Can I be honest with you? Can I share something that is real, raw and even a bit painful?
There are many days that I truly wish God had called me to do something different! I know that seems like a shocking statement on it's surface. But let me explain....
God has wired me, gifted me and called me to reach people who are truly messy, broken, hurting, confused, different and troubled. It doesn't matter where I go, where I hide or how hard I try to run away... God puts these people in my life, and calls me to love them, protect them, shepherd them, teach them and simply just be present. God has given me a very deep passion for this! The reality is... ministry in this realm is not easy, comfortable or simple. In fact, it is hard! Now, I will say, there is never a dull moment! I can tell you some pretty incredible stories that will make you laugh, cry, gasp and scratch your head. It is an adventure. But, every person knows that adventures aren't always easy.
The hardest part is that God has called me to this, gifted me for this and put this passion inside of me. But, not everyone in my life can say the same. Some of my closest friends, the people I do life with daily, do not have the same calling! In fact, there are people who are part of our church, and do life with me... who simply do not share the same passion! They don't have the patience, the adventurous spirit and drive to push through the mess and craziness to reach for the vision God has given me.
The reality is, leading the vision God has given you is not easy. In fact, at times it can be lonely! I have lots of GREAT people surrounding me... If I didn't I would be a complete 100% failure. But, even being surrounded by lots of people doesn't change the painful moments of loneliness. No one else carries the passion, the burden and the calling that God has placed on me. And, when my ministry struggles, my closest friends don't fully understand my calling and I am tired.... It get's TOUGH!
For a good while I have felt guilty... I have felt sinful for having the thoughts I shared when I opened this blog... I thought something was truly wrong with me for wanting God to revoke His calling.... and release me for something easier. I have felt like a traitor for such thoughts! But, this morning God brought something to mind for me.... Jesus even had this moment.... Jesus felt the pain of carrying a vision, the loneliness of a team who didn't always understand and the passion for a broken, messy, hurting and confused world! When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane before He was to be nailed to a cross had this experience... "He pulled away from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, “Father, remove this cup from me. But please, not what I want. What do you want?” At once an angel from heaven was at his side, strengthening him. He prayed on all the harder. Sweat, wrung from him like drops of blood, poured off his face."
I am not comparing myself to Jesus. In fact, it would be the worst comparison on earth! But, I do find great peace in knowing that the human part of Jesus wrestled with the vision, passion and calling God had placed on His life. If Jesus struggled, then there is no doubt that I will too!
Pastors, Church Planters, Leaders, Parents....... There are going to be days where you feel lonely, worn out, desperate, broken, like a failure and more. Those days are normal. Those days are real... so don't ignore them! But, be honest about your struggle. Share it with others. God has surrounded you with people who can help comfort you, encourage you and just simply be at your side!
You can reach the other side of this thing. You can reach your vision.... Like Moses leading a million griping, complaining, messy, broken, angry, crazy people through the wilderness to reach the place of vision.... God will get you there! You will feel alone at times. At other times, He will give you Calebs and Joshuas to hold up your arms, and stand with you. But, with diligence, patience, HARD WORK and TONS of Faith.... He will fulfill what He set you apart to do!