Welcome back to the Real Housewives of God’s Kingdom. In our last episode we met two women who literally gave of themselves for the goodness of another. They both gave a kidney to a total stranger and gave them the gift of life.
In keeping with the idea of giving oneself to another I want to introduce you to Pastor Dawn and Pastor Karli. Dawn is not a stranger to my Heartfelt Ramblings page. She was my first guest writer when I kicked my page off in the fall of 2013.
Now let me start by saying I know these women personally and God has used them in very big ways in my life. So may I have your undivided attention, insert drum roll… Welcome to Episode 6 “Preachin’ it and Teachin’ it”
Did you catch what I said at the beginning? They are PASTORS. These two women have been called to give of themselves to serve others. Now we are all called to give of ourselves yes however, some people are called to be pastors. There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 1 Cor 12:4-6
Those of you that know Dawn, will agree with me, dynamite comes in small packages. I have been blessed to listen to Dawn speak and she may not be much taller than the pulpit but when she speaks you know that God is using her in a mighty way.
Dawn told me that she knew she wanted to be a pastor from the age of 8 but that in His timing He would grow her with marriage and motherhood first. Along the way God would also walk with Dawn as she faced some tragedies. It was not until she was in her mid-30’s that she would get to start her studies. I met Dawn, as she was finishing up her schooling in 2002. Dawn was one of the women that God used over weekend retreat where I would give my life to Him.
As I type this I can’t help but smile when I read Dawn’s favorite verse. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” I am smiling because thankfully God had some big plans for me the weekend I meet Dawn. His plans for me have truly given me hope for my future and Dawn says that the verse reminds her, “He is always with me and it is my go to verse”.
Dawn is a commissioned pastor and she did her studying through the Christian Church/DOC through their Licensing/Commissioning Committee in the Northwest Region. That process took her 3 years before she was granted a license. On top of that there were readings and reports to do. Dawn currently lives in the Midwest and in the Midwest Area/Mid America Region she has monthly mentor meetings. Currently Dawn is enrolled in classes through Grand Canyon University and through Mid America School of Religion.
If I were to pick a song to describe Dawn it would be
I want to be your hands
I want to be your feet
I’ll go where you send me
After being commissioned she was an Associate Pastor at Kennewick First Christian for 2 years, then moved to Ephrata, Washington to Memorial Christian Church for 7 years as solo pastor/youth pastor/secretary and then moved to Missouri to pastor 2 yoked congregations. Dawn is now the solo pastor with a staff of a secretary and janitors
I asked her what she has learned as a pastor and challenged her to sum it up in 1 paragraph and we can all learn from what she said.
“He never gives up on us no matter where we are in our lives. Don’t fear to share your story and be transparent. Through tragedy, death, fear and triumph, joy and hope, He is my all in all, my Abba.”
Dawn’s sence of humor can been seen when she talks about her family. She calls them the “mix n match crew” She has a 38-year-old stepdaughter in Nampa, ID and 27-year-old son who is a Staff Sgt in the Army National Guard and has seen 3 tours. He just recently transferred as a guard to the Airway Heights Prison in Spokane. Next in line from oldest to youngest is her 26-year-old son who works in Calgary as a project manner for an oil company and her 23-year-old foster daughter who lives in Everett, Washington. We are only getting started here folks. Her mix and match crew also consists of a 22-year-old foster son in MO (He is not living in their home now) a 12-year-old adopted son and a 9-year-old, soon to be adopted girl. Dawn’s heart for children is over flowing with love and because of that her and her husband have also opened there home to a 13-year-old foster daughter and a 4-year-old foster son. In the last 4 years they have had 15 kids come and go through their home.
At the young age of 48 Dawn is also a grandma of seven foster, step and biological grandchildren ages: 19, 17, 16, 13, 11, 4 and 2. This midlife domestic goddess is exhausted just typing that. Now just imagine if you had to balance your job, and a huge family like the mix and match crew but you had to do it with a body that had it’s own challenges. This amazing housewife of God’s Kingdom is faced daily with that issue. Dawn wakes up each day with a body that has lots of healing to do after experiencing two strokes to the brain stem.
She says she feels blessed to have survived and to be whom and what she is today. The strokes have made her a different person. Just getting dressed can be a challenge and there are struggles to walk and use her left side and arm. “God does have a sense of humor as he has left me with the gift of speech. I think my husband might have enjoyed a few more months of quiet” says Dawn.
We all have many identities we go by. Many titles we answer too. The titles I carry are wife, mother, daughter, sister, pastor, child of God and the latest title stroke survivor. Some I enjoy, some I am called to be, and others carry a weight. Taken from Dawn’s Guest post, “My Identity, His Glory”
As I said earlier, Dynamite comes in small packages and Dawn if one powerful explosion of God’s strength within someone. As we bring Act 1, “Pastor Dawn” to an end I want to leave you with this quote from her.
“I am just me. I was chosen by God to speak His word. It is scary and terrifying at times. I am disliked by some, judged, ridiculed to be a woman in ministry. I have received hate mail. I don’t argue with those who disagree with that viewpoint, as they don’t want their viewpoint changed. I just love God, love people and try to show the Christ in me.”
Dawn is just one more amazing “Real housewife of God’s Kingdom” to learn more about her and her inspiring story as a two-time stroke survivor, check out her guest post “My identity, His glory”
I hope to see you back tomorrow for Act 2 with Pastor Karli 🙂