I had a lot thrown at me last night from different people and I realized something that’s been happened to me since I got here – but it was happening in pieces and I didn’t put them all together until this morning, as I was talking with the senior pastor. What’s happening… is that everyone is trying to get me on “their” side.
Doesn’t seem like such a bad thing. But over and over again as people come to me with ideas and stories and thoughts and feelings, I’ve realized a couple of very important things: the person who did this job before me made a lot of enemies. And that’s not me; it’s just not in my nature. So it’s almost as if they are reacting to her leadership – they are used to her polarizing issues. I think they are saying to themselves, “I want to get her on my side.” The senior pastor experienced a lot of that when he first got here a couple of years ago. He said a lot of people made appointments with him simply to tell him “who to watch out for” So, this is where the ugly side of ministry makes me want to quit. But instead I should be angry with at Satan for urging us keep on indulging in the brokenness and sin in the world.
That said, while there have been many moments of “I soooo don’t know what to do in this situation and I feel completely unqualified to deal with this,” I also get a lot of affirmation and acceptance from the volunteers I work with (and the senior pastor, who affectionally told me today I was “kicking ass”). I realize a lot of this affirmation is because of the broken relationships the previous person created and it’s happened because I’m doing my darndest to repair what was broken.
Last night I was facilitating a bible study where one of the women (not from our church) said, “My husband is supposed to be the one with the last word, not me.” (In context, she was telling us about her “role” in the marriage.) She’s baptist. And my heart hurt for her that she is being taught that. She isn’t being affirmed in who she is and that makes me sick to my stomach. I am so blessed to have a boss/pastor who tells me that I am kicking ass. Who can tell when I’m having a rough time, who seeks out my insight on issues. It is in this place where I am accepted, which I’m pretty sure is what God wants for us all.