Shared by Grace May
My mother became a Christian a year before I was born and desired to offer me to God. Her prayer was simple, “Lord, if this baby comes out healthy, I’d like to dedicate it to you.” She shared this with me throughout my years growing up and even though I didn’t fully understand what it meant to be dedicated to the Lord, it felt good and gave me a sense of purpose. In high school, feeling like I didn’t have a choice about my future felt a bit alarming. My mother wanted me to go to a Bible college, but I bucked at the thought and applied to Ivy League colleges. To console herself, my mother told me that even if I didn’t go into ministry, if I made a lot of money, I could at least tithe to the church.
But in college, nothing gave me greater joy than being involved in our campus fellowship. In my junior year, I decided either to go into ministry or law school. In the end, law won out, because I wanted to earn a lot of money. But for the first time in my life, I hated school. The only class I liked was a lecture on mediation and reconciliation, which was not typical of people who went into law.
So when I called my mom to tell her that I was going to seminary, I thought she would be ecstatic. But after I made my announcement over the phone, all I heard was silence. Eventually she said, “Grace, if you think ministry is easy, and that’s why you’re going into it, then you need to pray hard about it. Being in ministry may be easier than being a lawyer in some ways, but it has its own challenges.” I was deflated, but two weeks later I called back and said, “How about this, Mom? How about if I finish a year of law school, and then if I still feel called into ministry, then I’ll go to seminary.” She felt this was a good plan, and after I finished my first year, I entered seminary. Sitting on the lawn during orientation, even before classes began, I finally felt like I had found my niche! Continue Reading “Following a Call” Part 2–>
Rev. Dr. Grace May is a minister at large with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and recently launched a non-profit organization called WOW! (Women of Wonder, Inc.) to empower women to fulfill their God-given dreams. A Chinese American born and raised in New York City, she has a doctorate from Boston University School of Theology, an M.Div from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a B.A. in English from Yale University. Grace’s interests include tasting the cuisines from different parts of the world and worshiping with brothers and sisters from around the world.
Interviewed by Joy Wong