I have had lots of time to pray, reflect and journal this week while I have been home sick. It has been good to have some time and space to process some of what God has been doing in my heart the last few months. Sometimes I am better at engaging my mind (hermeneutics, biblical texts, etc) than my heart — or at least better at expressing my mind more than my heart.
But here is some of what God has been talking to me about lately…
– I am really looking forward to a 40-hr/wk job (hopefully 5 days a week) and not having school. I am tired of always being tired and really longing to have time outside of work/school for life — relationships and hobbies and reading and walking outside and just hanging out. When in full time ministry, it was easy to justify the crazy hours — and I was committed to helping others experience great relationships, life, etc. But even then, it wasn’t a great idea. Maybe I am getting old… or just a little beat-up by life… or maybe I am gaining a more mature perspective… but I am longing for balance, relationships and the stuff of life that doesn’t happen “on the clock”.
– If I were ever to get back into full time ministry, it would be with the above in mind. Whatever ministry I work for will need to work with 40 hours… that’s it. This is also true for restaurants or other jobs…
– I am going to have to make some practical and difficult decisions in the coming weeks/months to help bring more balance into my life. My head is not yet where my heart is, lol. Part of this is changing long patterns in my life… but it is a process that I am committed to.
– For the first time in my life, the idea of having a family holds a lot of appeal to me. To those who have known me for a while, that will come as a bit of a surprise. I have always said I have no interest in marriage, kids, etc. Again, maybe it is because I am older… or maybe it is the experience of the last 8 months… but I find my heart longing for a partner and my dreams including the idea of family. (Now don’t get too excited… this too may pass, lol).
– Again, for me, being in full time missional ministry made being single, not having a partner or kids, etc, possible. There is a lot of truth in what Paul says about the gift of singleness in ministry. But there is also a great cost. For me, the pay off of deep, significant and lasting community was enough to cover the costs of not having those things. But it turns out that community is not lasting and not as deep as I thought it was. When you take that out of the equation, the costs of singleness seem too high (for me). So these days, my heart longs for a partner to share life and ministry with (whatever that ministry looks like) and the idea of raising a family, having a real home (people, not place) and all that goes with that… these are my prayers.
– God continues to grow my heart — especially for those who suffer injustice and for those who, for whatever reason, consider themselves beyond His love. I don’t know how this will play out for me, but I can not escape the burden God has placed on my heart.
– The only metric I care about these days is relationships. My relationship with God and with others. Those are the things that will last for eternity and what I am willing to sacrificially give to.
– I like the things God has been whispering to me lately. Most are between me and him (and thus not blogged about). But His daily whisperings sustain me and bring me joy… and for that I am thankful.
So that is some of what God is speaking to me and teaching me these days. Still processing a lot of it.
Hard stuff. Good stuff. Exciting stuff.