I talk a lot about Jesus, God's promises, and all sorts of questions that I hope will explore the work of the Holy Spirit. I use this space to try to unravel what God is doing in my life, and the lives of the people I care about. This is my life, and I write about it all the same.
Worth fighting for
No matter what I do, as a woman Pastor, there is always going to be some element of me needing to be a mother-figure to people. The church (and other authority symbol institutions) is really about family, and I will need to be prepared to address people’s pain in a way that corresponds to my place in God’s family.
People have such high stakes grief/joy in the relationship between mother and child. There is a lot there.
I am grateful that I will be teaching before I pastor. If I really want a humility check, teaching will give me tons of (helpful, unhelpful) criticism. To be in a counselor role (as Pastor), that should be a good thing.
I’m realizing that God really does want the best for his children. He wants better for us than even our earthly parents. For me, it’s hard to believe that he’d want as much for me as supportive earthly parents want for their kids, but Christ died so that we all could inherit even more than that. It’s awesome and weird that God never gives up on us. Mostly awesome.
When I work with my kindergarteners, I learn so much about love. I didn’t expect to enjoy working with kids this much, and I never really thought I was that type of woman. But kids are silly. They like telling weird stories, and telling the full truth, and being themselves, when you let them. They like playing games, and a lot of kids naturally include people, and are kind and curious. Taking care of children is a responsibility, a call to stewardship, and a blessing. Taking care of children is hard, and teaching children is harder. Both are jobs that deserve respect, because if they are stewarded well, they can make a world of difference. Children’s perspectives are so intrinsically valuable, and teachers are oftentimes some of the first representatives kids meet outside of the home of society at large. Apart from medical care, teaching is one of the most critical needs of a healthy society.
In my Intimate Relationships class, I learn vividly how much Christ has overcome on my behalf because the pain I once felt in relation to my family and my future no longer defines me.
This is a season of trust.
How can God continue teaching us things even as we remain confused? It’s fantastic.
You can’t provide insight into someone’s situation if you don’t learn to listen. You will be talking and completely miss the needs of anyone but yourself. Whether it’s in the role of a sister, a mother, granddaughter, aunt, etc. (in relationship to my conversational partner’s age), I can do what is appropriate to listen and answer with discretion. More often than not, that is all that is required of me.
When I chose to forgive as I felt like dying so long ago, I learned things about the cross that I would never have been able to recognize without suffering. I am not afraid of death. I know that Christ removed the cup of staggering from our hands, and some of the most terrible things I have felt in this life have helped me understand what it means to be under his purpose. Experiencing betrayal, pain, death, loss, fear, punishment, etc. teaches you more about Jesus than coasting through life thinking that you don’t need grace. Jesus gives meaning to our brokenness. He intimately understands. In a way, I almost need someone to experience worse than what I have sometimes, in order to feel like I have a solution. Jesus is my way out. His pain was ultimately greater. He gives my life direction.
If I can believe in my family more and more as I go, I know for sure that Jesus must be alive to help me believe. I am going to trust Jesus and defend my hope for my family, instead of cowing down to fear and believing that our brokenness is too much for him. My God is greater.
I am getting to know a couple at my church who have taken me on for discipleship, and I respect their family so much. I can see the hand of God so vividly over their family, and in how their children act. They have been abundantly blessed by following the Holy Spirit and obeying God. I am strengthened by the fact that neither really dated before getting married, having attended a close-knit church, being friends for years, and slowly being led by the Holy Spirit to get married. They knew from before they began dating that the Holy Spirit was lighting coals of conviction for them to be with one another long term. That just seems like the right way to do it. I’m not the type to want to shop around. I’d rather be picky about the important stuff, like a guy’s relationship with Jesus, his ability to step outside his comfort zone, his honesty, or his willingness to actively lead than trivial differences. I want my spouse to be convicted of what he believes and still know how to be respectful. Those things are most important to me.
The Lord God is good. It says more about my faith to love the people who don’t appreciate my point of view or understand me than to aim for low-hanging fruit and rely on self-righteousness to make up the difference. Let the Lord make up the difference. He commands me to care for them (and gives me that ability by grace) whether or not I call it fair. He alone is judge.
I am a teacher-to-be who loves people. I am not afraid of many things. I like to explain my thoughts logically on a very birds-eye view level--I was born thinking that way. I follow Jesus Christ, and I accept only that label to describe my identity--that I am a child of God, as are infinite others, regardless of their other identities. Christ is my one thing.
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