Pursuing the Call of God
Accepting the call of God over Her life leads to an increasing passion within Patricia's heart that is continually increasing.
I was freckly faced, tomboyish eight-year-old girl on my parents’ farm when suddenly two plain clothed, ordinary looking people stood in front of me and began to speak to me about my life. They said that I would go to many nations, see God move in miraculous ways, I would preach and lead many to salvation. I remember feeling an incredible sense of love from them and wondered how in the world they knew so much about me.
When this conversation was over and they left, I asked my mother, standing nearby, who those nice people were who were talking to me.
“What people?” she asked.
I didn’t know much then about the ministry of angels and only later saw in Hebrew 13 how angels could appear as human strangers. That encounter, which occurred even before my salvation experience at age 12, left me with a burning desire to fulfill the call of God on my life.
I had recurring visions of many coming to salvation, God performing miracles and being a part of a powerful move of God.
I looked at myself, a little girl of eight. I looked at the church as it was and like Mary I thought, “How can this be?”
I, too, would ponder these things in my heart and one of my favorite verses in the Bible became Luke 1:45, “Blessed is she who believed, for there will be fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”
The pursuit of God in my life would lead me to think I should become a medical doctor and use my medical skills on the mission field. After all, I didn’t see any female preachers or pastors, but I did see more women becoming doctors. So, at age 17, I entered university and took all the difficult premed courses to qualify for medical school. I was determined to be one of those who really did fulfill this mandate from the Lord.
I failed my first test ever, a physics test, and I was devastated. All my insecurities caved in on me. Although I did go on to complete my degree and become a registered nurse, the real breakthrough in my heart came when Carol Arnott, my pastor at the time, returned from receiving ministry from John and Paula Sandford. Carol was changed from this healing, and I wanted in on it.
listened to tapes on subjects such as forgiveness, the need to be free of bitter root judgments, ungodly generational cycles and demonic oppression that changed my life. God’s love began to pour in, and I began to see that fulfilling the call of God was not about me making it happen but throwing myself into this wonderful, intimate relationship with a loving Father who would somehow lead me into His best as I kept saying ‘yes.’
When I met and married Mr. Wonderful (aka John Bootsma), and we had our son, Judah, 10 months after marrying, all the dreams of being a minister for the Lord went on the altar as I took up the high calling of motherhood. The Lord showed me that His priorities of life were Him first, my marriage second, my children third and ministry after that.
When the Holy Spirit was poured out in Toronto, John and Carol’s new home, John and I attended a meeting on Jan. 31, 1994. When I received prayer I spun and spun around in circles before finally flopping to the ground in a puddle of joyful tears. God’s love penetrated my heart with passionate affection for me. I was also forever branded with a burning passion for Him.
I also received a new revelation on the greatness and bigness of this wonderful Lord.
The visions of ministry I’d had in childhood came again, but now I knew that my God was big enough to do anything through me as I kept yielding to His glorious Presence. A dormant prophetic gift began to awaken and come forth with a depth of maturity which was now grounded in a new revelation of His great love for me.
In 1995 I became part of the pastoral team of TACF. This provided opportunity to implement the gifts of the Holy Spirit. First, I worked in the nursery for two years learning the principles of being faithful to walk through doors the Father was opening at the time all the while asking Him for more. Later, the Lord led me to establish the church’s prophetic ministry and start a prophetic team, teaching others how to hear and see in the Spirit and walk in the gift of prophecy which I Cor. 14 says we are to especially desire.
Speaking invitations began to come, and international doors opened. All the while, more Bootsma children came along. John and I knew the Lord was asking us to have a large family (we have six children). As I inquired of the Lord how to juggle ministry and family, the Lord spoke clearly to me, “If you take care of my kids, I’ll take care of yours. As you fulfill your destiny, your children will fulfill theirs. Only travel when you have My blessing, your husband’s and your children’s.”
I have heeded these words of wisdom for years.
I have help in the home with cleaning and caring for the children’s practical needs while I am ministering. Yet my role as wife and mother always take precedence. John and I take time to cultivate romance. It is important to us to have weekly date nights, yearly vacations together and to set aside time to receive emotional healing, too.
Our children take turns coming with us on ministry trips. They all passionately love the Lord, are proficient prophetic voices and are grounded in love. My eldest daughter just wrote a song and led in worship in our church.
On my fortieth birthday, the Lord clearly gave me three principles for life, all backed by verses in Psalm 40. He said, “Keep your heart right, keep seeking Me in humble dependence and go forward go across the Jordan, into the Promised Land and lead others there.”
Each time I go to minister at home or in a new nation, I remember those words which were spoken over me when I was eight years old. I remember that the God who called me is faithful to cause me to fulfill my destiny. We just say and live, “Yes!”