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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Stuck? Unstuck. Traumatic, but OK.


In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity .~ Albert Einstein~

13+ years. At that point, over a third of my life! A "boss" I loved, a team that "worked" and had become a family. A calling that was holy. It was hard, exhausting, heart wrenchingly wonderful ministry. A place to dream and see dreams come true. A place where people were challenged and grew. A place where God worked in hearts and lives. A place where people met God. A place of connection. I loved it. I'd have stayed forever.

Then, everything changed. Why it changed, isn't as important to the story, as that it had. It wasn't good. But, I loved my people, my team, and I'd have stayed forever. Even though it was breaking my heart. Even though, ministry had become about pleasing a person, not pleasing God. And the person? Well, the person just wasn't going to be pleased.

I remember coming home from a terrible meeting one day, a meeting that made it evident that the ministry was over. I was sitting in the car, in the garage. Tears streaming down my face. Not the silent tear stained face cry, this was "the ugly cry". The red, swollen eyes, sobs and sounds you can't control, cry.

As I prayed and cried out to God, this song played, and my heart sang it as a prayer:

Ffh Lyrics - Lord Me Or Move Me Lyrics

I can't find the words to pray, I'm a little down today

Can you help me? Can you hold me?

I feel like a million miles away And I don't know what to say

Can you hear me anyway? What I need is for you to reach out your hand

You have taught me No matter what you'd understand

CHORUS:

Lord move in a way, that I've never seen before

Cause there's a mountain in the way and a lock on the door

I'm drifting away, waves are crashing on the shore

So Lord move (move), or move me.

I've look every where to find

A simple peace of mind I can't find nothing on my own

So I got to leave myself behind

Take up this cross of mine Give away everything I hold onto

Lord I know the only way is through this

Lord I know I need you to help me do this

CHORUS

Lord move in a way, that I've never seen before

Cause there's a mountain in the way and a lock on the door

I'm drifting away, waves are crashing on the shore

So Lord move (move), or move me.

Out of this place of complacency To a place of fellowship with thee

Cause I am weak but Lord you are so strong

And you know it's been way too long (been way too long)

Lord move in the way, that I've never seen before

Cause there's a mountain in the way and I'll knock on the door

I'm drifting away, waves are crashing on the shore

So Lord move (move)...CHORUS


God moved. But, not in the direction that I had hoped. (I was kind of going for the "God makes the light go on, people change, and there is a happy ending way....")

Instead, we left. I hadn't just left a "job" or a "ministry" It was our home church. The place where I had grown up, spiritually. (well- as grown up as I was at that point, anyways;) It was the only church my kids had ever been to. It was my safe place. I knew the people, the people knew me.

Now, three years later, I can look back and see how "Stuck" I was. I have typed the words "I would have stayed forever" over and over, because I would have. The truth is- On my own? I couldn't leave. Like a tree whose roots dig deep to reach water, I was not going anywhere. I was stuck.

Once it was "over" and God had moved us, I was so broken. I was confused, and angry. I felt like my dreams had been stolen. The dreams of doing more for God, the vision for ministry that I had, was snatched away. I was broken for the people who I could no longer help. I knew God would send others, but what about me? There were times I thought about going back.

It must have been how the Israelites felt, when they started to get hungry, and could no longer see Egypt. In the wilderness.

That's where I was too. In the wilderness. The wilderness was scorching and grief filled. I took time to do nothing, but cry. I knew it was necessary. I had lost so much. It didn't HAVE to be this way. My daily life changed virtually over night. Relationships that were so strong changed, they had to be navigated in new ways. We had to "church shop." Yuck. I HATE church shopping, I'm about being a part of a body, not checking out new ones to graft onto.

The dreams in my heart started to feel like a pregnancy 3 weeks past it's due date. All I wanted was to "get back to work". But there was nowhere to go. I cried. I hate to cry.

Then, slowly, God opened up new opportunities. Opportunities I NEVER would have had, had I "stayed there forever". Opportunities I had never even would have THOUGHT of. Opportunites like, a new position in a ministry that I had been involved with, a position that would allow for greater impact on leaders, not just locally. An opportunity to try a new ministry and find out I loved it. Opportunities to stretch and grow, and to be with my family. And, the opportunity to write. Maybe, even have a few people read it;)

These were all things, I would have been too busy for. Things I was too stuck for.

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity .~ Albert Einstein~

Dear Lord- I thank you for growing me in this desert time, I thank you for continuing to work in through and around me, I thank you God- for moving me, when I couldn't move myself- I love you Lord- and, where ver you call, I'll follow- even where it looks like a desert, because I know- that in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity- with YOU! amen.

Are you stuck? I'm praying that God moves, or moves you. You won't like it at first- but God will complete the work He has started in you.... He promised!


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