Just shy of three years of serving in the Children’s Church Ministry, I am about to embark on a tremendous experience. I have served officially in the past here and there. After finally finding one of my callings and being named the Children’s Church leader at Fort Campbell, I had to abruptly move my family. I don’t question God often, but I couldn’t understand why I had to leave when I had such big things I wanted to do to honor Him. My heart ached because I was ready to get out there and serve! How could God say no this? Nonetheless, I rolled with the punches.
One year after finding our new home church, which was really my old church that I grew up in…I was called to serve again. I had waited for the dust to settle a bit before giving of myself. Not because I didn’t have time, but because I wasn’t right with myself. The truth is, the dust never truly settled. It was an incessant storm. I may have been praising God in the good, the bad, and the pain, but part of me was living a life of someone that lost her mind. I became embarrassed. I wore a smile and encouraged as much as I possibly could to all around me, but I couldn’t see the light for quite some time. I was ashamed that though my mouth and mind were fixed on the Lord, my eyes just couldn’t see beyond the darkness. I sat uncomfortably in my woman’s group because I was trying so hard to keep a smile on my face and prove my faithfulness. I was ashamed by my storm and couldn’t let them know about it. I thought I was the only broken one in the group and I couldn’t let them see what my life looked like. Then one by one, I learned that we all had a that closet that we shove our messiness in. It was there one Wednesday evening that I learned that I had to completely break a part and truly let God put me back together because the band aids I had been using just weren’t working. I wanted to walk away from my small role in the ministry. How could I continue to say the words and teach when I couldn’t feel what I was saying for myself? I know what the truth is, but I just couldn’t feel it at that time. It took some time, and I did completely break into a million little pieces. Bit by bit, my role in the Church started to increase as much as I tried to shy away from serving more. I still wasn’t put back together and it didn’t make sense to me.
The truth is- we will ALWAYS be broken. We will always be in a storm. We will never be ready on our own terms. God knows when we are ready even if we don’t see it. God has always been a part of my life since I have a memory. I pray probably half the way. I can be sitting there typing away at work or singing Grace Got You and the top of my lungs, but those are all internal spiritual activities. God has placed me here to SERVE. To not just take and take, but to give as well. It started first with a can you help lead large group as well, and that slowly turned into the norm. Even during a Ravens game 😱 Admittedly, there were times where it felt like such a time constraint. Less time for me to run to the grocery store or get other things done. Then one day, I remember joyfully in my heart agreeing to serve more. Before I had a second of hesitation, I realized that God comes first. It sounds like a silly “well, duh” notion, but if you take a look at your day to day activities…you’ll see it doesn’t always play out that way. We often don’t want to go to Church because we just want to sleep in on Sunday because we work all week, then sports for the kids on Saturday etc… We tell ourselves it’s ok because we pray and read the Bible on our own. We say it’s ok because we’ve already given plenty. We don’t have time to serve because we want to go to service and don’t have time for two because we have things to do at home. Our loving God who gives all should not be an afterthought. We shouldn’t be “finding the time”, we should be MAKING THE TIME for Him. God shouldn’t get your leftovers. Just as we shouldn’t give our children what is only leftover of us after a long hard day at work and we are just exhausted to the bone, we shouldn’t give God what little we have left of us at the end of the week. (As I write this I’m ashamed and can’t help but think that my parents shouldn’t get my leftovers either.) The more you hand over to Him, the less in the world you are…and the more He can truly guide you. This is to not just to focus on the return on investment you think you’ll get because whether we do right or good things or not…we are all loved EQUALLY. There are no gold stars, even for this Type-A teacher’s pet. You can’t earn His favor. You can attain more peace though by simply truly living for Him.
Sorry, this does not mean the storms stop coming or slow down though.
Why all of this psychobabble? I joke that the Church is in a sad state if they believe that I am worthy enough, but I’m absolutely honored and humbled to be going to the Etch Family Ministry Conference on behalf of the Church with a small team of our amazing leaders and Lead Family Pastor. I don’t have the nerves to speak publicly and that’s why I always prefer to write my nonsense. If I had the guts I’d love to preach one day, and I’m amazed and am in awe at how naturally it all rolls out of my Pastors- Pastor Drew, Pastor John, Pastor Chris, and Pastor Steve. I’m a train wreck even when I’m leading in front of our precious little ones. The message is SO important. It’s the only thing that matters and I have a role in communicating it! My prayer and hope for this week is to learn more AND build my confidence to help reach more and more, who will then reach more and more. Thank you Pastor Steve and The Church at Severn Run for seeing something in me, though I still think you’re nuts.
“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30 ❤️ Love well, Live Jesus, and Believe Big!