I’m in a quandary. I will share my quandary with you through this blog post, but I’m going to present a disclaimer up front: I won’t wrap this blog post up with a tidy bow and all the answers. I haven’t found the answers yet, but I have a feeling that many of you might find yourselves in the same quandary. And perhaps, as we explore it together, we might find some answers to these questions and in doing so, find peace..
If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you have probably already come to the conclusion that last year was a horrible year for me emotionally. If was full of transition and rejection and being unFriended on Facebook. WHEW! I thank God I lived through it. I did survive, but I came through it with scars and regrets and my rosy-colored ministry glasses are currently a full-fledged charcoal.
Last month, I had to do what I loath to do: QUIT. I had to give up. I had to stop. I had to say, “I can’t do it all.” It took a crisis in my mental health (maybe I’ll share that when I’m braver) to make me realize that I couldn’t do it anymore. I needed some time to rest and recover. I did survive the banner year of emotional turmoil, but my body and mind told me that enough was enough.
I had reached ministry burnout.
So I quit being a ladies ministry leader. I laid down being a mentor. I stopped hosting Mastermind meetings. I put my small group on hold indefinitely. I said no when asked to volunteer at my church.
I even turned down opportunities to make the announcements at church, even through I LOVE holding a microphone. It was hard.
In one of my darkest moments, when I was so broken and empty, I never wanted to do ANYTHING for God again. Nothing. My dream job was to become a hermit, living alone on a lake in the mountains
I just wanted it to be God and me. I wanted to spend time in Bible study and worship and prayer and never have to deal with people again. I just wanted to love Him and enjoy the special friendship that we have cultivated for 25 years. In a tear-filled moment of brokenness, I asked God, “Is it ENOUGH for me just to love you?”
I wanted to just be God’s daughter, and not a do-er.
This Bible seems to have various messages on “doing.” Martha was chided for “doing” and not resting at Jesus’ feet. The Psalms tell us to be still. The New Testament tells us to do a lot of things, and talks about faith without works. What’s the answer?
Are we supposed to “do” all the time?
Are we allowed to rest?
I don’t know.
But I do know that there is a season for everything. Perhaps there are seasons for doing, and seasons of resting. Even God, when He created the world, worked for six days. And on the 7th day He rested.
Even though I still struggle with quitting and saying no, I think that God wants me to rest. He wants me to be refreshed just by spending time in my garden and with family and friends in non-ministry settings. He wants me to spent time reading books and watching TV and letting my wounded soul heal. He wants me to go on long walks and sit by a lake and let nature be a healing balm. He wants me to recharge and be rejuvenated. He knows how badly I need it.
I’m not sure if I can rest and be still. But I want to try.
God often brings my own words back to me and challenges me with them. I asked God if loving Him was enough – if I could just be a daughter and not a do-er. A few days later, God turned it around on me when He asked me, “Lisa, is loving Me enough?”
Can I be satisfied with a ministry that is not “doing” but simply loving God? It is silent, without acclaim, solitary, and there is no microphone for me to hold.
“Is loving Me enough, Lisa?” God asks. “Am I enough to satisfy your weary soul?”
I hope so.
The Lord will guide you always;
He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
Isaiah 58:11 NIV
Resting is hard. Saying no feels bad. But I’m learning that in this season, loving God is enough. I’m not just a do-er. I’m a daughter.