I’ve seen a flood of back to school pictures on my Instagram feed for the last week, and it’s a reminder that we’re shifting gears and moving towards fall. It feels like summer just started, but here we are, sifting through school supplies at Target and Christmas decorations (eek!) at Hobby Lobby.
As believers, we know that nothing ever stays the same for long. God works and moves in ways that we don’t completely comprehend, and His ways are often different than our own.
I remember wrapping up my time in seminary very vividly. One night while spending time with a group of my friends, I realized that there was a significant likelihood that we’d never be gathered around together again this side of heaven. As I’ve walked through ministry jobs over the last 15 years, the only constant has been change. I’ve had to learn how to hold my job, my calling, and my home loosely because they’re not mine to begin with. The more I tend to close my fists, the harder it is when change comes.
My husband and I have been walking through a season of change this year as we’ve prayed for a new job for him. He got a call a few weeks ago about a new opportunity, and it was clear very quickly that this is the answer to prayer that we’ve been waiting for.
What does that mean for us? It means that we’re packing up our home here in Tennessee and making a move to Orlando, Florida! It also means that this is my last week serving as the Girls Ministry Specialist here at Lifeway. To say that I’ve loved serving in this role for the last two years is such an understatement. I’ve loved connecting with so many of you through Instagram and email, at events across the country, and through the blog, Student Ministry Podcast, and so many other places.
I want to leave you with some words of encouragement:
What you do matters. Don’t ever forget that. Serving in ministry and loving teenage girls (whether it’s your daughter or other teen girls you’re investing in) isn’t for the faint of heart, but it has huge implications for the Kingdom. When it gets hard, lean in. When you want to quit, ask God for what you need to keep going. When you don’t know what to do, ask God for wisdom, and seek outside counsel and help.
Be confident that you’re not alone. One thing I’ve heard so many of you say over the last couple of years is that you feel alone in ministry. You’re not! There are so many women just like you all over the country (and the world!) who are investing in teen girls and pushing back against the enemy’s schemes to try and win their hearts. Keep at it – it’s worth it.
Following God’s leading is always best. I’ve talked to a few of you lately who are in the midst of job and life changes. It’s not easy, but when God is moving, you better go! God is always faithful, and he can see what we can’t see. Following God is the greatest adventure there is.
“Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-3 (CSB)
As we each run our own race, let’s run in a way that honors God and also puts us in a position to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. Know that I’m cheering you on and praying for you. If God is moving, don’t hesitate to follow. He is faithful!
If this didn’t come just at the right “season” for me, wow! I have been serving as a Youth Leader now for 23 years. Seems like forever ago when I felt the calling of God to serve in this ministry. And you weren’t kidding when you said it’s not for the faint of heart. We recently had a Girls’ Retreat this past weekend and I am still amazed by how much the girls teach me. My prayer is that I will continue to grow and ask God to humbly use me and strengthen me as I go forward. I am battling Chronic health conditions. What I first felt as a tremendous burden, has been a lesson in humility and faith. Not by my might, but by His might. Thank you for your service and I know that God will continue to use you and grow you where you will be planted.