Last night I quit. “I decided I’m not going to be women’s ministry director,” I said to Matt, from my flopped position on the couch.
“Okay,” he said. “Is there anything else you’d like to quit?”
“Nah, that’s good for now,” I answered.
I made this announcement days before hosting my first event at church as women’s ministry director. The reason? Cowardice and discomfort. Matt always lets me quit if I feel afraid. I love him for that. We imagine together how happy and comfortable I will feel when I’m not doing the hard thing in front of me, and I relax inside.
Of course, he expects me to get up the next day and get back at it. It’s only a pretend, temporary abandonment of responsibility, but it sure feels good for a moment.
God called me to this new role as director. Seven years ago he started talking to me about it, and my initial response was, “Nuh uh.” But he kept calling to me. For an entire year, I couldn’t turn around without reading or hearing something about ministering to women, and I slowly started to embrace what God was asking me to do. His passion for the hearts of women became my passion. Now, seven years later, he has placed me in the role for which he has been preparing me all of these years.
So I should be bold. Confident. And sometimes I do feel this way.
But often I am Gideon, cowering in a wine press, looking up at God and saying, “But sir…But Lord.”
“The LORD is with you, mighty warrior!” the angel announces to Gideon. (Judges 6:12 NIV)
It’s ridiculous. Gideon isn’t acting mighty. He isn’t acting like a warrior. Because of their evil ways, God has allowed the Israelites to be oppressed by the Midianites for seven years, their land overtaken and impoverished. But God announces who he is calling Gideon to be, who he will be. He is the one who will free Israel from this oppression.
I have imagined an angel sitting next to me declaring, “The Lord is with you, women’s ministry director!”
Me, with the shaky knees. Scaredscaredscaredscaredscared.
It’s terrifying to do this thing God has asked me to do. The yes means I risk failing at times. I risk women looking at me (hello, fish bowl). I risk women not liking what I’m doing -criticizing my efforts. I risk offending people by things I say or do. I risk looking foolish.
But I know the end of Gideon’s story, and I want it to be the end of mine. Gideon obeyed the Lord, and God used him to oust the Midianites. I want God to use me to do something equally amazing for my people.
Imagine Gideon, standing with jars and trumpet in his hand on the day of battle, saying, “Um, nevermind. I quit. I don’t want to do this mighty warrior thing.” Did the thought go through his mind? Too much risk? Too crazy big what God was asking him to do? Too uncomfortable?
One of the greatest acts I hope to do, as women’s ministry director, is to help women hear what God is declaring over them to be and do and then speak courage to them to go for it. Can you imagine if every woman were to do what God has shaped her and called her to do? Every woman an obedient Gideon? It stops my breath, to think of what God might do through the lives of the women in my church.
Of course, I suppose I have to go first. Be brave. Say yes. Push past my fears.
This is me, the mighty(?) warrior.
“For Narnia! For Aslan!”