Thursday, January 13, 2005

looking for love in all the wrong places

i had an amazing realization yesterday. one that should have hit me a long time ago. maybe it did. maybe i ignored it. maybe i could faintly hear it whispering to me, but i grabbed my pillow and muffled it's nonsense. maybe i was just not paying attention to the signs that were so easily weaved into my own life. or maybe i'm just oblivious. anyway, it doesn't really matter because i'm left almost just as confused as i was before.

i've been thinking a whole lot about why my life feels so stagnant. i graduated from college over a year ago and i still have absolutely no idea what i'm suppose to be doing. i've been trying to follow the be-patient-it's-all-in-his-timing plan, but it's proving to be a lot harder than i would have ever thought. i believe things take time, but i'd have never thought that a year after graduation i'd be here. so i guess in all this madness i've been trying to figure it out, but not really with any luck. i'm here, waiting. i've applied for what seems like a million jobs, but nothing has been promising. i've even applied for jobs so i have an income until something better comes along. no luck. so i was lying in bed yesterday half thinking/half praying about everything. i'm thinking about all the jobs i've applied for, having no money, living at home, working camp this summer, and anything else that popped into my head. then it hit me...kind of like a punch to the gut. maybe the reason i'm not getting the jobs is because i don't truly desire them. i'm not passionate about making videos for a police department. i'm not passionate about working for a call center. i'm not passionate about selling insurance. i am, however, passionate about ministry. i'm passionate about working with kids, and youth. i'm passionate about using video production for ministry. so...i'm passionate about ministry. what does this mean? i'm not sure. am i suppose to be doing full time ministry? maybe. am i suppose to be looking for a full time position doing one of these things? maybe. am i suppose to go to seminary? who knows. i'm so confused. but i think maybe it's part of the puzzle i've been trying to figure out for a while now. okay, so it's not really news. yeah, i've known since i started college that i wanted to work in ministry, so why is that news? well, maybe i've just been looking in all the wrong places. maybe ministry isn't something that i'm suppose to do after i get off work from my "real" job, or on the weekends. maybe it's something i'm suppose to do as my "real" job. at this point i'm not sure, but i think i might be heading in the right direction.

a couple weeks ago i talked to a guy with a major campus ministry about possibly going on staff with them. the position would be great! exactly what i want to do. i'd have a chance to do videos, work with college students, bible'd be great. it's definitely something that i could be passionate about and something i'd love doing. he told me that he was very interested in talking with me more about it and having me pursue it further. i'm very interesed in applying and my next step is getting together a sample reel to send them.

i also have the possibility of working camp again. i probably should have already given my decision, but i haven't yet. i love working camp! i wish i could do it for the rest of my life. and while it does limit what i can do over the summer as far as other job possibilities are concerned, i'm not sure that i'm ready to give it up. i love those high school and middle school kids. i love the whole idea of spending my summer teaching bible study, playing with inner city kids, being crazy. i was pretty sure that last year was going to be my last year, but i applied again without really knowing. when i think about it, i get excited. i have no idea what this means. am i suppose to be working? is it time to give it up? oh i wish i had the answers.

often i know that God uses people in my life to show me things. probably mostly because i question a lot of things and lately i've been so confused about everything i never know what's from me and what's from him. so i have some very godly friends who i know will always be honest with me if i ask their opinions on any subject. last night i was talking with jeremy online and i decided i was going to see what his take on all this was. here's what was said.

me: ok...i have been offered a position working camp again. i was offered the position back in sept. and i told him that i had no idea where God wanted me. he said i had until around christmas. which has come and gone and i still have no idea if thats where i'm suppose to be. i feel like i'm getting nothing at all. i'm as clueless as i was when i graduated last year.

jeremy: I'm processing the info as it comes in

me: i've been looking for a full time job doing video stuff...but i realzied the other day that it's not necessarily where my heart is. i mean, i love doing video. but i love the ministry that goes along with it so much more. does that make sense?

jeremy: absolutely

me: so i'm wondering if i'm looking in all the wrong places

jeremy: I know you have heard the be patient spill enough and to just be patient and all that jazz. I know that you have to be going crazy there...

me: ______ has been nagging me to get in touch and find out about working on staff with _______. and he said he thought it was totally up my alley. so i looked into it a little. emailed this chick...she gave me another guys email address. i emailed him. he told me to give him a i did. last week i ended up chatting with him about it for about 15 minutes. the information i found out was pretty helpful and it's what i want to do. he said that he was interested in talking to me more and having me pursue it. that they are looking for video people with good hearts, experience leading bible study...

jeremy: But it has been a year now - no video things have opened up - nashville hasn't produced any great leads and I fully believe that God will not open any paths for us if that is not his will for us - I fully believe God is in control and that His will is more important than our so called "free will." I know you love video, but I also know your heart and you have a heart for God and serving him. I could see you on staff with _____ or something like that.

me: he said that i'd be able to do a one year internship and if i liked it i could go on staff...that way i woulnd't be committed

jeremy: I know you love camp, but I think God has bigger plans in store

me: i know that when i think about it i get excited. i don't know if that's what i'm suppose to do or not. i feel so lost that i'm sure it could be kicking me in the face and i wouldn't know it.

jeremy: My advice is to pursue whatever door the Lord opens and he will close those that aren't for you. That is why I preached at 10 different churches and went to Texas and DC because the doors were open and God in his sovreignty closed them all but one - one by one. It was amazing.

me: yeah...and i know that. i guess it's just really affirming to hear it from someone else. i don't have a lot of christian support here. which makes things a million times more difficult

jeremy: understandable. In times like these I always read 1 Samuel Chapter 3 - Samuel has no clue what is going on and God is calling him to great work - Finally Eli tells him to go and Lay down and say "Speak Lord for your servant is listening" That is a wonderful prayer to pray in doubt of God's calling - Speak Lord for your servant is listening

me: i love middle school, high school and college ministry! i absolutely love it!that's why i love camp so much! a group of middle schoolers and high schoolers.'s grat

jeremy: God's call to full time ministry is a great thing! Although it is a stupid thing if that's not what he is calling you to do. Every preacher I have talked to has told me while I was struggling with the call...If there is anything else you want to do or can do then do it, but if not God will take away every other desire you have and that will be the only thing you can and want to do.

me: right now everything i dream of doing has to do with ministry in some way

jeremy: Being called to full time ministry is such a blessing! It sounds like God may be calling you that

me: yeah...i always new i'd be doing some type of ministry. i've known that for years...but now...i guess i'm just confused.

jeremy: I always told you that you were going to seminary too. Can I tell you something too, you may not like it though

me: yeah

jeremy: For some reason I never really saw you going to Nashville. I hated to tell you though because I'm nobody and because you really excited and pumped about Nashville right out of college.

me: well...we both see how far that got me.

jeremy: I mean I was dying to get out of there right after college and it looks like I will be here for a while now. Something I have found out is that sometimes the more we want something the more it means God doesn't

me: or he wants to show us that we don't need it

jeremy: I heard a preacher say once "If you want to make God laugh just tell him your plans for your life." One thing that was really amazing in my search for a church to pastor is I have always preached that God is sovereign in EVERYTHING - salvation, death, life, plans - everything. He does it all! But it was just amazing to see how God opened up literally 10 or 12 doors and I promised him I would faithfully walk through any door he opened. But one by one they all closed except for one and I know without a doubt that God has called me there. I even knew that when a few other doors were opened - doors I wanted to walk through and stay in, but God placed me there and he will place you wherever he wants you. I would say my advice to you is - anything that opens GO though it and you will know! I will be praying for you.

then we got off subject for a bit...there was mention of him needing to make some kool-aid. then it came back to this...

jeremy: I heard a story once (here's the preacher illustrations coming out in me) Of a group of Baptist preachers at the National Southern Baptist Convention. They were meeting in Texas and there was a great drought in the area the farmers asked the preachers to pray so they gathered one day and prayed with all their might for rain. However, the next day - not a single preacher brought an umbrella to the meetings. If you know that God is calling you into ministry, have the faith to know he will place you where he wants you. Don't doubt, but have faith - which i know is EASIER SAID THAN DONE. I truly believe if God is calling you, and you love him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and seek his will in fervent prayer that doors will soon open. But if you are uneasy about not committing to camp - only you know which way the Lord is leading. You have tried hard for a year to find a video production job and you then you have also said I will find a whatever job and nothing has opened up. Now you feel God's leading a bit stronger for ministry and now you can seek out full time ministry jobs. I don't see God closing doors in all areas both secular and ministry.

so i'd say that i feel a little more affirmation than i did before the conversation. i'll also say that i'm set on following through with some of these possibilities. i'm ready to walk through my doors. bring them on. and anyone who is reading this has my permission to kick my butt if they find out that i'm not following through. i love me some accountability.

did i mention that jeremy is being ordained on sunday? i definitely wouldn't mind sitting through his church services on sunday mornings. i do believe that God has truly blessed him. jeremy, thanks for being my friend. thanks for listening to my crap and listening to me try to figure it all out. and thanks for allowing God to use you in my life.

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