A man, an honest question and a picture

I’ve spent the better part of 20 years in full time, paid, ministry. I worked with youth for many of those years and then began to shift my understand of ministry out side of the context of the local church. With this, my understanding of ministry changed and  soon the jar of things about which I cared was so full that I could put nothing else in it.

I was praised for my ability to hold on to so many things and to keep it together. I somehow managed my relationships with a fierce loyalty that led me to a, “I can do all things all the time and never loose a person even when I move,” mentality.

I was so confident in who I was and what I was able to do that I kept adding and adding and adding, until I recently looked at a picture of me and no longer saw me. Who had I become?

I recently met with a man in Colorado. He listened to me share about my work and his facial expressions showed nothing other than confusion, exhaustion and question. I was completely unraveled. I had wanted to please him. I was sure that he, like many others would celebrate my many involvements and large network of friends and associates and celebrate all that God was doing through me. Instead I received honest questions and my usual charm and way with people did not impress him.

I left defeated and intrigued. Was he right? Did I really not know what I was doing? Had I given myself away to everything, therefore giving myself to very little? Where had I gone? My clear sense of direction & purpose were challenged.

One of the downsides of doing everything for everyone is that one gets lost and I, I got lost. I was lost and didn’t even know it. It took a man, an honest question and a picture to reveal to me I wasn’t as aware of self as once thought. I’ve recently been found, but it’s been a very difficult, painful process. I have had to loose everything, to gain. I’ve had to be stripped of everything that once tethered me outside of Jesus, to grow new roots in Him. This month I’ve focused mostly on the loss and am excited to say that I sense a newness in me, feeling the redemptive hand of Jesus in my life.

Have you ever been lost in an attempt to help others be found? Who are the people you don’t impress who can speak truth and life into you?

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