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Rev. Dr. Christina Hosler- A Passion to Help Others Find Healing

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! I have to be honest with you right up front, I am truly humbled to have been asked to share this post with you. The first question I was asked to answer was “Who are you?” Well, I’ve been asking myself that question for a really long time: Who am I? It turns out that the answer is still evolving, but here’s what I know so far: My name is Rev. Dr. Christina Hosler, known to my family and friends as Tina (except to my nephews, who call me Rev. Dr. Aunt Tina ).

I am a minister, a Spiritual Director, a Christian Life Coach, and a musician. I am also an introverted contemplative trying to lead a congregation of 200 people through a pandemic. I have a newfound respect for Moses as he led the Israelites through the wilderness!


While all of those things are true about me, here’s who I really am: I am a screw-up, plain and simple. Just like the Apostle Paul, I do the things I know I shouldn’t, and I don’t always do the things I know I should. I try to live up to my God-given potential, but I often fail miserably. Boy, it feels good to get that off my chest. Confession is good for the soul, right?


But here’s the thing that amazes me every day - despite my insecurities and imperfections, God still uses me. God has taken all of my mistakes, all of my flaws, and He has turned them into lessons about forgiveness and grace. God has taught me that above all else, I am a child of God, redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit to get up every day and live in to my calling, which is not perfection, merely faithfulness. And when I fail, there is grace yet again. Second Corinthians 12:9 reminds me that His grace is sufficient for me; for His power is made perfect in weakness. Hallelujah!

I’ve been through a lot in my life, as I’m sure you have, too. After all, we all have a story; it’s what shapes us and informs our decisions, behaviors and attitudes, as well as our fears and insecurities. My passions and my purpose have come from my story. God used the things that were devastating at the time, to fuel my purpose. There are quite a few things I’m passionate about. I love music. I have been playing the flute for almost 50 years. I’ve wanted to play the flute since I was a small child. When I was little, my parents bought me one of those silver batons with the white rubber ends. My mother was drum major when she was in high school, so perhaps she wanted me to follow in her footsteps. So I excitedly took that baton and immediately pulled the white rubber ends off and pretended it was a flute. Every Saturday night I pulled out my “flute” as the family gathered to watch The Lawrence Welk Show. I always told my family that one day I was going to play my flute on The Lawrence Welk Show and in the Miss America Pageant.

Although I never met Lawrence Welk, I did win a local pageant and competed in the Miss Pennsylvania Pageant. I didn’t make the Miss PA top 10, but I did receive the scholarship for being the Most Talented. I continue to play my flute today in a local symphonic band. Music is the thing in which I can get lost.


During the pandemic I challenged my congregation to use the time of quarantine to learn something new or take up a new hobby. I accepted my own challenge and took up the banjo. Go figure! I can pick up my flute or banjo and suddenly hours have passed by and I didn’t even know it. Music helps nourish my spirit.


My other passions and my life purpose have come as a result of traumatic events in my life, namely sexual abuse as a teenager and a short-lived marriage, which lasted about 18 months. If I had to describe how I felt about these events in one word, it would be “shameful.” I won’t get in to all the ways that played out in my life over the years; that’s a story for another time, but suffice it to say that I was a hot mess. The depth of my brokenness was palpable. After much counseling, I was able to get to a place of forgiveness; forgiveness toward myself as well as toward my abuser and my ex-husband. Both of those situations were a long time ago (more than 20 years), and I’ve had a lot of time to process and heal, but my take-away is that everyone has a story; a story filled with tears and laughter, brokenness and healing, sin and forgiveness.

All of that has led to my purpose. God has turned my shame and brokenness into a passion to help others know and understand themselves better so that they can fulfill their God-given purpose. I cherish the opportunity to work with people who are seeking more out of their work, relationships or life in general; people who feel as though God has something better in store for them. I am passionate about helping people work toward discovering who they are in Christ and ultimately become the person God is calling them to be. I am reminded of Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” If you are feeling a bit stuck, embrace that promise. Be assured that God has a plan for you. God will take all the events in your life – the good, the bad and the ugly – and He will use you in spite of yourself, and He will do it for His glory. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!


Rev. Dr. Christina Hosler has been serving as Sr. Pastor of the Paris Presbyterian Church since January 1, 2004. She received her Masters of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. She received her certification as a Spiritual Director for Individuals and Groups through the Pneuma Institute and graduated from Christian Coach Institute. She can be reached at her church website: www.pariseco.net or by email at pastor@pariseco.net.



 

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