Our UnMasked And Thriving series continues with Tara this week. Tara and I first connected through our blog posts. Soon, we began to catch one another on Periscope as well! I am so honored to share her UnMasked moment here today. Please see her bio and links after this post to get connected!
Once upon a time….
Those words open many fairy tales, but our lives are not all fairy tales, are they? They don’t all end with “happily ever after.” In the story of my life, I could share about being a daughter of someone who lives daily with a mental illness. I could share about attending seminary and struggling with my classes. I could share about being teased relentlessly as a child. All of these parts of my story play a huge role in who I am as a woman of faith. In fact, over the years, I have learned the power of sharing my story and hearing those words “me too!” Yet there are still times that I keep parts of my story close to my chest and fear sharing them with others.
But God has this way of showing up in the most unexpected places and through the most unexpected people. Last Friday night, I was gathered for an event with different generations talking about money and money matters. We were having a fantastic conversation when the speaker asked a question about our finances and long-term goals. I sat back in my chair and quietly kept to myself. Moments later, the speaker asked us each to share a step we were going to take to begin the conversation around finances in the next 72 hours.
What came next was totally unexpected. In fact, the moment the words left my mouth I sat there in stunned silence because I couldn’t even believe I had just said them. The words that came out of my mouth were this: “One of my long-term goals, that I am praying about, is the possibility of doing foster care and/or adoption. And in the next 72 hours, I will share that goal with someone near and dear to me.” Little did I realize in just that brief moment, I had already accomplished that goal. And even though I said them, I found myself still asking, “Did I really just say those words aloud?”
As the voices around me exclaimed, “That’s so cool.” I knew that God was working in that time and place. You see, my one word for 2015 is brave. Perhaps God is calling me to be brave and hear this call in my life. It also is no secret that many of my friends have placed this prayer in my head and heart. So many of them have felt like God is calling me to this venture. I am not sure what God has in store for me in the near future. But what I do know, is that last Friday night, God guided me as I peeled off yet another mask in my life.
As a single 37 year old, deeply yearning to be a wife and momma, I hear God’s voice calling me to lean in and listen to where God might be leading me next. God’s words assure me that sometimes (ok, more often than not) that God answers the prayers and desires of our heart in God’s way and not our own. In fact, God always provides us with what we need for the journey ahead.
So, my friends, unmasked, vulnerable, leaning in, and trusting in God who has called and claimed me (and all of YOU) as a beloved child of God, I am choosing to proclaim “Here I am, Lord. Send me!”
Tara Ulrich lives in Minot, ND where she serves at a Lutheran church as the Director of Home and Family Ministry. She is a rostered Diaconal Minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (Diaconal Ministers grew out of the Catholic understanding of deacons and deaconesses; Word and Service rather than Word and Sacrament). Prior to coming to Minot, she lived in Moorhead, MN and served at a church in Dilworth, MN for approximately 6 1/2 years. She is a graduate of the University of Mary (Bismarck, ND) and Wartburg Theological Seminary. She loves to spend time with her friends and family, reading, writing, and on the beautiful prairies of North Dakota. You can follow her at her blog Praying on the Prairie.
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