• Stephanie Olson

My Leah Ministry

Growing up in the Christian community, I always thought that if I was a good Christian, God would bless me in ways that I would love. I would have the perfect family, the perfect life, and of course, the perfect ministry. I was a singer and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I was going to be the next Amy Grant. Yes, I know…that dates me. But that’s what I thought.

I know now, that couldn’t be further from the truth. The Bible never tells us that we are in for an easy life. It is rather quite the opposite. Jesus says in John 16:33, “ I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

After much trauma in my life (and not becoming the next Amy Grant) I spent my adult years in ministry to help those who have experienced similar trauma. I loved it. It wasn’t perfect, but it was wonderful. My mission was that every Jesus following woman could live a life full of victory in Christ, striving for a life of God-given joy, rather than a life of happiness.

Our team traveled many states ministering to women who had experienced addictions, abuse, painful marriages, and women who didn’t have any of these issues, but just wanted to be closer to Jesus. It felt challenging at the time, but wonderful.

But years later, God laid another ministry in my lap. A ministry that would change my life. A ministry that would make me question all of my former beliefs about living a life dedicated to God and what that might look like.

When God showed our team what was happening in the area of human trafficking in our community, God laid on my heart a desire to tell youth and families the truth about sex trafficking and how to stay safe. I thought it would be an extension of my current ministry, but God had other plans. He completely rearranged my life.

What used to be my day to day of talking about Jesus, worshipping corporately, and ministering to women throughout the nation, turned into day to day work running a non-faith-based organization dealing with the horrors of sex trafficking. What I thought would be a side gig for God turned into my daily work. This was not what I had planned.

I was miserable and trying to understand why God would have me doing something I didn’t love. Especially when I really loved my previous ministry. Then one day I was listening to a sermon and I heard, “I believe we are going to see people who are called to their Leah ministry, which will exceed expectations, while leaving their Rachel ministry behind.”

Ugh. Then I knew. God had placed me in my Leah ministry.

In Genesis 29 Jacob falls in love with Rachel but Rachel’s dad tricks him into marrying her sister, Leah, who he did not love. He then marries Rachel too, but the love of his life is Rachel. Leah felt unloved and unwanted.

Yup, this was my Leah ministry. No one knew, but the closest to me, that I didn’t love what I was doing. In fact, most people thought that I was passionate about my work. What God revealed to me, however, was that after years of following Him, in spite of my "want," my passion had become obedience to God.

God says He will give us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4). But if we look more closely at that scripture it says, “Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.” (NASB)

Delight yourself in the Lord! And you know what? After years of delighting myself in Him, and simply being obedient in my work, I now love what I do. Yes, I miss my Rachel ministry, but God has given me a love for my Leah ministry today.

So, what did I learn? I learned that we’re not promised a life of ease, but we are promised a life of blessings. It’s just that what God knows is a blessing for us, might not feel like a blessing to us at the time.

So, if you are in the midst of your Leah ministry or feel like you’re living a Leah life, take heart! He has you right where He wants you!

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