Floundering Without Ministry

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a project desperate to quit?  Or have you seen someone in the background that you believe to be more qualified to fulfill your commitment?  There are a ton of reasons why we step away from projects…there are even more emotions associated with those decisions. 

Almost 7 months ago, I resigned my membership at a church and concurrently gave up my position as the Director of Women’s Ministry.  It was an angst-filled decision that came with a small measure of relief.  

I truly love women’s ministry and all that comes with it.  However, I needed to step back from the ministry in order to focus more fully on what God had for me and my family. In listening to the Lord and resigning, I gave up serving in a capacity that I adore.

Since then, I’ve felt like I’m floundering without the ministry position.  Frankly, I’m a series of contradictions.  I’m sad to not be involved, but I’m ecstatic to hear news of how well the ladies are doing without me.  I’m unsettled without teaching, but content to wait on the next chapter.  I’ve struggled to define purpose, but recognize that there is purpose around the corner.  

I’m a happy, relieved, lonely mess that is floundering without a ministry.  

Psalm 46:10 (NIV), “Be still and know…” is a much-quoted verse for Christians who are focusing on being still and quiet. In the past, I’ve typically used this particular section of the verse to settle myself; essentially so that I stop trashing around making my own way.  

In the season of floundering without directly contributing to a ministry, this seems a like it would be a good section of scripture to focus on.  

Digging into the verse, I’ve realized that not only does God want us to be still (to be quiet, to rest, to sit still), but rather He continues with a very important portion of scripture that I’ve often glossed over.  “…and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Because the psalm was written during war, it is likely there is messaging to Israel concerning her enemies.  Knowing who God is requires acknowledging that He is in control of the outcome of all things.  Thus, there is no sense in worrying over the fighting as God will take care of it.  

In light of knowing God and what He is about, it’s much easier to understand being still & knowing as not just sitting still, but rather to stopping the fighting of circumstances…to stop doing things our own way and to know God will control all aspects of the fight.  

If I’m truly still,  

If I’m truly knowing God,

Then I truly stop trying to do it my way.

And that is comfort to my heart when I feel like I’m floundering without a ministry.

What areas of your life do you need to be still and know God in this week?

~Emily

“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” ~Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

When You Know, You Know

Have you ever felt like something was wrong, but you couldn’t quite put your finger on what it was that might be wrong?

Call it a gut feeling, women’s intuition, or a sixth sense. You know something isn’t right.

You could call it discernment.  The small voice of the Holy Spirit letting you know there’s an issue needing your attention.  The spiritual gift of discernment is mentioned multiple times in scripture.

Over the last year, my husband and I felt like something was wrong at our church. I couldn’t put a name to what was wrong, but I felt unsettled.  It felt like there was discord amongst the members, a lack of communication, straying from the Word of God, and yet, there wasn’t anything specific to point out to support any of those claims.  It was “just” a feeling I had.

I considered resigning as the women’s ministry leader.  My husband did not want to attend services anymore.  I started researching other churches in our local area.  I engaged my prayer partners to start praying over the situation.

I felt like a fraud that I was continuing to serve in a ministry leadership role and praying about leaving the church.  While I was concerned about the situation, through prayer I had zero peace about resigning or leaving the church.  I did not hear God telling me that we were supposed to leave.

During our first week of the state’s “Stay-at-Home” order in March, our Pastor resigned.  The story of why he resigned is one for him or his family to share.  However, the few details I received began to make sense as to why there was a feeling of unsettlement at our church.

By no means am I saying that the Pastor’s reasons for resigning were the reason for my dissatisfaction at the church.  What I am saying, is that the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart for months and let me know that “something” was not right.  It also made sense why I hadn’t gotten a clear message that the feeling of unsettlement was worthy of leaving the church.

Essentially, I was being prepared for there to be some turmoil and chaos at our church.  The Holy Spirit was talking in my ear allowing me to discern that something was amiss, while also not allowing me release to leave the situation.

John 16:13 (ESV) states, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.”

Call it your gut, your female intuition, or your 6th sense.  I’m going to call it discernment.

And to me, the gift of discernment is the gift of truth.

I pray you have a truth-filled week of discernment.

~Emily

John 16-13