Ordinand stories - Michelle Deans

I became a Christian back in 1994 when I was 26 years old. I believe that everything I’ve been through in my life has led to this moment. We read in Jeremiah 29:11 that God knows the plans he has for us, and they are not there to harm us, but to give us a hope and a future. 

Part of my calling to ministry is helping people acknowledge that life is hard, and helping them to see that Jesus can help change how they might respond. Week after week, day after day, I meet people who have lost their way due to varying circumstances. When Jesus came to me, I was lost. We often hear it said that when they found Jesus, the truth is he was never lost! Jesus comes to find us. He pulls us from the depths of despair, even from those places of false security.

When we moved to Mablethorpe, I was looking for God in all the wrong places. But I met Christians who began praying for me, and it was through their prayers that I finally understood that God was reaching out to me. I prayed, asking Jesus to come into my life and from that moment on, I have been guided by the power of the Holy Spirit as have others in my family. 

In 2013 I moved to Nottingham, after having a very difficult time with my health. I had taken on too much, working full time as a teacher, leading the youth at church, chair of trustees, and part of the worship team. God was prompting me, for a long time to change position, to move into new things. In my spirit I felt God was calling me into preaching, leading and teaching. There was a stubbornness within me that just kept holding on to false securities. I began to pray, asking God to tear down the strongholds in my life, those defences I had built over the years. I needed to trust God more and believe that he really had got plans for me.

The decisions made, were taken after a long time of praying, waiting, and seeking God, and discussing things with my family and the church before I finally handed in my notice at work.

In Nottingham, I visited various churches, looking for a new spiritual home. One evening my mum suggested that we go out for tea and then she’d show me where the Methodist Mission Hall was. As it happened one of the church members was working in the building. He took me on a tour around the place; despite it being run down and shabby, God was stirring something in me.

I began helping with their Youth Cafe. Sometime later, at one of the church council meetings, it transpired that the safeguarding officer was moving on and they needed a new one. I decided that I was going to offer my services, and that’s how I ended up becoming a Methodist.

Not long after becoming a member, I was encouraged to complete a worship leaders’ course, then spurred on towards the Local Preachers training. In a conversation with my minister on the way home from a safeguarding meeting, he suggested to me that I ought to consider being a Presbyter. I asked him what a Presbyter was, and he told me he was one. I was making all the excuses under the sun about why I was not called for that ministry and how impractical it was.

When I discussed this with my family, and friends there was a resounding, vote of confidence. There was full agreement that it was my calling, even though many, in my family, would not call themselves Christians.

About a year later, and even though I had not yet completed my Local Preachers training, it was revealed that it was possible to candidate if the course was completed by the June of the following year. I had been praying, seeking God for answers, as I’d had some unsettling things happening at work, and I knew God was calling me to take another step, to move on.

I was placed, as a probationer, into the Sheffield Circuit where I have been for almost two years. God has used my gifts and graces in ways I had not expected, and I recognise that all those hills and vales I’ve experienced have not been wasted. God uses everything we have ever been through for his glory. Whatever is meant for ill, God transforms and uses it for good!

Michelle Deans