It’s these moments, that even in the midst of what feels like chaos keep me going. Every (warm) afternoon you’ll find the kids on my steps begging for pictures!
As I close the door, I lean back and breathe a sigh of frustration, a sigh of relief and a sigh of exhaustion I wonder why things happened the way they did that night. I climb the stairs wondering if I even have the energy to make it to my bed, I fall asleep that night in my clothes and wake up in the middle of the night in tears, because I feel defeated. I’ve done a good job of letting people know about the great side of ministry and the real side of the inner city, but let’s be honest there are days, weeks, months when it’s messy, when life is messy, when there are unanswered prayers, and unanswered questions, when there is doubt and when there is pain. There are moments when ministry is filled loneliness, with feelings of being let down & questions of why God why?
I’m going to get real on my blog today, I’ve been having one of those weeks, maybe even months, a time where I know God is doing something and it’s going to be huge but right now it feels far away and hard to reach, where we’re thisclose to answered prayers but not quite there, where God is pruning in my life and my ministry and it feels lonely, there have been moments of what feels like defeat over the past few weeks, there have been nights when it feels like I’m failing at what God has called me to do, there have been nights when there hasn’t been enough people and too many kids, there have been relationships that are ending and new ones that are beginning, there have been days when I’ve felt let down.
There have been nights that I lie in bed and wonder what the heck I am doing, there have been nights when I’ve found myself wrapped in a throw with a cup of hot tea, my bible and my journal writing out my prayers and dreams and wondering if God was listening, while praying through tears. There have been moments when I’ve wanted to ignore the knock on the door, moments of pure exhaustion and hard decisions to be made.
There has been excitement, followed by disappointment. There have been tears followed by laughter, there have been smiles, laughter and conversations that remind me exactly why I am here, followed by an, “I hate you Ms. Colleen, you never do anything for me,” moment that reminds me again why I am here, but breaks my heart for a brief moment at the same time. Moments where I want to be selfish of my time, moments where I want to scream just go home, but I don’t because I know in my heart of hearts, in my moments of desiring a peaceful moment, that this is the place… this is the place for them, the place for us, the place for Him. See told you it was going to real, today.
But you know what there has NOT been, there has not been a God who’s failed me or left me, there has not been a God who has let me down, there has not been a God who’s told me that life is going to be easy, there has not been a God who has promised rosy circumstances. But what there has been is a God who has picked me up and given me energy when I feel like I can’t take one more step, there has been a God that has filled my heart with joy when it feels overwhelmed, there has been a God that has consistently reminded me that, He will NOT fail me and that this is EXACTLY where I need to be right now.
I don’t tell you all of these things so that you’ll feel sorry for me or so that you think that my life is horrible, because it’s really quite the opposite, but I also think people need to know that I’m real, and life isn’t always sidewalk chalk and laughter in the hood! Plus, I promise there is a lesson in all of this! I tell you all of this because these past few weeks have been some of the most trying and real weeks of my life, but these have also been weeks when I have learned so much about God. The past few week have been full of times when I have had to get on my face before God and admit that I am struggling, admit that I need to be refueled, I have had to cling to scripture, where I have had to evaluate my heart and attitude, where I have had to realize that in my moments of loneliness, I am NEVER alone. There have been moments of private teaching of lessons that I can only learn from God, there have been moments of prayer through tears telling God that I need Him to fill me. There have been moments of worship where I could feel God’s loving arms around me, even when I didn’t want them or think I needed them. Even more importantly there were moments when I realized I am human this is real, ministry is hard and I am allowed to have these moments, it’s normal.
God never lets us go, He’s got a perfect love that will never fail us, that will never leave or forsake us, even when we might be tough to love, even when we feel like we can’t take one more step, even when we question what He might be doing in our lives. If I have learned anything over the past few weeks, it’s that I must continue to cling on to the faithfulness that God promises, because that faithfulness is what has kept me going, what has kept me running into His arms, I’ve learned some important things these past few weeks, including that His word is true, that every time I’ve found myself in my bible, EVERY SINGLE time I’ve been reminded that My Daddy is there, that His promises are strong, and that when I am weary He will give me rest and strength, He will love ME in my times of weakness.
I hope if you take anything away from this blog, you take these three points:
God is faithful- I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation. (Psalm 40:10)
His promises are strong- Fear not, I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
We’re allowed to fall on our face, admit we’re broken and beg for God to restore us- For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (Romans 8:18)
I pray for each of you this week, that you’ll find His strength in your weakness, that you’ll take your burdens and lay them at His feet, that you’ll be reminded that He has overcome the world for us, that you’ll know that the sufferings of today are nothing compared to what is left to come. I will tell you that as I am publishing this blog, I feel restored, I feel refueled, I feel that God has plans that I cannot even begin to fathom, and He knows exactly what He is doing in the midst of this storm I call life right now, I feel peaceful and ready to follow in His every footstep, ready to take on the tasks He has for me, and ready to wait for His timing.