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letting go

ImageIt’s been awhile – but I have not dropped off the face of the earth. It just happens to be a very busy and intense time in my life. I haven’t had the energy or desire to write on here. I’ve always had a rule when it comes to writing – if it doesn’t come naturally, now is not the right time. Typically, my writings that get posted on here are effortless and when I feel forced in anyway, I try to put away the thoughts and wait for a time when they are clear. Sometimes time brings clarity, sometimes time puts those ideas in the trash bin. Today, on the subway, I was listening to a song and felt inspired to share one of the challenges that I am facing.

We are in week four of our nine week youth mentorship program that I have headed up. I am very grateful for the support, encouragement, coaching and help that I have received from so many people over the past 6 months. The task has been large – grant applications, fundraising, publicity, advertising, web designing, hiring staff, networking, program design and execution. The skills that I have learned/worked on through this program will be ones that I will use in so many ways in my life I am sure – but it has been a lot of work. I have put in long hours… and then some.

I have learned to take Sabbath. At first I thought this would be impossible – I mean there is so much work to do!!! How could I think to take a *whole* day off work? And then it became a necessity. By Saturday, I was so exhausted that I needed to sleep, rest, and not think about work or school. I began to take Sabbath not because I wanted to so much, but because my body wouldn’t let me do anything else! And now… I look forward to Saturday. I do not respond to emails, check phone, update facebook or the website, or even think about work. Well, sometimes I admit that I worry. But most times, I just enjoy the day. I do not usually go out and I am not available for anyone except my cat! Sounds selfish perhaps – but I need to recharge my batteries and the other six days of the week are jam-packed with being available.

Working late one night, a friend challenged me, asking why I am so intent on making this a success? I kept justifying. And his questions persisted and he challenged me to let go.

Let go? this program is my baby! I have put way more into this program than into anything else in my life. I have worked hard and the program is becoming known. There have been pressures in all directions and I *need* to be successful. Moreover, I love the youth and love God and ministry. How on earth can I let go?

My friend’s challenge is a hard one. As much as I would like to dress it up as a faithful response to God’s love for me and the world, there is sin and brokenness in my life that spill into my motives for this program. Oh how discouraging sin can drive one away from God and trusting His sovereignty, love and grace – even in ministry! It is humbling. Actually, this whole experience has been humbling on many levels. I think to lead is to be vulnerable. I have warts and rough edges and pain and insecurities. It’s a lot easier to hide all this when you sit quietly, and unknown in a group.

I don’t know. I don’t have an answer to this. But I cling on to this program to tightly. Somehow I need to let go. I need to trust that God is at work and – as much as he has been looking after me and providing for me – he will provide and care for the youth and the program that he has called me to lead.

On the subway, I was listening to a song by Robin Mark that reminded me that I need to perch myself at the foot of the cross. I need to let go of everything there and find my strength at the cross.

I’ll come to the wonderful cross-

And my whole life I lay down.

My whole life I lay down.

 

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