For those of you who have posted comments that i haven’t responded to, thank you so much for yur feedback. Your comments have been very thought provoking and I have been turning things over in my head quite a bit the past couple of days. I think this post will summarize my responses as well as some other things.
In my post I wanna Preach, I talked about my desire to do just that and the feelings of fear and inadequacy I was feeling as a result of wanting to step into that. Next in Torn, I spoke about how I was afraid of committment. To give a little background on that, it was only a year ago that I came out of a significant period of burnout. I nearly lost myself when i was in the navy and I’m not talking about the positive dying to self type either. It was bad. I went through a year of counseling in order to come out of that. I have experienced much healing and restoration for sure. But I am also a bit gun shy. I don’t want to go back to that place. This realization is pretty fresh. I started to understand it when I realized I was pulling back from certain things. I was even pulling back from my classes a little bit. So I believe what is happening is that when I start to feel overewhelmed and believe I am starting towards that that place of loosing myself, though that place is far from me I pull back as if it is an imminent danger. Then there’s the post I did on the new face my fear wears: teenagers.
To this post, a guy named Frank, who blogs here, said:
I’ve read your posts, I’ve read what you want and in all those words you always go back to being inadequate.
It wasn’t until he said this that I ralized the common thread of my own posts and made me wince. Yeah…maybe it’s obvious, but as Frank said, “sometimes it’s nice to get a comment from an outsider.”
Then Ruth came in with a comment that really made me think. She ended with “sorry to give you so much at once…” : ) I actually like getting a lot at once. Ideas are not often stand alone units of thought. They are linked in an intricate web of ideas and people and history. Ideas are also like a puzzle. Sometimes the piece you need to put ideas together is lying right next to the others it’s just facing the wrong way so you don’t see it. She also called me honey which made me smile.
So to get to the point of this already long post, I was reading a daily devotion I like (which is a miracle in itself) and it pointed me to 1 cor 2.1-5 which says:
When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.
The part that stuck out to me was v. 3: ‘I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.” So Paul, the Superman of the Apostles, came in weakness, fear, and with much trembling!?!? Yeah…tell me we don’t idolize Paul. I have often heard the first part of this passage quoted, but it is always done in such a way as to build him up as said Superman and insinuate that he choose to leave his eloquence behind for the sake of the gospel. Sure, this is probably true in some instances and to a certain degree, but I think it’s alo because just like any normal person, he was scared. He had to face his fears just like everyone else. And so I am comforted in that. I am encouraged in that. Because God used Paul in a mighty way despite his fears because he wanted to be used. And so do I. And so, I will face my fears and in the strength of God I will not back down. I will have moments where I have to pull away and shed a few tears and ask for strength, but I will face my fears. And I will allow God to heal me and strengthen me and use me.
So to answer some of Ruth’s questions, I do want to preach. I hadn’t thought of preaching and youth ministry as mutually exclusive, but I can definitely see it’s a different ball of wax. I do not feel called to youth ministry long term, but I think it’s what God has for me for a season. I have been thinking on it for about 6 months. And initially my answer was ‘no.’ And that ‘no’ was tested, and I held onto it. It was nice to be able to do that. And the youth director respected my no which was awesome. But I think there is something there for me now. Something to give and something to receive.
Okay…I gotta get ready for work. For those of you who made it to the end of this long post, you win a prize! To claim it, please treat yourself to a free sample on me! ; )