Friday, March 28, 2008

There's really no excuse for not being here. I just didn't want to write.
My mind is so full of thoughts and ideas... but my heart just hasn't been into it.

Until today.

I was going to tinker in my garden today... under the promise of sunshine. But... when I woke up this morning... and glanced through the blinds... I gazed upon my neighbour's snow-covered roof. Sigh. My brave early blooming flowers are shivering under a blanket of snow. And, I am sitting in my warm studio with the kettle brewing.

I'm stalling.

I'll tell you what's really going on.

Since I've been in Canada - 10 months, now... I've been waiting for the other shoe to drop. I have had such - traumatic? - experiences in churches past, that I have been holding my breath - wondering if or when we'll get canned - again. I've been holding back. Waiting. I haven't deleved into ministry like I usually do. I've certainly helped my husband with his... but I haven't jumpstarted my own like I usually do in a new place. I've waited. Wondering what God has in store... but at the same time... wondering if it's all too good to be true.

Utter faithlessness disguised as self-preservation.

Last night during our young adult bible study, I let my mind wander for a minute. I was faced with my very personal struggle... and I forced myself to define it.

Early in our ministries I kept myself guarded from real, intimate relationships with people around me. I suppose it really wasn't anything more than just the fact that I wasn't mature enough to know exactly how to handle it. Nothing sinister... just half-grown. (How absolutely ineffective was I?) Later on, I dropped the "act". I was ready. And... just like any other human being on the planet... I discovered both immeasurable joy and devistating pain in those flawed relationships. I've nursed the hurts long enough. I'm over it. And, I think I might be ready again for real heart-to-heart ministry.

This is where the revelation interrupts my thinking last night... and sheds light on my actual struggle. It isn't with flesh and blood. It isn't even with the churches. My personal relationship with God has suffered through all of this. I have remained faithful TO Him, but am no longer intimate WITH Him. I have continued in His service, but have neglected to continue in my dialogue with Him. Not completely. Not intentionally. But - the effects have been the same.

My fear that the other shoe will drop has less to do with the church that I am working with... and more to do with my lack of faith in the God I serve.

So, a preacher's wife has a lack of faith? She struggles with intimacy with her Creator? You bet. Satan's been busy. I've been distracted. I've been running on fumes. I've been... maybe... a little bit self-absorbed. And, now... I risk being absolutely ineffective in the work He has planned out for me. And no work right now is as important as restoring my faith in my God.

So, it's no wonder that God has placed us in ministry in a place where there are no real expectations of me. (I was confused for a while, thinking it would just take time to realize what my special ministry was.) God wants me to re-introduce myself to Him. He's given me the time. He's taken me to a small island, filled with His beauty. He's surrounded me with people who have incredible patience and understanding. He's even sprinkled the congregation with former preachers' and elders' wives who completely understand... and have reached out to me.

And 10 months later... my stubborn soul has just come to realize it.

The other shoe isn't going to drop. I am safe in His care. Right here, right now. Always have been.

So... that's what's been on my mind. I've been restless. Uneasy. Until today. Now I know what to do. And I can't wait to get started. Guess it's good that it's snowing... my water's boiling and my bible is waiting.