I find myself at this moment in my life feeling as though some things that are both familiar and good no longer seem to fit. I think the hardest thing for me is to let go of something I love, not because it isn’t good anymore but because now isn’t the right time. I always want a reason, but sometimes there isn’t one. It is just a season for ending. This week I resigned from the Women’s Ministry Team in my church. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, people move in and out of these things regularly. In my life though, working with a team to impact, empower, and support women has been some of the best, most consistent, work I’ve ever done.
For over two decades, I have served my church by hosting opportunities for friendship, love, and faith to grow. In my heart, this Women’s Ministry Team is not a single group of women, but multiple groups of women in different times and places. There is not a singular team I withdraw from, but a collective of teams shifting and changing over time. Each season brought together people, with different gifts, passions, expressions, and backgrounds. Together these women have been my friends and mentors… and I will miss this collective of shared vision and goals expressed within the local church.
Together we have served in a thousand ways, both public and private, small and significant. I have learned from these women about life, marriage, parenting, community, faith, and fun. They have challenged me and pushed me to be real, to show up, to tell the truth even when it hurts. These women have poured truth and life into my heart, pressed me into uncomfortable places, and been my rear guard when times were tough.
These women have poured truth and life into my heart, pressed me into uncomfortable places, and been my rear guard when times were tough.
Together we have seen the Spirit move through us and among us. In the fellowship of women I have been truly blessed.
In the company of women…
I learned that a survey isn’t as good as a cup of coffee if I want to know what a woman thinks.
I learned that a ministry can’t love you, but people can.
I learned the secret handshake of adulthood -we are all just making it up as we go along.
I learned that I don’t have to perform, but can simply show up and be loved.
I learned that even though it’s sometimes hard, the friendship of women is worth it.
I learned that there are some things only other women can understand.
In the company of women I have made mistakes and been offered grace beyond measure. I’ve learned that I am not who I appear to be and been loved as I am. Individually, these women (from long ago and very recently) have watched me take baby steps and find my footing in my faith, my family, my home, and my community. Their prayers, patience, encouragement, and perseverance have shaped my life and equipped me for things I could not have imagined.
In the company of women…
I learned that I can support someone who makes choices that are different than mine.
I learned that even when we don’t agree, we can love.
I learned that wholeness and holiness have a lot in common.
I learned that we should not assume that we all agree.
I learned that to move what I know about faith from my head to my heart is the longest journey.
More than anything, I have learned that the most important work is that of a servant. That teaching, leading, and speaking only have power when they come from a life of humility and service. When I started, I longed to lead, to make a difference, to be in charge. Now I know very little of that matters, but that ministry matters when it comes from faith working through love.
As I look to the horizon, I am thinking a lot about what servanthood looks like. I am thinking about practical help, showing up, and being present in the lives of others. I don’t even have full sentences to describe the churning and upheaval in my heart, but I am taking steps to make room for a new thing…. For a fresh vision of God in my life, for a fresh vision of my life in the midst of others. I am not done with ministry, but it will look different from here.
I am not done with ministry, but it will look different from here.