Life has felt a lot like this lately:
But you know what’s crazy?
It feels a little bit awesome.
I’ve been serving others beyond my capacity for almost exactly two years now. God has a way of making up for what we lack when He has something for us to do. And it’s been amazing. I’ve loved every moment of it.
But for the most part, I’ve been alone and unsupported and I’ve only had a couple of short breaks to sustain me.
A week here and a week there really isn’t enough.
God sending me to Mongolia made me pretty sure He was gearing up to use me for evangelism. Like that was my spiritual gift.
When I was in Mongolia, the team leaders I was working under used me to counsel and teach my teammates. I went for long walks on windy plains with girls who were aching for home, wondering what God was doing in their lives, and struggling to become teachers.
That’s how I figured out that I’m not an evangelist.
It’s how I learned that God fashioned me to guide and disciple.
And when I got back, that’s exactly what He used me to do, as, slowly but surely, they started trickling in: girls who wanted to get coffee with me, girls who just needed a friend, girls who were luke warm.
And it was and is miraculous how God worked.
Because He gave me things to say. He put people around me who showed me what it is to love selflessly. He taught me bits of theology and doctrine at just the right moments… sometimes a week before someone came to me with questions.
But there were more than a few bumps.
There were girls who truly wanted to be closer with God. AND Girls who were mad at Him. Girls who just wanted a husband. Feminists (Hi, Amy) :). Girls who tried to elope with travelling magicians. Girls who wanted to date me. Girls who are older than I am and younger ones. Married ones and single ones. Fat ones and skinny ones.
And God did exactly what He had planned with each of them. And I’m honored that He used me so tangibly.
But this kind of stuff takes its toll. Especially if you throw your heart into it. Especially if you pray for each person you’re serving. Especially if you’ve got a full-time job doing work most people avoid like the plague, and you write a book, and your family members have heart attacks and weird jug-problems, and… and… and…
When I’m honest, I haven’t had time to process much of these two years.
My relationship with God has been about other people; I’ve had very little growth that was only mine. It belonged to everyone around me. God grew me for their benefit. Of course it was for my benefit too. You can’t really separate those things out.
And now we’re at a new church and a lot of those girls I’ve been meeting with are expecting things from me. They’re smart, beautiful, passionate girls who’re hurting, so of course I feel protective of them.
Would you expect anything less?
But I have a relationship with God too.
It’s cool that everyone believes I’m meant to lead this or that, but the truth is that God is in the driver’s seat.
I may not end up at Revolution (that’s the name of the church), and if I don’t, it’s okay.
I believe that God has me there right now.
But if I leave at some point, it doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t mean that it isn’t an amazing church that God is using. It doesn’t mean that Pastor Mike and Daddy Dave have in some way failed me or that every girl I’ve ever met for coffee with should leave too.
They should quit clinging to the things they’re clinging to (preaching to myself right there) and cling to God. Because although we had a cool little community before God moved us,
God did move us.
And what we were isn’t what we’re going to be.
Which is beautiful.
Because what we were exhausted me. And it exhausted the few other people who spent one… two… three… years leading things and sacrificing. So if I write a blog post about how I’m frustrated or if I say no to one of the girls I’ve been there for for the past two years… it doesn’t mean that I have a horrible heart.
It means that God used me one way last year, and He’s using me a different way this year. He doesn’t have to use me to lead stuff. I believe He’s formed me to be a leader, but that kind of stuff takes time and preparation.
He’s been preparing others for the past two years.
Maybe it’s my turn to prepare for something.
I’m not betraying anyone by struggling through this.
*NO this post isn’t directed at you. None of my posts are directed at any one person or any one thing. I’m writing about complex things that synthesize a million moments. Don’t freak out. Mike, Lisa, Amy, Alix, Revolutionaries, etc… etc… etc… I promise this post isn’t about whatever you said to me that you might think it’s about. It’s about what God is doing with me.