“I don’t care if you ever preach again, but this has to stop.”
One part of me wanted to grab the words from the air I had spoken them into and return them into my mouth. The other part meant every syllable. It was terrifying to confess.
We were trying to fit a mold. I’ve spent this last year trying to figure out exactly what mold that was. Sadly, I think it was an ideal expectation we had created for ourselves without consulting God. It was a determination of who hat He would have us do in the ministry without His saying so. It was our starry eyes and great expectations which pursued it.
Like fitting a peg into a square hole, it didn’t fit. And when something doesn’t fit, you will infuriate and frustrate yourself trying to squeeze in.
I was driven and motivated by what I wanted. I was enamored with friends who seemed to have this perfect life of ministry, so I modeled my life after theirs. I compared my life to theirs and often felt unworthy and insecure because I didn’t measure up. I also got puffed up in pride, insisting God owed me more.
Oh dear. And I know you’re asking – where was your Bible, child?!? Sadly, it often sat on my coffee table. It sat unread as I struggled this life in my strength. A thin layer of dust fell onto it’s cover as we tried to force ourselves into doors which weren’t meant for us.
So, I sat in our car that night and uttered those words. I confessed I didn’t know if I wanted to go to church again. I spewed the words I never thought would leave my tongue.
He had grace. He brought us to a place where we could be still and quiet. He enabled us to listen and really take in some important truths we hadn’t heard before. He revealed some ugly truth about ourselves, while still scooping us into His arms and building us back up.
He reminded us how when we sit on the judgement seat, He isn’t going to ask how many rainbows we chased. He is going to ask if we were faithful, if we pursued His will, if we served others in love. I had to hold my head in shame as I confessed … it was more about me and less about Him.
He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30
I never thought I’d have a desire to minister again. I didn’t even want to play piano or even think about all things “churchy.” I was worn out by all of it. I even questioned whether any of it was worth it. I remained honest in my prayers, confessing to God every bit of my anger and frustration. He calmed my spirit and breathed a silent hush over my soul.
He breathed a desire to minister and serve once again. He changed my heart from a “what’s in it for me” attitude to desiring to honor Him. It’s less about my mold and more about HIM transforming me for His work and His glory.
As far as my dear preacher husband, I love to hear him preach. I love watching him serve. (For some reason, the old ladies are glued to him!) I love his giving heart. But at the end of the day, I’m happy if the Lord has him preaching once a year or if he’s doing something in a “bigger” capacity. Whatever it is, if it’s in the center of God’s will, I have full confidence we will be content. I’ve laid my expectations and mold for myself at the feet of Jesus and gratefully accepted His perfect will.
God has you right where He wants you. Just because you’re not behind a pulpit does not mean He can’t use you. He needs faithful laborers who are willing to witness, serve others, serve their local ministry, and raise up families for His glory. He wants you to fulfill His purpose for your life and once you find that, you will find joy like you’ve never known.
Because if it isn’t His will, it won’t be right. It will be a miserable struggle and it will drive you to quit – just like I almost did that night two years ago.