Published July 25, 2018

How I Faced Fear & Discovered God’s Calling For Me


Because of the GLSNorth America

My pastor saw leadership potential in me.

Growing up, fear was a big part of my life. I didn’t know what I was supposed to be, because it felt like everything I ever tried failed. I always wanted to be a pastor when I grew up, but everyone told me I couldn’t do it. I remember being in the shower, just balling my eyes out, wondering what I should do. Still unaware and unsure of my gifts and potential, I decided to enroll in seminary anyway.

It was my pastor, Tom Burgett, with Vandercook Missionary Church, who saw something in me I never saw before. He saw my leadership potential, and invited me to attend The Global Leadership Summit for the first time in 2017.

Attending the Summit, I realized God’s calling for me.

Ashley with her pastor, and friend attending the Summit in 2017.

While attending the Summit, I suddenly started to realize that God had a greater calling for me in spite of my fears. I came away from the Summit with a realization of what a real leader looks like. It’s someone who takes chances, invests in people and serves. It is someone who becomes the hands and feet of Jesus, and acts as his vessel to serve people. I realized that God had a greater calling for me that wasn’t in the poor working environment that I was in at the time. I gained courage to act in leadership roles.

With this new idea of leadership, I’ve changed from thinking that leadership is about power to realizing it is about how you lead your own personal life. I realized there is influence in the power of words and prayer. When you count on God, He is already working on your behalf.

I decided to pursue the passion God put on my heart.

While I was processing everything I heard at the Summit, my pastor said, God has a plan for you, and I thought, I could do this. I could pursue God’s calling for me. I realized for the first time that God gave me a unique gift of discernment, and he wanted me to use it for His glory. I decided to quit my job and continue to pursue the passion God had put on my heart a long time ago.

I started teaching in a discipleship where I finally felt like I could thrive. I found courage to get out of my comfort zone. I’m also in the process of going to seminary with the desire of going into grief counseling to serve people who are struggling, to serve kids from broken homes, to serve those going through divorce or those who have lost a child.

I want to show people that there’s hope!

The world says there is no such thing as hope. But God says my son is your hope! God wants me to share that. He wants me to point people to the one who provides hope and show people their worth. One day I would love, if God would open the door, to own my own grief counseling site.

My life verse is 1 Corinthians 15:58: Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

I continue to stay encouraged by remembering an eternal perspective, and that none of this is in vain. I think to myself, what was I worried about this time last year? If I can’t remember, there is no significance to it. Everybody has their own story, and their own eternal life to face. If God says get out there, do it! Jesus has already done it!

What if I hadn’t said yes?

He wants me to go out and make disciples. And it’s amazing to see how God intertwines people’s lives like a tapestry. Now people are coming to me and opening up and letting me introduce them to God. People have come to Christ because I reached out and served them. What if I hadn’t say yes to God’s call? I’m a vessel used by God to bring people hope, and I’m so glad I said yes. Because if I hadn’t, today I would have nothing else.

About the Author(s)
Ashley Smith

Ashley Smith

Ashley Smith is a seminary student pursuing the path of becoming a grief counselor. While attending The Global Leadership Summit, she discovered her gift of leadership and discernment, and found the courage to pursue her dream.