“How are you doing?” It’s a question we get asked often, sometimes genuinely, sometimes not. I’m blessed to have people in my life that ask that question and stick around for the answer. I never have a simple or clear answer these days. As I walk through the process of gathering a partnership team to step into missions work with Youth Dynamics, I’m challenged daily. I always seem to have 10 things on my mind to work through. In mid-March I took a bit of time to stop and assess this question more in-depth. Okay, frank appraisal time, I wrote in my journal. How am I doing?
The answer was, okay. Just, okay. I’m usually an upbeat person, so such an answer was out of the ordinary; it actually kinda worried me. The natural next question: why? Why was I just, okay? Because I’m uncomfortable. Uncomfortable at a greater level and for a longer time than I’ve ever experienced. Ministry partner development is no easy thing. It requires much of you and your community day-in and day-out. But then I was confronted with the fact that my job for years has been to give people opportunities to challenge themselves and encourage them to do so. The fruit is often inspiring. It is a joy to see people grow and become more mature, open, and healthy.
I can’t escape the feeling that now it’s my turn. The very things I’ve shared with and guided people through over the years are now staring me in the face. As I wrote back in March, it flowed right out of me:
All my life I’ve said to folks: find adventure, take the road less traveled, explore, try things out, take risk, brave the unknown, trust the Lord, be yourself, define success, don’t live to please others, don’t conform, find the place you thrive, seek to understand, listen for the still, strong voice of God. Jesus does not fail, check your heart, step into family, receive the Father, you’re valued; you’re you, and that’s enough for anyone to celebrate. Don’t be “normal,” be you. Follow your dreams, test yourself, discover the wilderness.
I’ve shared these themes (appropriately within different settings) without realizing commonality across situations. It has subtly taken many forms, but it is now so apparent. Across the world this has flowed out of me naturally, like an underground spring coming up. It’s the overflow of the revelation of my heart about the Father heart of God and family. It’s based off my life experience, my testimony. I’ve realized it’s what I am called to share with others, the message I am given to offer to all.
The initial prospect of putting together a partnership team intimidated me. In fact, I said no to it for the better part of four years. When I started to consider it more seriously I asked a friend who had done it before about his experience. His response has stayed with me. “It’s totally doable,” he said, “You just have to believe that whatever you’re raising support to do is worth going through the process for.” It provoked me to dig deep and ask, what am I actually doing this for? Is it worth it?
For me, absolutely. Many days I’ve thought about how it would be so much easier to do something with my time that didn’t require so much vulnerability, trust, and effort. But it’s on those hard days that my heart revelation rings out and it’s undeniable: yes, it’s all worth it. What Papa God has done in my life, what He’s given me, how could I ever keep it to myself? So I keep moving forward, knowing the current season of preparation is fully in line with what has been placed in my heart to give away, the message I have to share. They key now is to learn how to convey it to others well. More on that in the future…
So, what’s inside of you? What comes out of you naturally that gives life to others? Write it down, live it, share it.