I have been feeling discouraged lately.
I don’t feel like this is the most encouraging or lively topic for a blog post. And usually when I write, I want to encourage people in the Lord!
So you will have to bear with me a minute while I get around to the encouraging part.
Does anyone else go in cycles? I mean, I feel like sometimes I’m really super excited and motivated, and I’m going, going, going, and then I’m overwhelmed and crazy and I just want to lie on my bed and play hole.io and listen to old Joni Mitchell songs and ignore every notification on my phone.
The other day I was having a minor (major) meltdown and crying to my husband about everything and saying how I just wanted to quit everything, and he said no, and I said fine, and then I stomped off, and I was thinking how mean he was to not let me quit things. I was having a hard time finding songs to do at church on Sunday, and I just wanted to… not find them. Just not go. Just… not show up.
I mean, lots of people do it. Plenty of times at church, people just… don’t show up. Why shouldn’t I get to do that occasionally?
I thought about how nice it would be to wake up Sunday morning and just… drink coffee. And make some cinnamon toast. And maybe find a stupid show on netflix where they make ridiculously sugary sculptures made out of buttercream and cotton candy flavored fondant. Why should I make the bulletin and the power point and practice music? Would it really kill people if I just… didn’t show up this one time?
I thought about it. I seriously, seriously considered it.
Now the truth is that I could really use a break. We have a small congregation and we are kinda short handed, and so I have been doing the music every week for a few months. And I’m also doing a few other things there, like heading up our little youth group. It’s not unreasonable to think that at some point here I need a break.
But just not showing up? What would that do?
Immediately I thought about our youth.
We have about 12 teens in our youth group. They are mostly middle schoolers. We just started our youth program in January, and it’s been going okay! We meet weekly for games and some worship songs and we’ve been studying through the book of John. We’ve had a few field trips and overnights, and lots of time together. In two weeks we are doing a 5 day service trip where I am hoping to spend some time with them and have some chances to help them really explore their own relationship with the Lord.
I’m not saying they don’t wear me down, too. They are a lot of work and take a lot of energy! They have their ups and downs in behavior, and I could use a break from them sometimes, too!
But when I thought about what would happen if I just… didn’t show up on Sunday, I knew – the ones it would actually impact would be the kids.
I’m not their Savior. And I can’t be there 100% of the time. I know that. I’ve missed a few Sundays due to travel and family trips, it’s not that at all.
But this is what I was thinking: If I quit, if I flake out, if I go back on my word and just… don’t show up for church, whatever that looks like – I erase all the trust that I have built with the leadership of my congregation, and the parents of these children, and the kids themselves. I know the old saying: it takes a long time to build trust, but only a moment to destroy it.
I could lose all the potential opportunities for good in the future that I am looking forward to in one moment of having a pity party meltdown.
I saw that, very clearly, that afternoon. I cried a little. I messaged my best friend. I prayed. She prayed for me. And then I picked out a few songs, typed up the bulletin, and the next morning, I put on my big girl pants and showed up for church. And it was okay. I did the music, I didn’t die, and within a few hours, I was home taking a nice afternoon nap.
I don’t know where you are as you’re reading this. Are you discouraged at all? Are you on the high in your encouraged/discouraged cycle? If you’re feeling low at all, and tempted to throw in the towel, just this once, to just… not show up… I want to encourage you to take a deep breath.
Like I said, there is nothing wrong at all with a break and boundaries. They are good. And sometimes I need to learn not to overschedule myself.
But in the moment when you’re overwhelmed, and tempted to quit something, I want to encourage you to take a look around. Think of the goals you have in life, and the people you are called to minister to. Don’t be hasty.
I actually just read those words in Proverbs yesterday…
…whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way. (Proverbs 19:2b)
Let’s not do that, guys!! Let’s not throw away our potentially great things because we are temporarily discouraged!
Okay, that’s all I have to say. I hope that was somewhat encouraging. And hey, those of you who know me… the next time I’m crying and saying I want to quit whatever I’m doing, could someone send me this link? ha!
Have a great day!