Friday, September 10, 2010

Blogosphere, it's been too long.

Man, it's been a while... life has begun again. In the last month or so, I feel like all I've done is write. Papers, emails, articles... I write them, I edit them, I place them on a page that I spend hours designing two night a week. Writing, prewriting, reporting, editing... it's really all I do. But since I've been back in Jonesboro, I haven't done much "me" writing. It's time, friends.

I've been sitting here doing one of my favorite things: flipping through the last month of my journal. I'm not sure how anyone who doesn't journal keeps up with their own lives. I never would have remembered August if I hadn't written it down.

I think the biggest challenge I've been faced with this semester so far is stepping into new leadership roles. First of all, I'm an upperclassman. I am officially old on campus. Gross. Second, I'm now the news editor of the paper. Big role... lots of work, lots of responsibility--I never quite feel like I'm all the way caught up. And third, and most important, I took over leadership of my Monday night bible study group.

When the girl that's been primarily leading (with my help once in a while) asked me to take over, I was excited at first. I knew that the Lord had been filling me up all summer for a reason, and that I needed to be pouring out into the lives of others. So when the challenge to do so was given, I knew I should answer it.

And boy, does the devil act fast. It was almost instantly--later that same day--that I just started feeling these insecurities. I'm not good enough. No one wants to listen to me. I can't lead this many of my peers. I'm so average.

Classes started that same week, and the insecurities just kept building. I hid them behind my busy schedule. I wasn't coming to the Lord for guidance the way that I needed to because I just kept hearing this voice in my head say, "You aren't the leader you thought you were. You're too tired for this. You can't even make it through your own exhausting day, how will you encourage others to do so? You don't have the energy--I won't allow you to have the energy."

That Saturday morning I woke up, made my coffee and sat on the couch with my Bible... in my little reading corner. I told God I was sorry, that I didn't do a good enough job of speaking with him daily during my busy week. I told him I didn't think I was good enough to do what he was asking me to do in leading my peers. And I was just waiting for him to agree and tell me, "you're right, Sara. Good try, but you're not cut out for this."

Wrong. Instead he led me to Isaiah 61. "The Year of the Lord's Favor":

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
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2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,

3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.

4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.

5 Aliens will shepherd your flocks;
foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.

6 And you will be called priests of the LORD,
you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealth of nations,
and in their riches you will boast.

7 Instead of their shame
my people will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
they will rejoice in their inheritance;
and so they will inherit a double portion in their land,
and everlasting joy will be theirs.

8 "For I, the LORD, love justice;
I hate robbery and iniquity.
In my faithfulness I will reward them
and make an everlasting covenant with them.

9 Their descendants will be known among the nations
and their offspring among the peoples.
All who see them will acknowledge
that they are a people the LORD has blessed."

10 I delight greatly in the LORD;
my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up
and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise
spring up before all nations.

It was so sweet and comforting to read this on that Saturday morning. I was exhausted. I was feeling like a bit of a failure of a Christian. I felt worn out, and like I wasn't going to be able to do a good job of leading. And God just said, "I want to use you. Let me."

And as I sat there on the couch, coffee in hand and in tears, all I could say was thanks. Thank you for choosing me to be a leader and do your work. I'm so humbled by that. You don't need me to grow your kingdom, but you invite me to. Continue to reveal your will. Mine doesn't matter... my life is yours to use according to your plan. Thank you for anointing me and calling me a minister of your good news. There is nothing in the world that could be better than that. And I can't wait to see all the incredible places we go...