Thursday, January 28, 2010

My A-Ha Moment

You don't have to know me very long to know I am not the sharpest tack in the box. It takes a long time for things to sink in and so when I have a surplus of information to process and work through (like what I was given this weekend at retreat) I tend to withdraw a little in to myself and think it through. Hence, its been a little quiet over at ATH. I've been doin' me some thinking.

If I were to start writing about all the stuff going through my head it would go on for pages and pages and at the end of it you would be like, "huh"? So I'm going to just keep thinking and praying through it and instead write about something on a little smaller scale that I learned this weekend.

I was asked to do a drama on Friday night. I was thrilled and honored. I had done it last year but it was funny drama; this year it was to be serious so I was a little nervous about it. Despite my nerves, God gave me a great piece. I wrote it, rehearsed it, fretted over it and ultimately performed it in front of 300 ladies. Woohoo. Thank you God for getting me through it!

The next night at dinner I had to give up my seat with my besties for a woman who didn't have a seat. I roamed around the dining hall and found a table of gracious ladies who said I could sit with them. During the course of the conversations one of the women said she had enjoyed my drama but that it made her feel old. She said So and So had always done the retreat dramas and now she saw that the "more younger" people were being used. While that statement isn't entirely accurate I did understand what she meant.

Later that evening our retreat keynote speaker was talking about seasons of life and how she used to play the piano and help lead worship at our church for a season. She commented how hard it was when God called her and her husband elsewhere and she had to "give up that seat" to someone else.

Of course I took these two, unrelated statements and applied them to my life. I began feeling old even before I was old. I began feeling like before I even knew it I would be called to shelve my talents and attend retreats as an onlooker instead of a participant. I felt so gloomy at the thought; I wouldn't even let rationale play a part in my thoughts that I had lots of years ahead of me to be in ministry, to use my talents, to have fun serving. Nope. All doom and gloom for Jen the Awfulizer.

As soon as I realized the thoughts I was having my self-talk quickly turned to, "You are such a glory slut. Do you do anything for the Kingdom or is it all about you?" The enemy was having a great time with my tendency for self-condemning thoughts.

It wasn't until yesterday when I was driving in the car that I heard a song that spoke Truth to me. God often speaks to me through music; for some reason it just resonates with me. Anyway...the Nicole Nordeman song was on the playlist, "Legacy".

I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough
to make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering.
A child of mercy and grace
who blessed Your name.
I want to leave a legacy.

The lyrics flooded my heart; I felt that wonderful peace that goes beyond knowledge and realized what you've been screaming at me from the other side of the computer, "Its not about me".

Its not about my talents. Its not about my love of ministry. Its not about my love of accolades or even my pure intentions. It is about pointing to Christ. If in the end all I'm remembered for was being funny, or being talented, or being a good speaker then it will have been in vain. God made me who I am not to bring glory to myself, but to bring glory to Him.

I suppose its not so much a revelation at it is a reminder of the obvious. Nonetheless, it has helped to refocus my purpose and hopefully, align my intentions, work and desires with His.


Joy for the Seasons said...

Thanks for that encouragement today! Although you were speaking of yourself, as so often happens it made someone else (me) go "A-ha!"

Christy said...

Jen, I wrote you a note at the retreat but we didn't connect again for me to give it to you. But this is what it said.
"You have a gift from God and God is using you in amazing ways."

your friend,
Christy :)

Jen said...

Jen - thanks for your honest processing. You communicate truth so clearly. A very wise woman once asked me, "Do you love being affirmed for your speaking because they are noticing you, or because they were touched by God?" I was so relieved to realize that my pleasure in using my gifts to serve was not pride, but true enjoyment of God's work through me! This has been my litmus test over the years - and I sense you LOVE expressing your gifts because it's who God made you to be, and it does point to Christ. Keep going sister!!

Amber said...

This was dead.on.

I've been dealing with these exact same issues and you verbalized perfectly what I've been feeling.