Some days it's as if the Lord gives you a glimpse - a reminder of why you do just exactly what you do. These reminders are different for everyone - I'm sure parents get these glimpses when they find their hands grasped by a child...or for my husband I know it happens occasionally when a client tears up upon entering their new home. We all get those glimpses from time to time - but sometimes...I don't know about you...but sometimes it feels like the work is more overwhelming than the reminders that it is worth it.
I feel that way working at the church quite often - don't get me wrong - I LOVE my job - I would do it for free...it is not a job but my passion...and a huge part of simply who I am. There are many aspects to my work at the church - missions...teaching...administration...and plenty of listening.
But yesterday was a day full of glimpses in one specific area - zoe - a ministry to college students & young adults that Josh and I have overseen now for 7 years. In all honesty we've had our ups and downs - I've had young people cuss me out...I've cried over giving counsel that was swiftly ignored only to see the pain in young women's eys...we've tried to quit at least 4 times (literally - gone in and said we would like to be done)...we've seen numbers fluctuate...and we've questioned why God keeps us there.
And yet, we've had some of our greatest joys from working with young people as well. Performing weddings...countless talks over coffee...6am girls' groups that I've led for years...pre-marital counseling...lots of laughter...sharing tears...but mostly seeing these young men and women fall more in love with Jesus. So there are moments when we love it...there are glimpses of why this is His purpose...
Lately, I've been distanced from the hands-on conversations with girls that normally give me the glimpses into why I love zoe. Mostly because of my pregnancy & choosing to say no to things like my 6am small group & other commitments in this season. I've missed it...and the distance was causing me to question once again..."Are you sure God? You want us to continue to give our lives here?"
So yesterday was His ever-faithful reminder that although my life may be changing there is still so much to give. My glimpses included coffee with a young woman who after drifting for a bit is renewing her deep relationship with the Lord...and then an unexpected email from a woman who was in our group 4 years ago & is now married & living in a different city. Her short message included these words, "I had forgotten what sweet memories I have from my time spent with you and the girls. I started thinking back about how much I grew during that time, and I just wanted to thank you for all the time you poured into me...you helped make me a better person, and my time in Zoe changed my life in so many ways!"
And then...perhaps my greatest glimpse of all occured at our weekly zoe service where we had a night of worship & communion. At one point I just stopped singing & looked around the room. Before me were over 80 young people - some standing...some kneeling...some sitting...some crying...some quiet...some singing...all worshipping...and giving adoration to Him. In that moment, I quietly said thank you to the Lord.
Thank you for not allowing us to quit.
Thank you for giving me a place to share myself.
Thank you for giving me words or tears or laughter or empathy when I haven't known what to say.
Thank you for choosing me to love these people.
And Thank you for the love I've received from them.
It was a good day...and a good reminder that whatever He calls us to do - it is worth it.
And by the way, we had a "love" theme to our night of worship last night. In the middle of singing Elizabeth Brown read a spoken word piece that she wrote that brought tears to my eyes. You should read it... http://half-bakedwords.blogspot.com/
And I pray that you feel His love this weekend and that you feel a renewed love for where He has you.