Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I'm a girl on the move

Yesterday was a good day. It started off in the morning by my getting out of bed early enough to begin searching for different jobs I may be interested in applying for. In the midst of my search I found a posting for an admissions counselor at Azusa Pacific University, and before I knew it I had printed out the application and this morning I mailed it off. It is currently floating through the abyss of the United States postal service and will hopefully land on the desk of the HR representative Monday morning at the latest.

It's not that I am thrilled to be potentially be an admissions counselor (although I think it is a great opportunity) it's that I am thrilled that there is movement in my life. My reasons for considering this position are several fold: 1) I've been asking God to expand my understanding of youth ministry. I do not want to so confine God so that I say the only way I can minister to youth is in a position at a church. As an admissions counselor I would have the opportunity to work with high school students and college students on a regular basis. 2) It's a position that I'm qualified for and it pays substantially more than my job in Seattle. 3) I need to do something. Even if I don't get a second interview, or the job, or accept the job, I could have concluded this process knowing that I did something and I tried as hard as I could to move somewhere, and that's a great feeling.

At the same time, I am not shutting the door on full time ministry in a church or a para-church setting. I am also trying to apply for a variety of opportunities in that vein as well, but more than anything finding this opportunity put some excitement into my life again. I smile thinking about my application in the mail and I can't wait to hear the response from whoever receives it. For the first time in a while I am looking towards the next few months with anticipation. I see my time at the hotel coming to a close and I know the closing of that opportunity will be due to the accepting of another.

Thank you, Jesus, for the gift of a good day.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Little Reminders

Tonight I read Ephesians 4 as part of some much needed time alone with God. My thoughts have been swimming lately with what I'm doing now and what I think I should be doing four months from now. No matter how hard I think, I eventually give up concluding that now is not the time to think of such things. I realized, though, over the past couple of weeks that I must think of these things.

Two weeks ago I experienced intense amounts of frustration when a teaching time I had prepared for the 6th-7th grade students fell flat on its face. The following week I had to stop myself three times from crying at work because of ridiculous things that all compounded into one awful day. After the frustrations I experienced at the church I began to question whether or not youth ministry was what I was called to do. Imagine that! One bad night, and I was ready to throw in the towel, but I was broken. I had dedicated three summers, my degree, and now this internship to the idea that I was going to enter into youth ministry and all of a sudden there was a shadow of doubt cast on that. I felt lied to by the perople I loved most and thought that the people who had encouraged me to enter into youth ministry were wrong. Tonight I read the following in Ephesians 4:11-12,

"The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ."

This is a passage of scripture I used in my teaching on spiritual gifts three summers in a row, but thanks be to God that I've discovered it anew this evening. As always, I was asking the wrong question. Whether or not I am called to youth ministry is a moot point as it is not about what I am called to do, but who is calling me. Regardless of whether or not I am called to be a circus performer, youth pastor, or housewife, it is the same God calling me to do and be those things. My calling might change, but Jesus does not. In other words, I was reminded this evening that "my calling" has very little to do with me, and everything to do with Jesus and his plans for the world. Does this help me sort out my calling? No. Does this help me on all those job search web sites I've been going to? No. Does it help me know where I'll be in four months. No. But, it reminds me of what and who I'm entering into ministry for.

Like I said, something I've always known, probably taught, and don't really need to say but my time with God tonight provided me with a little reminder that I needed in a big way.