In my blog description I mention that I will reveal some of the “ugly” stuff I’m going through in this season of my life. A few Sundays ago, I reluctantly shared this with my congregation. Here’s the big news: I’m battling anxiety and it sucks.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Friday, October 8, 2010
In my own little world it hardly ever rains
I’ve never gone hungry, always felt safe
I got some money in my pocket shoes on my feet
In my own little world--Population me
As a pastor’s wife, I am blessed to know many people and to be part of their life’s journey--the ups, downs, victories, and challenges. To me, serving and encouraging the body of Christ is both a privilege and a reward. But lately I’ve been so consumed with “my own little world” that my purpose is getting lost in the realities of life.
Am I working hard, brick by brick, stone by stone, building an altar to myself? Am I building a kingdom w/ a population of one—ME?
When I think about how much time I spend thinking about myself, guarding what’s mine, adding to what’s mine, adding to my resume, adding to my life experiences, setting higher goals, dreaming new dreams . . . I stop and ask myself, “How much of this is God-directed and how much of this is leaving a Lori legacy?”
Is there no end to distractions that compel me to keep my mind on myself and not others? Case in point#1- Torn ligament in my right arm—RESULT—I constantly think about MY pain. #2 Lots of things breaking down around the house lately—RESULT—I think about MY money and how I need more. #3 Anxiety from work and school building up—RESULT—I think about how I can guard my ME time.
So sick of ME!
The Lord stepped in last night and gently reminded me through Paul’s words that I need to stop focusing on my problems and start focusing on Him.
“May you be filled with joy, ALWAYS thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to His people.” Colossians 1:11, 12
It’s so simple and I’ve learned it a hundred times. Immediately I began to praise Him for who He is and thank Him for what He has enabled me to do. Tears came as I began to write in my journal:
“He has enabled me to—think, reason, go to school, enjoy my kids, feed and clothe them, share my life with my husband, get out of bed, breathe, rest, sleep, see, feel, hear, . . . !!”
I must quit focusing on my lack, my need, my pain, my circumstances, my plans, etc. and get my mind on HIM! His promises, His protection, His provision, and His very person—I must praise Him. As I do, Jesus empowers me with strength to serve and fills me with compassion to love others.
The last words of the song sum it up:
Start breaking my heart for what breaks Yours
Give me open hands and open doors
Put Your light in my eyes and let me see
That my own little world is not about me
Friday, October 1, 2010
However, I was against the idea from day one. I won’t go into all the reasons why I thought this was a bad idea, but the list was long! Nevertheless, I played the part of the submissive wife and pretended to care about the youth in the church.
About 6 months into our youth ministry there, I was sitting in the back of the room during a Wednesday night youth service. Matt was preaching while I was telling God, in my mind, all the reasons why we should not be working there. I began to tell him all the problems with the youth group and why we were the wrong people to lead this group of students. I counted around 25 youth there that night and that depressed me too. I missed the large youth group we pastored when we lived in San Diego. “Why are we so small, Lord?” He was listening.
Right at that moment the Lord spoke to me and said, “This youth group is small because of YOU.” Immediately I knew what he meant—my lack of faith, my negativity, my complaining spirit—I was the problem!!
That night I repented and asked the Lord to give me a heart for these students. Soon after that, we took almost 40 young people to Magic Mountain, an amusement park in Southern California. One night in the hotel conference room, we experienced an unexpected, supernatural move of God. Students began to weep, confess sins, prophecy—that night would launch a consistent move of God. Our youth group began to grow and grow. Many of those young people are in full time ministry today.
Is your lack of vision harming your ministry? Is your negativity and complaining spirit putting a wet blanket on the Holy Spirit’s plans for your church? Repent and allow the Lord to fill you with a supernatural love for the people the Lord has assigned you to serve. He can do it!