I have no idea where God will take me in the future. Will I be at home, loving on my family, gardening, baking, housekeeping, homeschooling? Will I write a book? Will we live here forever? Or move across the country? How will I be using my musical gifts?
So many questions, yet I don't really need to know the answers. I am identifying my passions and my ministry gifts and doing my best to use them fully. After youth group on Sunday night, I was convinced that the strongest ministries God has given me are of prayer and openness and vulnerability.
I have always been an open person. I thrive on honesty and transparency. I wear my heart on my sleeve. Though that phrase can be construed in the negative, I believe I know when it is appropriate to be completely open about my emotions and when it's okay to keep them to myself. That being said, a girls small group ministry is perfect for me.
The past two years of small group efforts have not been all that successful. Conversation topics were scattered and lacked depth. I was frustrated by this--being the deeply emotional people person that I am--but I knew I wasn't supposed to give up. I'm so thankful that we kept trying. I know not everyone enjoys opening up, some even dread it--especially with a small group of individuals they might not trust quite yet. But this past month of girls' small group have been life-changing--for me and the teens.
I have kept my agenda to a minimum. I'm learning the more I plan, the more frustrated I am when things don't go as I anticipate, and the farther away we move from the path God has laid out before us. The "planner" in me has stepped aside. I ask an introductory question or two, but then I step back. I pray--beseeching God to move in their hearts. And sure enough, He leads in a very specific way and I follow as best I can.
This past week there was such brokenness. So many wounds were exposed. As girl after girl shared her heart and tears with us, others were moved to do the same. It was powerful. I was privileged to pray over each of them. I have learned to pray boldly, with confidence, listening to the Holy Spirit as He guides my words. Intercessory prayers are so powerful when they are not in my own wisdom.
And through each night, I have been able to be open and honest as well. This is, I believe, one of the most powerful tools God has given me. In being vulnerable with my girls (within reason, of course), I lead by example and I show them my true, authentic self. They are able to see a glimpse of the love and passion I have for each one of their lives. They realize that I have had many of the same struggles as they are experiencing. They see Jesus' love for them, through me.
Oh, what a privilege. My heart is overflowing.