the value of blessing another person, especially someone of another generation, to speak the value into another person’s faith and life process. Research shows that when we integrate our faith and model that faith for a person of another generation in healthy and holistic ways our and their faith will grow and is much more likely to sustain for a lifetime. And blessings are a way to integrate our faith through the various seasons of life. When we see and recognize God in the ongoing movements and seasons of our life and name that, we speak great power into another person’s experience.

Practically my husband and I have been trying to do this with our children. We have two daughters and before they go to bed we speak a blessing over them. It isn’t always the same, but we do try to connect it with what they’re experiencing in life in that season.

Blessings though do not have to have that same ritual. As women (and maybe some male readers, too) we know the power of another person validating and empowering us through a season. Many of us could share the encouraging words or poignant challenges we’ve received through our vocation and faith journey. My prayer is that we are aware of our power and voice so we can bless another woman to show them that they belong.

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