Jason and I took a long weekend away and prior to that weekend, I shared the testimony of our marriage on Facebook. Surrounding those days (many days before, during, and since) was an internal struggle to determine if I was in the right position doing the right thing for the right reason. The truth about ministry of any kind is that it is far messier than it is glamorous. I found myself weighed down by a role that reaches far beyond my own capacity in time, talent, and patience. A dear friend asked me to pinpoint where I “flourish” and while I still don’t know that I can clearly articulate an answer to that question, I spent many days taking many notes after praying fervently and seeking both wisdom & revelation. The post below is the truth that I’ve settled on (again) and the one that I’ve decided to use as my compass for all decision-making as I move forward into my next season of ministry.
It seems wrong, to me, for Christians to advertise our victories without also sharing the battles that we fight to experience them and so I share it with you, now.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
I, intentionally, disconnected from most relationships & visible media platforms over the last week for the purpose of reconnecting with the wellspring of my own soul. Other than the testimony of marriage that I felt led to share leading up to our 5th wedding anniversary, I remained mostly silent on many fronts.
In my quiet time of disconnection and reflection, one of the truths that the Holy Spirit regularly whispered to me is that my heavenly purpose does not require an earthly platform. There is nothing that pleases the enemy more than knowing we’ve become so distracted looking inward at our gifts, abilities, talents, and outward at those who we wish would appreciate them, that we stop looking upward to the One from whom they originate.
In a world of degrees, certifications, even ordinations, we’ve allowed ourselves to become convinced that unless we are qualified, we cannot be called. We’ve also become ensnared in a web of falsehood that tells us title equates to authority and that platform validates purpose. Over the course of my own life, I have spiraled into despair during those seasons when my office nameplate and almost six-figure salary were separated from me, whether by my own hand or that of another.
Who am I, if not a woman with a title? What am I worth, if not a comfortable paycheck?
And unfortunately, this desire to experience validation does not magically disappear when we join the body of Christ. In fact, sometimes it is magnified.
It’s common for Christians with a calling during seasons of wait or delay to wonder,
“If God has chosen me, why won’t His people accept my calling?”
The one thing I have come to realize over the years of struggle to find purpose and value is that I have been called, first and foremost, to find deep satisfaction in the presence of my God. I am not here to be a vessel of temporary influence. I am here to be a catalyst for eternal expansion, and that can only happen when I sit, learn, study, worship, and rest at the feet of the Eternal One. Everything else is simply an overflow of that relationship.
I do not need to be a staff member of my local church to carry its authority. I do not require a pulpit to be a minister of the gospel. I am not bound by the confines of man or institution in order to be an effective tool in the Master’s hand. He has no boundaries or restrictions and so neither does His use of me, with one exception: my own heart.
If the pursuit of a platform is the desire of my heart, then I will most certainly lose the footing of my purpose. However, if the posture of my heart is one of pursuit for the most intimate relationship a human can ever have with the God of the universe, then the result will most certainly be just that–a spiritual romance so intense that I lose sight of everything else this feeble world has to offer.
He always has my best interests in mind. He always wants to bless me; He sees and knows what I cannot possibly see or know. He has already provided. He has already inspired. He has already saved and redeemed and anointed and equipped me. I have nothing to lose by choosing Him above all other things and I have everything to gain. He is my purpose. So, I choose not good, but God. I focus on the Creator, not the creation. I determine to be defined not by my anointing, but by the One who has anointed me.