I always said - do a few things and do them well! Don't say yes to everything and then do them all half way. God wants excellence from us! I guess you can tell I am a Martha and not a Mary, huh? My parents instilled in me a work ethic that is a tad on the insane side and always stressed keeping my word and finishing what I started. Good things.
Until we moved I was very much a "commit-to-something-and-stick-it-through-you-can-count-on-me-to-get-it-done" kind of girl. I think I have joined and quit more things this past year than I have in my past ten years. That's embarrassing for me to say for some reason. It makes me feel kind of bad about myself. I don't want to be someone people aren't sure they can count on! Although I am still acting with integrity and talking to those I need to when coming to the conclusion that I am 'in the wrong area' instead of just dropping off the face of the earth and leaving them hanging for months. I am starting to see though that my view, my pet peeve, was very rigid toward others - did I ever know what they might be wrestling with inside and in their lives? I'm certain that their intentions were genuine...just like mine have been. I am assuming that I am just trying to 'find my place' here but I am sad to say that I am not doing a very good job always asking God's opinion before I act.
Three weeks ago I saw a rare opportunity to volunteer at Proverbs 31 Ministries. Of course, my first thought was - wow, that is amazing to get in there amongst those ladies. I jumped on it. I did not pray about it to the extent I should have. I wanted to get involved because of where/who it was - not because I was feeling called to go there. Ever since I went in I have not been able to shake a sick feeling in my belly every time I thought about going in. Yes, I was nervous about a new place - but I'm pretty used to new places now. I started praying and asking God to please make it clear and give me peace if I'm in the right spot. I sought counsel from friends and continued praying. That peace did not come. It did bring me peace however, to let them know this week that I had made a mistake. I'm not sure what God is doing. Where He wants me. But I know that my motives were not about serving Him in this decision.
The women at Proverbs 31 were very understanding and even offered me a different way to serve in the back room that is more my style than answering the confusing phones. At this point, I begged God to part the fog and make it clear for me. I want to do only what He wants me to do. I sat still before Him. Then I was reminded that if I want to serve a day a week there are opportunities at my church and community. I then felt very much at peace telling them that I don't think I can do it right now. I feel good about obeying Him, but my flesh still wants to be 'associated' with that ministry.
There's been other opportunities here that I/we have taken and have much peace about after I/we did pray. You would think that after I have spent several years now praying for His will and His plan and His guidance in my life, that I would not jump ahead of Him in these decisions.
Lessons learned (hmm..I think some of these I've 'learned' before?):
- It is okay to not answer immediately when an opportunity is presented. If it is what God wants for me - it will still be available if I wait until I know He is leading me there.
- Pray consistently about how He wants me to fill my time.
- Surrender completely to His plan for me.
- People can still count on me! They can count on me to obey God - which is better than following through on something He didn't really lead me to in the first place...