I don't think I've mentioned it on my blog yet, I think it's been too painful for me to write about, but my husband and I are no longer youth pastors.
The main factor is financial reasons--though God knows we would have kept going full steam ahead if He would have allowed us to. This is a heartbreak we don't really know how to walk through. It's what we always felt God called us to do and we were so certain then that He would make a way for us to do it. Now we feel lost, bereft, afraid to dream anymore. And life without dreams loses so much of its luster. I've spent many nights crying myself to sleep, asking God why, straining to hear His answer, but even then knowing that there is no answer that would satisfy this ache inside me.
"Do you trust me?" God asked me today in a whisper meant to reveal my heart to myself.
"Do you trust my love for you?" He's gentle but persistent.
And my own hesitation confirmed my answer. My heart is fearful. Down deep in my soul, I know God loves me and I can trust him, but oh, my heart plays the traitor. My heart with all it's fickle feelings.
It feels like God's given up on me.
It feels like hope deferred.
It feels like the end of a dream.
But will I trust my feelings or will I trust the God of my soul?
I'm praying for the strength to trust and for the courage to dream again.
I was reminded of this post from two years ago when I was in a similar season....
I started fretting. And getting anxious. Dreams were passing me by, floating just out of my reach and taking my heart with them.
Had God forgotten about me? Was He passing me by, too? I thought my dreams were important to Him. Hadn't He promised me the desires of my heart?
I laid all this and more out on my messy kitchen table. With my head in my hands I let my selfish tears flow. I needed to know. I needed the reassurance of my Father.
He was as gentle as He always is. And yet His question was persistent.
"Am I more important to you than your dreams?"
I knew what God was asking and I knew what the answer would be. In His own compassionate way, He was reminding me that this life I live is not about me. I was clinging to my dreams instead of to His will. I had my own ideas of how things should work out, what I wanted living for Him to look like. It was just a matter of time, I thought, until God will bring my dreams to pass. And although I know my dreams ARE important to God, what if He has other plans?
I had to let them go. I had to choose again to let Jesus fill my soul. His dreams must become my own. And I am remembering just how incredible it is to dream God's dreams. They are more, so much more than even I dare to imagine.
This life I live is not about me and I hope that it never will be.
It's about the overwhelming, life-changing, all-encompassing love of my Jesus that dares to make the ordinary into the extraordinary, the impossible possible, and is changing the world one mended heart at a time.
Use me as you will, Father, use me as you will!