Last night we had prayer meeting in my apt. 12 people sitting in various places and positions around my living room. Some with uplifted faces, others playing guitars, while still others lay flat on their faces before God. I sat in the hallway, only looking into the living room sporadically, having my own time with God. Hallway time.
As people sang their hearts out in the other room, I was struck by my own heart and the state in which God finds it. I work in the ministry for a church. I'm "church staff". But what does that really mean? Does it mean that I'm held to a higher standard than others? Does it mean that I have to act a certain way or live my life in public eye? Perhaps. The Bible says that those in leadership are held accountable for the lives they influence. Pretty heavy stuff. I was struck last night by just how heavy this responsibility really is. Now, I'm not the pastor or even a small group leader. But I'm a mentor. I meet with women on a regular basis who ask for my guidance in their lives, who listen to the things I say and who value my opinion. Some of them watch how I live my life very closely and (not in a bad way) judge me. They see how I live, how things effect me, and sometimes take their cue from me. Is this something I'm ready for? Well, ready or not, here it is.
God has positioned me in a such a place and such a time as this for some very specific reasons. While I'm not aware of all of them, I am aware of some. I see my purpose in a few very important places in my life and, while it can be stressful sometimes, I wouldn't trade it for anything. As I work for God, as I live my life for Him (in public and private) I'm so protected. My leadership would throw themselves in the line of fire for me if they could. They act as a shield for me as much as they can and I love them for it.
My job description is very different from my actual job. My job description says "church administration" and everything that goes along with that. But my actual job involves more of a "do what God tells you to do" kind of thing. Yes, I do church administration. I'm a paper pusher and I'm pretty good at it. But that is not all I am or all that God has given me to do. My job involves everyone in my office, to love them and be a helper to them. But in order to do that, I must be in a certain "place" in my spiritual life. I'm not there yet.
This is a growing process. This faith we have isn't something that comes into its fullness the instant you accept it. No, we must grow into our roles that God has ordained for us. All I have experienced has made an impact on the person that I am and on what I bring into the office with me every day. Some things I learned in school, some things I learned in life, and other things I have prayed specifically for. For example, I learned basic social cues in life, I learned how to understand the human psyche in school, but I have prayed to be able to look at people and know the truth. All of these things together allow me to serve people in a way that someone without my specific experiences would be unprepared to handle.
That being said, my hallway time taught me that I'm not where I need to be. I need to be spending SO much more time in the Word, time near my God, focusing on Him and letting Him be my strength. No person can ever take the place of God in my life, not that anyone would ever try! My eyes need to stay focused on Him and His plan for my life and my heart. It's surprisingly easy to get distracted by... things and people.
My prayer for my growth: God, be my words. Inhabit my prayers. Infuse my mind, my body, my soul. Turn my humanity towards You that it may be washed in Your light and cleansed to reflect Your glory and Your love to overflowing! Bend my will to Yours! Bend my ears to Your holy lips, that I might always hear You! Turn my eyes to Your way, that I might see You and see as You see. Surround my heart with Yours, that I might love as You love. Teach my Your ways, that may be Yours.