Ten weeks ago today, I started this gig at Church of the Open Door. What a crazy 10 weeks it has been!
I recently reflected on how I said yes to God, and yes to the job, but was kind of clueless on what it would look like. The learning curve has been steep and fast, and there have been curveballs that were not in the job description (COVID what?).
There have been moments of deep joy and gratitude for timely provision. There have been times where I have felt in over my head and crippled with analysis paralysis. Other times I have felt awestruck at getting to partner with so many talented people who are “all in” and shining for Jesus. A month or so into the job, I told my wise and seasoned discipler – this job makes you feel bi-polar. The highs are breathtaking and the lows are felt deep in your soul.
Why do I tell you all this? I tell you this because I am just like you. I am a normal, stressed out, hot mess of a mama, who loves Jesus. I never went to seminary. I love my kids and yet they also make me crazy. I never aspired to be a pastor, let alone a children’s pastor. And yet God – in His crazy ways – saw me fit to be an empty vessel who could let Him shine in my weaknesses. He knew what was coming. He knew how my flesh would respond. He knew my insecurities and weaknesses. He knew it all.
And when I slow down and reflect, I see His faithfulness. I see how He has equipped me, how He has provided for me, from big ways to small ways. He’s given me such a healthy team of people to work with. I promise I am not getting paid to say this haha, but really, guys, you should be so proud of our staff leadership. I came in praying for the best but mentally preparing in case of disappointment. I have not been.
The leadership is very protective of us pastors and cares for us as people. God has surrounded me with gracious and collaborative partners who are seasoned and quick to point me in the right direction. He’s given me amazingly wise and humble children’s ministry partners who are full of creativity, grace and can-do attitudes. He’s given me a crew of rock-star volunteers, hand-picked and hand-designed by Him. He’s given me encouraging parents who faithfully trust us with their babes and show up each week. He’s equipped me with a built-in quarantine roomie who does camera work and is easy on the eyes. He’s surrounded me with a loving discipler and faithful ride or die friends. Those are the big ones.
He’s also equipped me in small ways. Two weeks before everything hit the fan, I did something totally out of character and bought a new cell phone before my old phone was dead. People, I am so cheap. I have never done that before but felt strangely compelled to get a phone because mine was sluggish and took horrible pictures. It felt like a splurge at the time, but in hindsight, there is NO WAY my old phone could have kept up with the social media needs on my plate now for virtual ministry.
We have quite a collection of dress-up clothes gathered over the years, but randomly again, the Thursday before all the dominoes began to fall, a friend dropped off more dress-up stuff and failed to tell me it had adult dress up size stuff. I shoved it into a Goodwill pile and low and behold, a few days after, I found myself in need of Quarantine Spirit Week swag and BAM, God had already given me some.
As I alluded to earlier, my husband Tim is in the entertainment industry. For the past five years or so he’s been the breadwinner and I’ve been a stay at home mom. I was so thrown when this job offer came up because I hadn’t been seeking work. But God knew all of my husband’s jobs would be canceled because of the Coronavirus for the unforeseeable future and He provided me with a job. And while at times I have complained about going, He has had us take one of our kids to various therapies and equipped us with education we can now use to engage differently in this anxiety-provoking time for our child.
Friends, that was a lot of words. But do you see it? God didn’t throw me into the lion’s den. He’s equipped and prepared me as any good Father would do. He’s given me tools and resources, outlets and safety, wisdom and grace. And just as He has cared for me and is leading me, He is caring for you!
Nobody saw this season coming. We weren’t prepared for it. If you would have told me a month ago what our world looks like now, I would have called you precious and smiled. Our situations are overwhelming. Spouses are losing jobs. Kids don’t go to school, like ever lol. We have to figure out what the heck common core is. Businesses are going under. Health is fragile. Date nights and babysitters are a thing of the past. Dishes are never-ending. It’s so easy to lose our minds and think – God, where are you?
Again, this probably isn’t seminary approved talk, but I personally think that’s ok. Be real, be honest. God loves to hear our hearts. But don’t stop there. After you pour out all the hard, all the fear, all the anger, slow your mind and ask Him to show you how He has equipped you for such a time as this because He has. It could be big ways or small ways, but He has equipped us. It’s not His nature to not. We just have to slow down and look for it.
He’s with us in this. I challenge you tonight to turn off the Hulu and find a quiet place and ask God to bring to mind all of the ways He has equipped you today. And if you’re willing, I’d love to hear some of what He shows you.
The generous list is a small reminder of how we are more than conquerors in Christ one day at a time. Praying for you friends.
God is on the move.