Sterling White has been an integral part of our church family for the past eight years. Her dedication to God and his people is evident in the way she lives and serves those around her. Six years ago, she was encouraged by senior leaders in our church that she should consider starting the ordination process.
She recalls that “at the time, I quickly thought ‘thanks but no thanks.’ But through their prompting and naming my gifts, God was showing me a plan and an open door I never had thought or dreamed for myself.” With the support of her mentors, friends, and family, Sterling took the first steps to become an ordained minister. Throughout the complex ordination process, God was refining Sterling and faithfully holding her through every obstacle along the way.
Reflecting on the process, Sterling reminds us that God does not promise as easy road, but he does promise that he will never leave us. Her journey was riddled with struggles, but despite the rugged path, she held fast to the reminder that “my identity comes not from my present circumstances, but by who I am in Jesus. Through suffering, God has sustained me and continues to grow my confidence and dependence on him.”
Sometimes the biggest challenge we can face in our faith is simply holding fast to the promises of God. Like Peter surrounded by the waves, we take our eyes off the one who sustains us (Matthew, 14:22-33). But when we keep our gaze focused on Jesus, he will guide us through.
Sterling’s ordination is a celebration that God will always remain faithful in his promises. “Often, I don’t see the big picture of what God is up to, but I can be faithful to take that one small next step God has revealed. My encouragement to you would be to take that one small next step and be faithful to it” (Rev. Sterling White).