I’m tempted to use the word “flabbergasted,” except I don’t think the cool kids are saying that these days. It describes how I felt on January 1st of this year, when I began my new role as women’s ministry director for our church and began another challenging project that I’m not at liberty to talk about. (Isn’t that horribly mysterious?)
I completed the project last night. Phew. That was intense. I’m tired and think a certain somebody should buy me a Chick-Fil-A lemonade. He knows who he is.
Ministry. Project. School starting.
Go ahead. Look at me in a sweet tone and tell me God will never give us more than we can handle, and I might return with a look that will burn off your eyebrows.
Every day in January and February I mostly thought I might die of too much to do. You may declare I’m being a little dramatic, but I’m telling you that I’ve never in my life bitten off that much to chew. And God was the one feeding it to me.
The women’s ministry gig has been amazing. God has been turning my heart toward the women in my church for years, and to see our women come together in singing and fellowship and encouraging each other has been a long-time dream come to life in front of my eyes. But I’ve never done this kind of leadership before, and it has been all new and hard and terrifying -a steep learning curve. I couldn’t handle it mentally or emotionally.
The project was hard, too. It was good work the Lord handed to me, but every day felt like labor. Push! Push! Almost daily I didn’t feel like I could handle it.
And my day job started again after the holidays. Hmmm. Teaching -a taxing job on a good day -plus ministry plus intense project. Overwhelming. It felt like I was breathing through a straw.
So I spent January and February on my knees, saying, “God help me.” And he did.
There were no boot straps for me to pull myself up with every day. My own brain and my feelings of capacity were not enough to get me through what I just endured. I needed an external source of strength and wisdom. Let me steal Paul’s words:
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV)
Do you think I’m going to boast about how I can handle everything? No way. I felt weak and incapable for 60 days, and God’s strength showed up in the middle of my weakness. I leaned on him, and his grace held me up.
As women’s ministry director, I want to encourage the women of my church and all the rest of you friends to live in your weakness. Stay there. Don’t fall for the, “I am woman, hear me roar” philosophy of our times. We’re not strong inside. We’re needy, and God demonstrates to the world who he is when we’re willing to stay in a posture of humility. That’s why he’ll allow stretches in our lives like I just walked through, so he gets the glory and not us. He gives us more than we can handle so he can show how much he can handle.
And hey, I’ve missed you all. It’s been several weeks since I’ve been able to blog, and I’m glad to be back here in my cozy living room having coffee and a good conversation with you. So tell me, what hard things have you been pushing through, and how has God shown his power in your weakness?