Over the next seven years, Cho served first as a Mission Pastor and then as a Children’s Pastor. But in 2015, six years into her ministry career, she began to feel a pull back to California, where she and her husband were both originally from. In addition to following the call to ministry, Cho had also begun to find herself through writing.
Following the events in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, Cho’s personal journey of racial reconciliation and cultural identity collided with her writing journey.
“It felt like a crisis,” she stated over Skype. “There was a feeling of ‘I feel God’s pleasure when I write, more than when I’m doing ministry.’ More than anything I found myself asking, why would God call me out of ministry when this is what I’ve trained for my entire life? Why would God call me into writing when no one has ever told me my writing was any good?” Cho simultaneously felt a wedge between her and ministry, just as she innately felt a pull for her and writing.
In 2017, it became apparent that it was finally time to leave full-time ministry. Weeks after she stepped down, truth crashed down upon her. In a single moment, she realized the ceiling she was under: “…not only because I’m a woman, but because I’m a Korean American woman. I had the pressure of two ceilings—gender and culture—keeping me down.” Not only had Cho been called into writing, but she also believed God was raising her up as a woman leader.
Now, nearly a year and a half later, Cho doesn’t doubt that God has been with her every step of the way. A leader of leaders, her heart is to raise up women leaders to help them understand there doesn’t need to be a ceiling, that women can fully put their shoulders back and stand tall in the ways God created them. Through various mentoring opportunities, through writing, and through her work as editorial manager for (in)courage, she continues to see how God called her in, just as clearly as he called her out.
And isn’t this key for all of us, as women leaders in the church? We’re called in until we’re called out, believing God with us every step of the way. After all, if it happened for me, Amy Ickes, and Grace Cho, I don’t doubt it’ll happen for you as well.
Cara Meredith is a writer and speaker from the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Her first book, The Color of Life, released in February. You can connect with her on her website, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.