“…sometimes God calls us not as we are but as he has made us to be. …. Hiding is a natural reaction to pain. When we go through tough seasons, we look for places to retreat. … sometimes we hide in public – going through the motions of what looks normal but never speaking up, stepping out, or doing anything other than simply going with the flow.” (Renewed, Leigh Powers, pg 158-9)
As we make our way through the final few days of Leigh Power’s book, Renewed, A 40 Day Devotional for Healing from Church Hurt and for Loving Well in Ministry (2017), we begin to challenge ourselves to once again take up our call from God to ministry, wholeheartedly.
No more hiding.
Is it possible to continue healing when you are no longer hiding? Can you find a way to rest in the Lord, trust Him in all things, expect good things from Him, while finding your way out through the wilderness?
Since going on our ministry retreat in early April, I have needed to hide a bit more. I have needed a break – a season to rest and grieve and get all of these tough emotions out. I’ve needed my own sabbatical as a pastor’s wife.
My calling looks different. Is different. But it still requires my everything. No paycheque or formal contract to this point, but still finding expectations of others and Jesus to deny or fulfill.
We had our first outreach into the community this past Saturday. (helping the community beautification committee with garden bed clean-up and planting) Only my husband and one other group member showed up – but both said that it was good. When I talked with the other group member about being sorry I couldn’t be there (I sprained my knee on Mother’s Day weekend and just can’t kneel on it to garden or pretty much anything else yet), she said that she thought it was actually good that we didn’t have a lot of us there. She went on to list the positives and it was so easy to see what she meant and that there wasn’t any negativity or failed expectation – only freedom and love and no shame or guilt… it was so positive. That is healing for me. I’m still so twitchy with a form of PTSD from everything that has piled up through the years… I’ve needed this time of rest and to just ‘be’.
On Sunday, we had our monthly end of the month potluck after a time of worship and prayer and in the middle of our current short video study, “Share Jesus without Fear”. It is so good to focus on growth and becoming and being obedient. We have one older couple who are not going to be joining us with the Saturday outreach on June 9th, but they will be available the next day for our Sunday worship service. We will be handing out water bottles, and have tracts and flyers ready to hand out as well if conversation leads that way, at our community fair days. On the Sunday, we will be renting a place in the community for a worship service. (we meet in our home otherwise). It will be really nice to be out of our home and into the community, where we hope to be able to connect and serve. I would love prayer for these events on June 9th and 10th. We can’t advertise until June 1st (when our severance is done); but we trust that God has led us this far to do these things and we have been so blessed by them – even in the hard parts of it all. I love that we can’t rely on ourselves in any way for this – if it is successful in anyone’s eyes, it will all be due to God. We will see what He does in the 7 days we have to advertise.
I’ve been able to have a sabbath of sorts today – my husband took our kids to their art class – and that has left me in peace and quiet to putter about with the laundry and dishes and such and to cry and pray out loud and process through some big emotions and thoughts that needed airing out. They are nearly home though and I need to close this up for now.
“There comes a moment when God taps us on the shoulder and says, ‘Enough.” In those moments, he calls us not as we are but as he has created us to be. Teacher. Speaker. Writer. Worship leader. Evangelist. Entrepreneur. Missionary. Leader. And we hear the whisper: “Time to get out of the winepress. It’s time to stop hiding. Here’s the need, and I’ve chosen you to meet it. Your moment is here.” (Ibid, pg 159)
Isn’t that delightful?
We can rise to the challenge before us, trusting God to have done the preparation through our season of pain. We’re finally leaving the wilderness of struggle and waiting and hiding.
“We may have to build a team. We may have to do some training and find resources and create plans and all those practical things that turn dreams into reality. But in the end, the battle and victory are the Lord’s and he brings it to pass. When God asks us to stop hiding, it’s often because God’s getting ready to show off and doesn’t want us to miss it.
If fear and pain have driven you into hiding, it’s time to step out into the light. God’s purpose for you can’t be achieved if you’re cowering in a pit. When God calls, he equips you for the task and ensures it will happen in a way that brings glory to him. Stop hiding and step into your destiny.” (Ibid, pg 159, 160)