So this morning, I dragged myself out of a “cough syrup” coma, got dressed, and presented myself to my church family with a smile and a happy disposition in spite of the lousy cold feeling I have lugged around for two weeks.
After Sunday School, I felt prayed over and ready to enjoy a good old fashioned “thumping” that God seems to deliver each week. Well, He didn’t disappoint. Yes, before, the sermon could even start, God thumped me a big one.
This is what happened:
We sang our first song, sat in order to listen to the announcements, and then we sang our next two songs. Normal Sunday routine…….. until, our pastor, gathered the children up front.
Ya’ll. I cried. I am crying as I am remembering this morning’s events.
It is uncontrollable crying.
Was I happy to see the children up front and center again? Yes, I was. It is a part of the service I’ve missed terribly.
The moment the children gathered, my mind went back to the day…… the moment when I was told I was no longer going to start our children’s service in front at the alter. That moment that forever changed me. It was the start of the unraveling of the ministry I was serving.
Ya’ll I sat there this morning and relived that day. The disappointment and disapproval that stung years ago brought forth the tears. I was back sitting in the blue wing-backed chair hearing those words, “You will NOT come forward with the children any more.” The confusion and the gut wrenching anger churned my stomach sour again.
Then the guilt of “It was because of me the kids no longer came forward” stirred up the old feelings. I was too silly. I was too much into character. I was a distraction. It was because of me. Oh, the explanation of why I wasn’t allowed to do it any more, rang in my ears.
I didn’t hear a word my pastor said to those children today. I was only listening to the list of reasons why I couldn’t do it any more. Tears were falling down my face just as hard as that day.
And then, I prayed, “Why God? Why are You making me relive this? I was over it. I promised not to allow the fear to get in the way again. Why?” I got my answer two fold.
First, it was when we were driving home…… I asked Mark point blank, “Why do you think it bothers me so much to see the kids come forward for the Children’s Talk?” Mark’s answer was simple. “Well, you miss it.”
Yes, I do miss ministry. I miss being active. I miss be a part of it. But, the crippling affects of the past keep me pinned down. I am afraid of failing again. I am afraid of doing ministry. I got the chance to hide behind the bakery and now teaching. It is true. As much as I miss doing ministry; I am equally afraid.
Secondly, I was pondering over what the message was today. Renewal. I thought about how much I have changed since my ministry days. I am a writer. I found peace within myself and I have grown spiritually. The harsh words “You don’t know ministry” no longer can apply. I do know ministry. I do know Christ. I do know. My mind, body and soul has been renewed by Christ, His knowledge and His love. I am no longer the ministry misfit I was conditioned to believe.
So, now, where do I go with all this renewal and regret? I don’t know. All I know it is time for me to say, “Yes” to the ministry God places in front of me. I will no longer allow the fear of years past keep me down.