If you were born and raised in the South, chances are you’ve had a “come to Jesus.” You know what I’m talking about.
Like last fall, in a down-right-horrible-no-good-miserable season of University of Texas football, fans could be heard throughout Longhorn Territory talking smack, “Mac Brown better have a ‘come to Jesus’ before the boys suit up and hit the field next year.” (Or maybe that was just me).
Or, when early in our marriage I was so overdrawn, as in the checkbook, Husband called to prepare me that when he got home we were going to have a “come to Jesus” to straighten out my spending habits. (Still working on this particular issue).
Last week, I had a serious “come to Jesus.” Only it wasn’t of the Southern colloquial variety. It was a fall on my knees, raise up my arms and cry to the Lord Jesus Christ.
I’m tired and overwhelmed. It’s not a lack-of-energy kind of tired or a confused feeling. I think what I’m feeling is burdened. For weeks-turned-months I’ve been saying “I’m so tired, but its all so good, God.”
Our church is in transition, both the local congregation and the denomination at large. The Lord is providing in big and bold ways, especially with an interim pastor who is leading us down a path of healing and forgiveness so that we may move forward in Jesus’ name. But it hurts. It hurts to see people I love grieving the loss of our former pastor. It hurts to see friends land on opposite sides of Biblical interpretation. And the hurting will most likely get worse before it can better. It’s part of the process. The breaking down before the building up can happen.
Our family is in transition. Last year we made the decision to change schools moving the three older Littles en masse. Maybe this decision was not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but it was hard. It’s hard to see the Littles leave friends and teachers they love and who love them. Who am I kidding, it’s hard on me! I miss the familiar and the friends too. We were pulled towards and called to our new school rather than running from the old. And even though we know the decision is good, it’s hard.
I am in transition. I struggle with what I’m supposed to be doing in ministry. The Schell Cafe and The Kitchen Mission are labors of love, but I’m not hearing clearly what I’m supposed to be doing with them. Truthfully most days they are more of a burden than a blessing. Which is ironic and just downright wrong, because the whole point of writing these blogs is to pour out my life as authentically as possible so that you, and if anyone else who reads besides my mother, might get a glimpse of Jesus Christ. Not so much in me, but through me. I’m consumed with stories to tell. Inconveniently these passionate posts come to mind in the shower, on the freeway, or in deep sleep so that 99% of them never end up getting told. Or the enemy tells me, “who cares about your stories!” “No one needs another recipe.” Anyway, I just can’t figure out how to organize my time, structure the blogs and I’m truly at an impasse. I know God has a plan, I trust His plan, I just can’t see His plan. Ever feel that way?
At church I’m blessed beyond my own belief that God chose me to bring the Bible in 90 Days program to our community. I’m in awe of His timing and provision which was nothing short of divine. Although our church finished the Bible together this past week, I feel far from finished with this ministry. Which is really hilarious because it’s not something “I” would have chosen. I always thought I’d go to Russia to adopt children, or visit the school classroom in Africa Husband and I support. Or lead Bible studies or speak before audiences of women hungry to know what it means to follow Jesus. But I’m drawn to this precious ministry of encouraging people to read the Bible. Because really…whatever I say, do or write matters little and will some day all be withered like the grass, but the word of the Lord lasts forever.
Serving our women’s Bible study ministry, Lamplighters, is another gift for which I am overwhelmed with gratitude. It’s a big job and I truly love every.single.minute of being part of the team that brings God’s Word to nearly 300 women each year. We kick off our MARKed for Life: Following the Servant King study tomorrow. It’s not too late to join us, and you don’t even need to live in ATX. The lectures are available on-line and I’ll be happy to get you a copy of our journal. But, lately I’ve sensed a holy restlessness about my role in the ministry. NOT to leave, but to go further. Where? How?
All this burdens my heart. I know I’m being seasoned and pruned, but the waiting is hard.
Have you ever had visions of life in the form of a giant puzzle? It’s as if I can see the individual jigsaw pieces clear and set before me, but they don’t fit together yet and one or two might still be missing. It’s a beautiful sight, but come on. If you’ve ever worked a jigsaw puzzle it can be frustrating!
Burdened with much, all that is good, I laid it all down at the foot of the cross. To the One who knows exactly how the pieces will fit together.
When was the last time you had a “come to Jesus?”