By Diana Gee
This wasn’t my dream.
If you had asked me five years ago what I would be doing in five year’s time, I would have given you a blank, helpless look. What I did know was that I was coming to a crossroads and a choice had to be made. My passion was for the Church but my paycheck came from my day job. For years I had been deeply dissatisfied with what I was doing, but I had no idea what else I could do. I had no vision of what my life could or should be.
Thoughts of going into seminary kept returning to me. If full-time ministry was a goal, it seemed logical to acquire theological training. But I didn’t even know what kind of ministry I wanted to do. The available and acceptable positions I saw for a young woman at that time were for children or youth ministry. Were there no other possibilities? The Chinese church where I came to faith in had no female elders and no female pastors, at least until the time I began considering seminary for they had just hired a female children’s pastor. They rarely had female speakers and when they did, the women “shared” instead of preached. I was discouraged, by people in authority, from considering seminary on account of being a woman. Ministry would be too difficult, they said, because the opportunities would be so few. It seemed that life would be simpler if I just stuck to my job. Still, there was a restlessness in my spirit.
Eventually, after much questioning and probing, I made the jump. In 2008, I quit my work and moved to Vancouver to attend graduate Christian theological studies. I went into the MDiv program because I thought it would open more doors. While studying, to my surprise, I began to receive a call into pastoral ministry. I reacted in panic and terror. It dawned on me that I was the only Canadian Asian woman in the MDiv program. Not only that, I still didn’t know of any Asian Canadian women pastors. I felt alone and the thought of trail-blazing into the battlefields of ministry was anything but encouraging.
What settled my heart was repeated assurance from God. Assurance that I have been called. Assurance that women were welcomed by Jesus. Assurance that my identity as a Chinese-Canadian woman was not a problem for God, but a gift from Him.
So it is with a strange and wonderful sense of awe that I can be composing this post for AAWOL. I am now a newly-installed pastor of a local community church. I haven’t been alone for I have been supported by mentors, friends, and family. Five years ago, I could not dream that I would be here and doing what I’ve been grown to love. This wasn’t my dream, but I have a suspicion that it has been God’s dream and God’s doing all along.
Diana Gee is the Associate Pastor of Faith Community Christian Church in Vancouver, Canada. Diana is a second-generation, Chinese Canadian, born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She is trained as a structural engineer (B.Sc. in Civil Engineering, University of Alberta) and has worked in consulting for six years. She completed her master’s degree at Regent College (M.Div.) in 2011.