Spiritual Face Plant | Walking Worthy: Spiritual Face Plant

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Spiritual Face Plant

I feel like I am in the middle of a spiritual face plant. I feel like I have fallen flat on my face and the air has been sucked out of me.  Year two in college ministry brings with it changes and surprises and hurt. I am left asking myself “What did I do wrong?” Hurtful conversations ripped my voice right from me. I am holding on to what once was while all the while realizing I need to move forward. I am wondering if God is still moving behind the scenes. I am not trusting Him with His people. All the while the enemy is slamming  me with lies, telling me it’s all my fault, criticizing the way I do everything, telling me I have dropped the ball, encouraging me to live in “if only”.

I’m not sure what it is about the hard times that make us stop and take a look at ourselves. But I am doing a lot of stopping, looking, and praying. And here is what I am realizing.

My identity is not based on the “success” of the college ministry God allows me to serve in. Last year was a good year. People grew quickly. I saw girls faithfully desiring God’s word. Somewhere along the way I allowed my identity to be found in my relationship with others and how awesome our college ministry seemed. And God is opening up my eyes and breaking down walls and showing me, this is sin. And sweetly and fervently reminding me to come to Him and remember who He has already said that I am. (I have no doubt, that is why I am teaching Ephesians right now.)

Relationships are a blessing not an affirmation of who I am. This is connected to where I find my identity. But the Lord is showing me this week that I am seeking affirmation in relationships. And when relationships change I freak out. I hold on desperately. But like my identity, my affirmation is in Jesus. I am affirmed not because others think highly of me, but because of who Jesus says I am. And that is enough. When people walk away, that doesn’t negate what Jesus has already said about me.

The enemy is roaring around like a lion seeking whom he can devour. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us this, but I believe it in a way that I haven’t before. I realize my need to be on guard, to wear the armor of Jesus, to take every thought captive. The enemy wants to destroy me, confuse me, get me down, make me believe I am the answer instead of the truth that Jesus is the answer.

God is moving even when I cannot see it. Yesterday God encouraged me through this blog post. I am so grateful for Christine Hoover. She blesses me and encourages me in a way that only a ministry wife can. And through her God is sweetly reminding me that He is on the move. And my role is to pray and trust Him. So that is what I am doing. I am praying and trusting Him to move.

This ministry is about faith and obedience while allowing God to claim the victory. This goes hand in hand with my last realization. Christine Hoover also wrote about how her second year of ministry was about faith. I believe it will be the same for me. Year two will be about me stripping away myself in this ministry and trusting God to move, work, and build. Now I realize that doesn’t mean I do nothing. My role is to have faith, but to also walk in obedience when He calls me to do something. That means I must be talking to Him on a daily basis and be willing to walk in what He calls me to…whatever that may be. That may mean my role looks different than I expect it to, but I must have faith that God knows better than I do.

I must seek the Lord for encouragement. God is sweetly encouraging me this week. Through different people. Through times of prayer. Through words of encouragement. Through the prayer of others. I am realizing that I cling too much to the encouragement of people and that I must seek the Lord to encourage me. Now, sometimes He does use His people to bring encouragement. But I cannot cling to others for this encouragement, I must cling to Him. He must be the first place I go.

So here I am raw, face planted, belly flopped. And I remember, Jesus is better. He is moving. He is worthy of trust. His grace is sufficient for my weakness. It is only by His grace that I am who I am.
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