pastor, chaplain, woman, Canadian, free methodist church in Canada, minister, evangelical, long term care chaplain

Erika Mills

Pastor | Pastor's Wife | Chaplain
Partner | Mom | Friend
Wrestling Evangelical

We share our stories. We testify. We sit together and wrestle with our present condition, how we got here and where God is leading. 
Since childhood I've known that God was calling me to gospel ministry. And similar to many young, evangelical girls I translated that as "called to be a missionary" - so when I met and fell in love with a guy who was training for pastoral ministry I felt a little confused about what that meant for me.

But I tried. I did the pastor's wife, homeschooling mom, sewing-business-homemaker for 16 years. And it was good. But the whole time. The. Whole. Time. I was waiting to step into what was next. I didn't know what that was. And no one around me, except my husband, thought it could be pastoral ministry. I didn't even think it was possible. 

And then I went to Conrad Grebel University College and upgraded my Religious Sudies BA to an honours with a minor in Church Worship and Music . And I found Life and decided to continue on in the Masters of Theological Studies program. (Because if you go full time you qualify for full tuition scholarships - that's right, you can go for free if you already have a four year undergrad - so, happy dance).  Soon after begining my studies I got a job with a really smart, wonderful, woman senior pastor at a Presbyterian church (who had also been the spouse of a pastor) and my eyes were opened: I got lit, woke, illuminated. So, my husband and I agreed to pursue our callings at two different churches to see if we could discern our next steps. 

While I was working on my MTS degree: I commuted an hour and a half to take classes; raised young teens; worked with Syrian refugees; was employed as a worship leader; and took two units of CPE . The experience was  exhausting, thrilling and full of sacrifice. 

I saw myself pursing social justice work after I graduated, however, when it was nearly time to walk across the stage and receive my degree I felt the Spirit calling me strongly towards pastoral ministry. Its hard to describe the 'calling thing' other than a relentless heart-stirring that indicates there's only one way to go.

Then, so much happened. And how it all got worked out would take pages, and pages, and pages...and the story may come out in my blog posts or sermon stories as I go. But today, I am a pastor, surprised and delighted with the twists and turns the road is taking. Following the Spirit of God into pastoral ministry with my husband , partner and best friend has been exhausting, heart-wrenching, glorious and affirming. And looking back from here, all the heart ache of following my God-planted-heart-desires has been worth it. So, if you're a pastor's wife, mama or  seminary woman who is feeling the Spirit nudge to pastoral ministry, hang in there. Don't give up. And go ahead and contact me . ;)