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COMEBACK

A sense of calling returns from the disabled list.

Ten years ago, I stood at my ordination reception, shaking hands with the well-wishers. Near the end of the long line, a church elder congratulated me. Then, he stooped to greet my 4-year-old daughter, whose hand I held.

"Do you know what we're celebrating, today, Kelly?" he asked.

"Today is the day they make my daddy king," she replied.

We laughed. However, I glowed inwardly. She voiced what may have been close to my ministry expectations.

I'll be liked by people, I thought during my years of ministry preparation. They'll be grateful for my help; they'll rise up and call me blessed.

My upbringing reinforced my beliefs: my father was a Christian college professor, my brother a youth pastor, and my brother-in-law a pastor. Ministry was elevated above all other careers. Certainly God would be pleased that I had not chosen another calling.

In the midst of my euphoria, though, I heard the whisper of a subtle fear: What if they rise up, not to bless me, but to leave me? What if I fail? What if my ...

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