As some of you may know, I have been in the process of raising a ministry support team to work full time with [nlcf]. I have been in this process for a full 6 months and have felt a wide range of emotions: discouragement, fleeting happiness, a deep sense of peace, apathy, excitement, and awe. Let’s just say, it has been a wild ride.
It seems as though each week has a different theme depending on my emotions, on other people’s reactions, on the amount of support I do or don’t see coming in, and on how much effort I am putting into my responsibilities. And it’s easy to get caught up in defining myself by what I do, my many checklists, and my current circumstances. But if who I am is what I do, then every week, or rather every day or hour, I am a different person, being tossed around by my feelings and emotions and with no sense of security. If there is one thing that I continually come back to in life, it is that I am ALWAYS completely covered by God. When I am with God, in communion with Him, believing in Him, even in the midst of seriously doubting Him, I am covered by His unfailing love. His love encompasses grace and mercy that no human (besides Jesus) could ever duplicate! Regardless of how successfully I have or have not completed my checklists, I am covered.
My whole life I have considered myself a perfectionist. I want everything I do to be done well! I think that is an admirable quality to a certain extent, but I also think it can drive me to an unhealthy mindset, and sometimes, insanity. The standard of perfection is created by our culture. Perfectionism inevitably leads me right into a crazy cycle because I don’t believe I will ever reach perfection while living life here on earth. I also believe it causes me to think it is by my own power and strength that I am able to accomplish life’s tasks and goals, but that just isn’t the case. Is my own effort a necessity in day-to-day life? Absolutely! I believe accomplishing the tasks God calls us to is one of the greatest ways we can be obedient to Him. However, I can make life all about the tasks and forget that they are God’s tasks, they are his accomplishments, and they are ultimately for His glory. Do I long to do things perfectly for my own glory or for the glory of God? I love what Henri Nouwen says:
“In prayer, we seek God’s voice and allow God’s word to penetrate our fear and resistance so that we can begin to hear what God wants us to know. And what God wants us to know is that before we think or do or accomplish anything, before we have much money or little money, the deepest truth of our human identity is this: ‘You are my beloved Son. You are my beloved daughter. With you I am well pleased.'” A Spirituality of Fundraising
This is such a great reminder for me while walking through this process of support raising. When I wake up in the morning, before I go to a support appointment, after an appointment, or before I make phone calls to set up appointments, I whisper to myself, “You are my beloved daughter. With you I am well pleased.”
You are always covered! If there is one thing I want to strive to do perfectly, it is to draw near to my Father! Only there will I find who I truly am.
For you died when Christ died, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your real life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. Colossians 3:3-4