Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Amazing Bible Study Night!

Bible Study was amazing last night. We are doing Faithful Abundant True. I was so powerfully moved by the DVD viewing. Normally such things leave me cold, but last night's speaker was Kay Arthur (may I have her energy when I am her age). She was on fire and really spoke straight to my heart. I have been going through such travails with my (former) job, and she spoke on suffering and persecution.

I don't want to go into too much detail, but I had just left my job because, although it was a church, and I was in charge of running a Christian ministry, I felt that I was being pressured to make un-Christlike decisions. I refused, of course, but the fallout let to such dissension among my employees and with my boss that I eventually felt I had to leave. Constantly fighting for what you believe in is stressful, and it was negatively impacting my physical and emotional health, as well as my family.

Running a ministry isn't something that you just walk away from. I fought hard to ensure that the employees and clients were protected, but ultimately I have no power. I had to leave it in God's hands.

I was blown away by this verse, Proverbs 4:27. "Do not swerve to the right or the left..." Kay said something like, "I will not turn to the right or the left- I will do as God has commanded me!" I felt like that that was the position I had been in, being pressured to swerve, but I walked God's path even as it led me out the door. Even as it led me away from what I had *believed* was my calling.

So many tears have been shed. I had to pray last night to forgive myself because I was mired in guilt from leaving people I had made promises to, even though it meant that those promises might not be honored. I had to trust that God is in control, not me, and that I had to lay their situations at His feet, and let myself off the hook.

I also had to pray to release myself from the sin of pride. I have such a deep need to be respected, admired, and appreciated. I have been so weighed down by the thoughts and feelings that by quitting others would see me as weak, incompetent, not capable, not good enough. I don't feel like I can share all the things that led me to quit without dishonoring my former church, pastor, and ministry. I have been burdened by the feeling for the last several months that my boss, my pastor, didn't like who I was. While he once seemed so grateful to have me on staff and seemed to regard me as a valuable asset, I felt he began to criticize my every word and every move. I felt that he looked at me and saw someone who was trash, not Godly, not good, not competent, not reliable, not capable. But...God never promised us that we would have high regard from others. He said we would be persecuted and we would suffer. Even though I have done wrong- I am not perfect- I have said and done things that weren't in God's will, I have also done so much good. I have tried my best to overcome my sinful nature and be as much like Jesus as I could. For now, I need to let myself be fulfilled by how God sees me, not by how others see me.

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