“You’re like a ship that’s left the anchor down”

Mim goes next. “One piece that makes my story easier is that . . . two of my sisters were single. I really don’t have any trauma with family and singleness, because I was not the only one.

Mim, no longer in plan B

“For me, the hardest part of singleness is that whole what do you do with what you think God called you to do and be — and it doesn’t happen?”

She explains that when she was 17 or 18, she read a book about John S. Kauffman. When she read the part about his ordination, she had a clear sense that God was calling her. “That’s what God has for me. I’m going to be a pastor’s wife.”

Martha asks, “How did you come to the place to accept giving up what you thought God wanted you to do?”

Mim responds, “I’ve lived for 62 years now; it’s a process.’

She then describes what happened to her when she was in graduate school in Cincinnati, studying counseling. She was in a counseling practicum, which involved intense group interaction with her peers: other grad students, who included several Catholics and Lutherans.

These discussions were more like “huddles where you spill your guts. I was about to graduate, and all I wanted to do was get married. But I had nobody to marry. I talked to the group about this.”

They were interested in her story. “I’ll never forget the one sister said, ‘Mim, you’re like a ship that’s left the anchor down, and it’s keeping you from moving.’

“In other words, she was saying, ‘You have to really die to it.’ The anchor was really cut that day.” This didn’t end her desire for a husband, but “something happened with that.”

Another turning point for Mim came when she was invited to share her story at a chapel at a small Bible college. Reluctantly, she accepted. In her talk, she mentioned reading the book about Kauffman and having to give up the idea that being a pastor’s wife was her calling.

A week later, one of the men who invited her to speak at the chapel sent her an email, saying, ‘Mim, look at who you are. Look at what you’ve done. You are the pastor!’

“And I thought,’Oh, maybe this was plan A all along, and I’m not in plan B anymore.'”

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4 Responses to “You’re like a ship that’s left the anchor down”

  1. Rosemary Shirk says:

    I identified with the call of God you felt on your life which didn’t come about as you expected. When Ben and I returned from Costa Rica, I felt certain that we would return abroad someday. Sure enough, several years later, RMM asked us about our availability and interest of going to Ecuador. At almost the same time, the church we were attending (Mt. Joy) asked Ben if he would be assistant pastor. I remember Ben telling me on the evening the church was going to take it through consul that “if they asked him to be their assistant pastor, he would take that as God’s leading” We had responded to RMM’s request with a ‘maybe’ and had laid out a fleece of 3 things that should happen to know that God was leading us to Ecuador. One of the things was for someone who would be interested in our house. This had maturialized. I don’t remember what the other two things were but in my heart, I was on my way to Ecuador. When Ben decided to let the call from Mt. Joy to be the leading of God, I trully tried to surrender my will. But I must admit, it took me quite a few years to quit blaming Ben for making that decision which didn’t seem to fit with what I thought was God’s call on our lives. Realizing that this was what was keeping me so unhappy and unfulfilled, released me to let God have His way.

  2. Mim Musser says:

    Thanks for sharing that Rosemary. As a younger single woman I often felt like married women didn’t have any of those “Plan B” experiences – it was all “Plan A” for them. How silly…

  3. Elba Helmuth says:

    Mim: Yes, I can see you are the Pastor rather than the “Pastor’s wife”. I recalled the comment from one of my foster daughter: “Mim is like a nun/pastor in our church”.
    The call of God for my husband and I didn’t come about the way as we expected. We expected to go back to Honduras as long term missionaries, have 4 biological kids and work with small Mennonite Churches there. Then after several years of struggling with infertility (We call these years walking through the desert) God lead us to adoption and then to foster care as a ministry in Ohio. As a woman it took me a while to tell the Lord “It is well with my soul”.

    • Mim Musser says:

      Thanks, Elba. You have been such a wonderful friend to me and a beautiful example of a woman who has experienced the pain of unfulfilled dreams, yet has loved and given much to all those foster children. I admire you so much!

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