At 53 years old, I know what I am called to do:
I DESIRE to INSPIRE you!
We find our true callings within our gifts and passions. What drives and inspires us? What are we good at? What comes easily for us? And what brings us the most joy?
Back in high school they do their best to direct us to find our calling and ultimate “career path”. However, many of us did not go to college after high school. And many of those who did were unable to find jobs in their chosen fields. OR, they worked hard for those degrees and landed those sought-after jobs only to find out a few years in, or close to retirement, that they were completely miserable and had missed their calling. And let’s be honest – when we walked across that high school graduation stage, who truly knew what we would do for the rest of our lives?
I loved school and did quite well for those amazing 12 years. I have a natural gift/love of “teaching”, and thought I would follow in my father’s footsteps in becoming a junior- or senior-high school teacher! But then I fell in love with my high school sweetheart, got engaged at 17 years old, and threw those plans out the window. Marriage and motherhood was the “expected” plan that I laid out for my life.
Then tragedy struck within that first month of adulthood when my father passed away unexpectedly. This threw me into a downward spiral of depression (before anyone really knew what that was). My sweetheart and I split, and the next six years were wasted, tumultuous years of working menial office jobs and living paycheck to paycheck, partying and trying to find my place in the world.
BUT GOD! I credit the tirelessness of a praying grandmother with my waking up one day and saying, “ENOUGH!”.
I rededicated my life to Christ and gave up the party life!
I never went back to school, despite the well-meaning advice of others. But at the age of 33 I was called into fulltime ministry, and thus began this 20-year journey of wandering, seeking and serving. I clung to the wise words of Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler making my life’s motto: “Life is a journey, not a destination.”
And what a journey it has been! The good Lord has moved me and provided for me by means I would never have dreamed! Sure, there have been the various office jobs that came and went. I moved around a lot and served in many church positions, finally becoming ordained myself in January of 2006. I have worked for doctors, attorneys, pastors, and world-renowned evangelists. I have picked up part-time restaurant gigs and tried all of the MLM’s… yes, pretty much ALL of them. I have taught Sunday School, led Singles’ Ministries, preached on the radio, cleaned church restrooms and served as Pastor! Most recently I found myself in elder-care, a ministry in itself for which I am told I also have a gift, and a true fondness. But as the nature of that field is indeed “end of life” care, this week I have found myself once again without a guaranteed paycheck, and that is okay! Despite all of the ups and downs and ins and outs of this crazy journey, I have remained faithful to my Lord and the calling on my life, and He has faithfully taken care of me.
Today I return to my passions, my gifts, and those things that bring me joy! I have grown over these years not only in ministry, but also in my quest for natural health! My cheerleader spirit still resides deep inside, and I encourage others to discover and be their BEST selves in spirit, mind and body, beginning wherever they are.
My cheerleader spirit still resides deep inside!
Today I am a Pastor, Speaker, Writer, Health Enthusiast and Independent Avon Representative, in that order. I would love to come and minister/speak at your church or event. I never charge a fee, but we do collect a love offering as the Lord leads. I do hope you will connect with me online, in any or all of the following ways:
Blog: Son-Seeker Blog
Website: Free Indeed Ministries (a work in progress)
FB Ministry Page: Free Indeed Ministries
FB Natural Health Group: Natural Health With Our Creator
YouTube: Free Indeed Ministries Channel
AVON FB Page: Avon Shop’n With Robin
AVON Online Store: Robin’s AVON Store!
Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us… (Hebrews 12:1)
Titles. I typically do not care for them, but it has become an issue as to how I should address myself in ministry work. I have seen many in church leadership become so obsessed with titles that they add four or five before their names: “Apostle-Bishop-Doctor-Prophetess-Pastor So-And-So”. Jesus Himself addressed the “title” issue:
But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. (Matthew 23:8-10)
When I became an ordained minister, I grappled with what to call myself, if anything. Leaning on the above scripture, I simply went by “Sister Robin”, which quickly became “Sista-Robin”. But that sounded vaguely like a Catholic Nun, which I am not, and it caused a bit of confusion. So what do we call the lady minister?
It seems proper etiquette to address those who hold certain church offices as such, deserving of the respect each commands (Pastor, Evangelist, etc.) I believe titles should be used as more of a job description or calling, rather than accumulating them to boost one’s ego or clout. I have no problem addressing church pastors as “Pastor So-and-So”, as that is the office they hold. Likewise, true evangelists should be addressed as such. And generically the term “Reverend” is used for any ordained minister, whether they are currently pastoring a church or not. My grandfather, a pastor and church-planter, formally went by “Reverend Thomas Flynn” but was more affectionately known as “Preacher Tommy” or “Brother Flynn”. A bit formal, “Reverend Robin” IS kind of catchy, while “Rocking Reverend Robin”, invoking the old song from the 70’s, is a bit too much. LOL
I have never been very “formal” and have never fit the mold, nor will I. Although a free-spirit, I AM a former pastor, Sunday School teacher, radio preacher, and evangelist. I have worn many hats in my 20 years of ministry. But I cringed when recently referred to as “Pastor” – I feared it was inappropriate as I currently do not pastor a particular church body. If anything, I should never wish to be disrespectful of the office or title. I questioned my own pastor at the time about this, and he responded:
“Pastor is not relevant to church, it is for a group of people. I think if you lead people and they follow you, it is absolutely appropriate to wear the title.”
The Lord also reminded me that church is not necessarily a building or meeting place, but rather the world-wide body of Christ. The born-again believers are the church, wherever they find themselves on Sunday morning or Wednesday night. I do have an on-line following and I still practice what is considered “pastoral counseling”. My former congregation and others still reach out to me and I pray for them daily. I suppose that still counts as “Pastor”. The bible says that the “gifts and calling of God are irrevocable.” (Romans 11:29)
So, you may call me Pastor; or Reverend; or Preacha – or simply call me by my name. I am just a Jesus-loving, hippie-gypsy free spirit called to preach the Gospel of Christ, and set the captives free.
I’ve been seeing a lot of butterflies lately, noticeably the large, black and yellow ones. My husband Ed reminded me that it IS “butterfly season”, but I know when the Lord is speaking to me through signs of nature. It always coincides with my current prayers and the issues He has placed in and upon my heart. Yes, there are butterflies everywhere this time of year, but they rarely approach, hover and dance around my feet. The significant brilliance of the black and yellow butterfly would have been known only to me and my sister. You see, God sent the two of us a dancing, black and yellow butterfly as we sat quietly at our mother’s graveside the day after she was laid to rest 12 years ago. With the colorful array of flowers still spread over the ground, sweet fragrance filling the sticky, July air of the Carolina’s, Peggy’s girls sat in silence.
Words would not come forth as the flood of memories invaded our restless minds. The five-year nightmare of our mother’s violent attack and subsequent traumatic head injuries had ended. (Mamma was a fatal victim of criminal domestic violence.) The terror of her bruises, her fear, her hospital visits, her frequent panicky phone calls, her mental and emotional anguish and physical decline… all permeated the non-stop movie screen playing in one continuous loop. Yet a strange and quiet peace washed over us as we knew her suffering was over and she was finally home with Jesus. She was FREE.
Suddenly our butterfly appeared out of nowhere. She came up over the hill, and gracefully danced across the flowers before us. She gently lit atop a rose, looking each one of us in the eye. She stayed long enough to ensure our attention, then she fluttered around our heads, then happily danced away as if to say “Don’t cry for me – I am finally FREE!” My sister nor I could contain the joy from deep within as we grinned at each other, simultaneously whispering the word “Mamma”. Now we know that that butterfly was not actually our mother, but we also knew the Lord had sent her to represent Mamma’s spirit that was now at rest – free from the abuse and pain she had endured for so long.
Once during my mother’s brief stay at a nursing facility in our home town, we had been discussing the giant bird cage in the front lobby filled with colorful, singing parakeets, canaries and finches. I had asked if she’d like to be put in charge of feeding them because she had always enjoyed feeding the birds in her back yard. She leaned in to me and said in a top-secret but determined whisper, “I’d just set them all free.” That was my free-spirited mother. And now we could rest easy knowing that she was flying high with freed birds and butterflies!
The butterfly is also an amazing representation of death and resurrection. The caterpillar trudges around for months before wrapping himself in a cocoon, a “tomb” if you will. He will sleep there indefinitely and by all appearances seems to have died. Yet that cocoon will split open and the most beautiful winged creature emerges with unparalleled strength, joy, and freedom! This represents our true spirits being released into the heavenly realm where, if we are saved and covered by the Blood of Jesus, we will dwell with Him in Glory forever.
The transformation of the caterpillar-to-butterfly is a beautiful mystery in nature. It can also represent transformation during our EARTHLY lives as we lay down or “bury” old dead things that have bound us up and caused us pain. As we “die to self” daily (Romans 6:4), laying those dead, terrifying things at the foot of the Cross, we can be delivered from them, emerging healed and FREE in Jesus’ Name!
So why all the butterflies now, these 12 years later? I have sensed for some time that a “transformation” is in store for my own life and ministry. Are the butterflies a symbol of the women I’ll help to set free? Or are they a reminder of the freedom I’ve received myself through my faith in Christ? (Old mindsets do often creep in and bind us up again if we let them, causing us to worry too much about what we’re “supposed” to be doing.)
Transformation is coming. I’m a butterfly, and butterflies are free to fly… as are robins.
“Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:19)