I’m going to use a phrase that my friend, Jessica, just absolutely hates to hear Christians say.
I’m not a very good Christian. Jessica maintains that Christians are just Christians. I know there’s more to her argument but I figure I’ll just annoy her with this post and then she’ll write about it on her blog. (wink)
I just came off of a seven-year stint of working for a church. Before that, I worked two years at a church in the Chicago area. I absolutely loved ministry work. I loved doing something meaningful with my life, being a part of something bigger than myself and working for organizations whose sole objective was to help people.
And then one day…I didn’t love it so much any more. Some days I didn’t even like it. After a couple of years of prayer, I decided it was time to move on to something else. If my heart wasn’t it in, then I had no business being there.
I’m struggling lately with not wanting to be in church, not wanting to be involved with anything related to the church culture, including prayer and reading my Bible. I emailed a pastor friend of mine and told him what was going on and he diagnosed me with that all too common ailment of burn out.
It’s my opinion that church burn out is different from other kinds of burn out. I believe there’s a danger from stepping away or taking a break from church or spiritual activities. If one is not careful, you can find yourself on a very slippery slope to backsliding or completely walking away. I’ve tried to push through it with prayer, reading my Bible and going to church in order to be a good example for my kids and hoping that something will just change.
It’s not working and here’s why I say I’m a bad Christian. Scripture just isn’t cutting in for me and I’m pretty sure that’s not something I should be admitting. It’s not penetrating my heart and giving me something to cling to. I’m feeling pretty lost these days and even lamented to my dear hubby last night that I don’t know what I’m going to do.
Then God surprises.
This morning I logged on to Facebook and found a beautiful picture right before my eyes. It’s a picture of a former coworker, his wife and their newly adopted daughter. The smiles are huge!
Jim and Beth (not their real names) have been working and praying through this adoption process for YEARS. There were many moments when this situation looked precarious and Faith (not her real name) would not find her forever family. But this week, all their hard work and prayers came to fruition. I’m sure Jim and Beth were exhausted off and on throughout this whole process but they didn’t give up. They kept pressing on.
And today, they have a new member of their family.
Jim, Beth and Faith’s smiles are just the sliver of hope I need to keep on keeping on.