Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Power of a Thank You

For those days when you wonder if the sacrifice is worth it.

For those moments when the burden seems too heavy to bear.

For those hours when you ask yourself if anyone knows the loneliness that comes with leadership.

For those late nights and early mornings where you give up sleep to answer a call or meet for a heart-to-heart lament.

For all these moments and more that come with pouring your life into others - Thank You.

Far too often we never get to hear those two words of appreciation...BUT when you do, when you hear the OTHER side of the story - the sacrifice, the hours, the burdens, the tears - they all come into focus and you realize:

It WAS worth it

And You never once carried that burden or sacrifice alone...for He lifted your shoulders and wiped your tears, and gave you strength, and listened to your bleeding heart.

And He is now allowing you to see the other side - the Thank You’s, the stories, the words of memory, the transformed lives.

And it is worth it!

****Last night Josh and I were surprised with a thank you party for our 10 years of serving as college and young adult pastors.  It was such a joy to see the faces of many who had come into our lives through this ministry.

And late into last night we read together the words of thanks that these young men and women had penned.  And those words - those precious thank you’s - were like balm to my soul.

As I read aloud their sentiments I was flooded back with the many memories I had over the years...

     ...of my insecurities, wondering if I was making any sort of lasting impact

     ...of the sometimes tears that I would shed over their stories - feeling that I in no way could really  give the guidance or hope that was needed

     ...of the frustrations I felt because I was not seeing what Christian culture tells us equals success (big crowds and flashy lights)

     ...of the laughter, so much laughter, that I had shared with these beautiful young people

     ...of the ways I’ve been changed by them

And this morning as I sit outside reminiscing and giving my own thanks to God, I realize that there really is no end to this call we all have to make an impact - I will continue to try to do so in whatever capacity I’m given.

And in no way does my journey end with those hundreds of amazing young men and women - for even this morning I couldn’t help but go read the Thank You’s that Paul once wrote and I found myself praying these words over their lives:

“So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well...Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.”   - Philippians 1:9-11

**Perhaps you should go tell someone in your life Thank You today - those two words have power.


Anna said...

Dear Paige and Josh,
I never went to Zoe ministries and I only crossed paths with you one very short weekend in Ghent and one evening in Brussels. You were expecting your first baby then!
I'm not sure if I ever told you later, but that one night was very important to me. I was about to walk into a very dark situation and just being around people who radiate God so strongly, I was able to make the right choice. To be truthful, I don't even remember what you said, but it was mostly His presence that you carried with you so strong.
You reminded me of what I once had: a very intimate relationship with Christ but who at that moment seemed so very distant, clouded by the world around me that I had let myself in with.
Life is still a struggle, as I know it is to many, with lots of right and very wrong choices. But I love reading what you share about your life on this blog - It reminds me to stand still and smell the roses, to smell God. To keep my ears open for that still small voice and the Beauty that He is and continues to be even when I chose to ignore Him. More often then not, your stories here have encouraged me to spend time in His presence and to let Him take the lead.
Thank you!

Lindsey V said...

This is happy for you both to receive that gift of refreshment....I know how valuable that is in years of ministry and service...

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