“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” -Colossians 3:2
In March of 2016, I did something that took me more courage than I thought I would need:
I quit serving in the children’s ministry of my local church.
I felt so stuck and further from God than I ever had since becoming a follower of Christ. I started to see serving in the church as a job and that I was doing it to look like a better person in the church. I felt like it was an act. Like “hey, look at me. I wake up early on Sundays and go to service, then serve at the children’s ministry the following service, then go to my Young Adult’s group at night while still finishing my master’s degree online.”
Jesus was on the bottom of the totem pole of my life, and I was so disappointed in myself.
I felt like serving and being so involved in the church had become an idol for me and I was worshiping it, for real. But I was afraid to back away from it because I thought others would shame me and say I was being lazy for not wanting to be so involved. Because that is what it looks like right? We are told that if we love Jesus, we need to love his church by getting involved and serving. But what do you do when you realize your heart is becoming obsessed with the idea of looking like you are passionate for Jesus when truly it is far from it?
I started telling people, and most saw it as my way of getting out of responsibility. Getting told you are junk, really makes you feel like an actual piece of junk, ya know?
Though, a few very special people told me that they understood the struggle I was going through, and that they respected me for doing what was right, not what was easy. & that meant a lot.
Since I stopped serving so much in the church, I have noticed my relationship with Jesus strengthen. I have been feeling God more in serving random people in the world, serving friends, family, coworkers, and blogging to this online world than I ever did serving traditionally in the church (I served in another area too before children’s ministry), and I do not know why. I feel connected and that I am connecting with others like never before.
But it does not mean I feel good when I hear the pastor say, like he does every weekend, that we need to be serving in our church. He’s right. We are called to and I appreciate all of those who make the local church possible by serving.
But I have to believe that serving can be more than it just is in the traditional sense. It has to be more than just something that I constantly try make an idol of and run myself into the ground over.
Ever been there? Like you thought you were doing something for the right reasons, but you really blew it? I feel ya. I am there right now wrestling with it.
That’s what is so awesome about God’s Grace though. He just picked me back up from my mess up, and said “try again”. He knows my heart and that it tries, but often fails.
& He still thinks I am deserving of love besides how much I mess up.
Are you in need of some Grace today? The Lord loves your messed up heart just as much as He loves mine. If you are struggling today, reach out for that Grace. It is still there waiting for you just as it always has been.
Praying for your heart and hoping that you’ll pray for mine.