Well, after a few days of absolutely no thoughts or inspiration I now have a head full of stuff trying to work itself out! So, in order to help my brain sift through it all I thought I’d put some of it here.
I’ve long felt that wherever I am and whatever I’m doing I just don’t quite fit. Like people don’t totally get me. Don’t get me wrong, I have great friends and family, and I have great times with people and getting to know people. But there are often occasions when I feel like I just don’t properly connect with people, or that they don’t truly understand me or ‘get’ the whole me. I think that this is related in someway to the previous post on crying whenever I’m at church recently.
A couple of days ago, I read an interview from a pastor’s wife who is involved in ministry and leadership and one of the responses she gave really resonated with me.
What do you wish someone had told you before you started in your area of leadership/ministry?
I learned early on that the higher you go in ministry/leadership, the fewer amount of people you personally relate to. When I started working in ministry full-time as a college student, I thought something was wrong with me and wondered why I felt disconnected with those around me. Usually it was because they were in a completely different place spiritually and we just didn’t think the same way. When I realized it wasn’t personal- against me or them, but a fact of leadership, it helped me in the way I relate with others and minister to them. I have a lot more grace towards them not expecting them to see things exactly the way I do.
I had kind of realised this before but I don’t think that I’d actually accepted it or come to ‘know’ it for myself. I have been involved in leadership in church before, and I fully believe that I will be again, even just in small ways. Plus, I am a leader in my family and other circles of my life. But I don’t think I ever fully realised what that could mean for other parts of my life and for me personally.
Sometimes it bothers me. I am a people person and I like to feel understood (just ask my husband!). So the thought that there will always be parts of me that people don’t fully understand can upset me.
But at the same time it makes me appreciate just how important it is for me to set my eyes on God and what He thinks and knows of me. He created me and knows every part of me. My likes, dislikes, skills, talents, failures, worries, passions, desires…He knows them all. And He fully understands them all. Even when I don’t.
If I place my understanding of myself, and my happiness and self value, on what I think others think of me then I will never see a full and whole picture of myself. I will always feel incomplete, misunderstood, disconnected in some way.
But if I place my understanding on what God thinks of me, then I can begin to build a proper picture of myself. A true reflection of all that I have been created to be and do. And I can have a value in myself that is whole and complete and connected.
I know that this is something I will always struggle with in some way. But I pray that I will learn to look to God sooner, rather than later, and that I can teach others to do the same. That together we can build up a generation of people (men and women) who truly understand and value themselves because they hear what God thinks and feels about them. That we would build up a generation of leaders who are bold and strong but also kind and gracious. Who understand the purpose God has for them, but who also understand that others will misunderstand them sometimes…and that it’s ok!