We try so hard to fake the funk.
We want to give the constant illusion that we're okay, even though something is rumbling and wrestling within our skin, right underneath the surface.
And then we snap at the most inopportune times.
I could feel myself wanting to hide. I'm in a season of transition, and I have a feeling many of you are too.
With that said, I've made the choice to transition out of youth ministry in the summer of 2015. This was in no way a result of any drama going down at my church or me being tired of teenagers. In fact there were many tears shed on my part to even consider such a move--such a transition.
The decision was made in love. Because you see, I wasn't running from something, but rather running towards something.
I'm pretty vocal about the fact that I'm about being married and having a family one day. And I knew, the pace of life that I was living wasn't going to leave room for either marriage or family to truly exist and thrive in my life.
It's becoming clearer and clearer to me that one of my main callings in life is to cultivate family. That's why I love pastoring. Because I get to be a mama every week and love young thirsty hearts with God's love.
Therefore, my heart is always to pastor, it will just take on a different form in the seasons to come. And you'll still find me at my local church on any given Sunday, ready to give you a hug, a listening ear, cry with you, laugh with you, or simply pray with you.
Youth ministry has been my life for over 10 years. It was a call that I was drawn to at an early age and in many ways effortlessly transitioned into in my twenties and thirties.
But now, seasons are changing.
Without such labels, I'm struggling a bit to understand who I am now at this stage of the game.
Taking off one coat makes you feel a bit defenseless...until your other coat arrives.
The natural reaction once that initial coat comes off is to run, and to run as fast as you can!
The time passing between one coat leaving and another so firmly wrapping itself around your body feels no less than an eternity.
But stand your ground.
We love labels. We love knowing where we stand.
But I think we can gain a new appreciation for labels, by sitting in the moment of unrest and not running.
It's like you don't know what you really have until you experience the opposite.
Plus my personal favorite, "wherever you go, there you are."
And whatever it is you might be trying to outrun is most likely connected to your own heart first--An undealt with issue within your own heart and skin that needs attention; and needs to be taken care of first, before a new season and chapter of your life can fully emerge.
Have you heard of that song, "Deliver Me" originally by the British group, The Beloved and later covered by Sarah Brightman, and then David Crowder?
Well, I LIVED off of that David Crowder version from 2003-2006.
David Crowder turned what appeared to be a unique love song, into a mystical and beautiful worship song, of a heart crying out to God as well.
It spoke so deeply to me. To my core, like down to my toes.
I would spend some mornings just looping that song over and over, while I lay on the floor of my bedroom weeping before God. Trying to grasp the fact that I was worth being loved, being known, being seen, being respected.
"All of my life, I've been in hiding..."
I find that courage often comes by way of love.
Love makes us come out of our shells.
But it's not enough to love others.
Or to fake the funk so well, that everyone and their mom thinks you're pretty darn okay and doing quite well for yourself.
It's also learning how to love and honor yourself in the process.
And when the coat is off, it feels as though Love has abandoned us. But Love hasn't. No. Not at all.
It's just that---a new coat is arriving, one tailored made for the new journeys ahead.
Loving yourself in this process has a lot to do with simply being honest. And letting the truth really hit you where it counts: In your heart, your motives, and your actions.
And if you ever find yourself at unrest and/or trying to run, admit that you're in hiding.
Because when you do, that's the very moment you're ready to be found.
"Deliver me out of the sadness
Deliver me from all the madness
Deliver me courage to guide me
Deliver me Your strength inside me
All of my life
I've been in hiding
Wishing there was someone just like You
Now that You're here
Now that I've found You
I know that You're the One to pull me through"
-- Jon & Helena Marsh, "Deliver Me"
To hear the David Crowder version of "Deliver Me":