Sunday, February 5, 2012

God Is GOOD, Even When Life Is Hard

I am not a fan of roller coasters.  I don't like the anticipation that builds when I hear the click up the hill.   I don't like the feeling I get in my stomach on the drops. I get queazy around bends and loops make me feel out of control.  Se la vie.  

The past few weeks God has taken me on a roller coaster ride.  I can't say I have enjoyed it much either.  I've learned a lot about myself over the last few weeks and it isn't all positive.  God has exposed some areas in my heart that I need to grow in.  I'm not as great with change as I thought I was.  I don't take criticism as well as I should.  I wish I were more flexible in assuming new challenges.  But, more than anything, I am learning that in all the ups and downs and twists and turns, only one thing will ever, ever remain a constant in my life - God's love for me.

A few months ago I was asked to assume responsibilities at church (I work in children's ministry part time) that were out of my comfort zone.  I felt overwhelmed by the new roll that was out of where I was comfortable.  But I also knew if it was presented to me, that I had to at least try.  I was afraid of failing - a big character flaw for this girl.  I don't typically stick with things that don't come easy for me.  But this time I felt like it was important to try out this new roll in children's ministry with an open mind and heart.  I was (and still am) super excited when our church hired a full time Family Ministries Pastor and couldn't wait to learn under his leadership.  I am still anticipating what God will do through him for the kids at Southbrook Church.  So I tried my best to wrap my heart around this new area I was embarking on.

Last Sunday I walked in to the children's building and began my morning like I typically do on a Sunday.  I like to get there early, before anyone else arrives, so I can prepare my heart for what God will do.  And so I began to pray for the children who would be impacted by His love that morning.  But last week I felt an overwhelming sense of grief as I prepared.  Seriously, I could hardly hold myself together during both services: greeting children, talking with families and volunteers,  telling the bible truth for the morning from the stage - the whole time I felt completely out of control.  I went to the bathroom to cry several times and just could not hold myself together and I didn't have a great idea of why.  I knew I had been feeling overwhelmed with the changes in my roll on staff but I am not a big crier generally so it just felt strange.

Several dear friends prayed for me that morning.  I asked them to start praying that God would give me clarity on what my heart was grieving about and what direction He wanted me to go.  With a new daughter home and homeschooling my older two kiddos, I thought maybe God was calling me back home full time.  But I couldn't be sure.  So I prayed for clarity.

Be careful what you pray for ;)

In all seriousness, I am so genuinely shocked each and every time God answers my prayers in tangible and specific ways.  This was no exception.  I prayed for clarity on Sunday and on through the week.  

Thursday morning, four days after I began praying for clarity, I sat in the office of our executive pastor (a man that I have a huge amount of respect and adoration for) as he told me that the church had made a decision to let me go from staff at Southbrook due to budget constraints.

God could not have been any clearer with his direction.  It still hurts.  In fact, I have cried every day this week  as I continue to grieve what I believe God was preparing my heart for last Sunday when I couldn't exactly pin-point why I was so, so weepy.  But I'm not crying because I'm angry. Or discouraged.  Or frustrated.  I know God is in this.  I know he's got something big up his sleeve and I just can't see the eternal picture that He can (although I can't wait until I can!)  

I'm grieving the ending of a season of my life in which God has shown me his faithfulness.  I cry because I don't understand what is next.  I'm sad because for now, I'm going to miss out on all the beauty that is revealed when children worship God with their hands in the air and ask for him to speak to them and then he does!

But there are some really special lessons that I am taking away from this new adventure back to full time mom-hood:
1.  God is God and I am not - Southbrook is His church and I am so glad I get to see Him in action
2.  Living a life of obedience means going wherever He leads me - not just where I want to go
3.  Being still and learning how to step back from children's ministry for a short time is a way for me to quiet my heart and listen to where God is gently leading me

God is good even when life is hard or unpredictable or bumpy.  He is in this!


  1. Heidi- Thank you for your complete honesty...You have a passion for children's ministry,only God knows what's next! You have reached so many kids and families through your time at Southbrook. You have planted many seeds....Thank you for always smiling and praising God!

  2. I desperately needed a post just like this one today, thank you! Praying for you.

  3. thank you for showing maturity in your faith. tonight during devotions on the various names of God, it was called 'gentle whisper'. sometimes He just comes as a quiet little puff....but we know it is Him. weepy hearts, i think, are His little puffs into us. be excited in where things will go :)