Define Me

Sorry for my lack of posting this last week.  I hope everyone is doing great and enjoying the Holiday weekend!  I would like to take a moment and say a HUGE THANK YOU to all of our soldiers.  We enjoy freedom as a result of your sacrifice.  I am forever thankful to you and your beautiful families for your willingness to serve our GREAT NATION!  May God Bless you and Protect you.  We love and appreciate you so much!

I have written this entry a few times over the last couple of days, but it hasn’t seemed to flow or come together.  I’ve tried different titles and ideas…but still the words fell flat.  I’m guessing that maybe it’s for a reason.  Maybe my words need to disappear so that the real point can be discovered.

My husband sent me a text this week that inspired me and brought me to tears.  He simply said that while he was praying for me, he felt like God wanted him to tell me that He (God) thinks I’m marvelous.  Let me just say for anyone that doesn’t know me…I’m not sharing this to sound weird or prideful.   I really hope it doesn’t appear that way or come across in the wrong manner.  To be honest, I often see the other side of things.  I tend to see all of my faults.  I think that’s why that simple text message meant the world to me.  I was so focused on my shortcomings I failed to see the impact it was making on my faith and my relationship with God.  I was seeing the glass as empty, when God was wanting it to overflow.

As I begin this week, my goal is to spend some valuable and precious time with the Lord.  I plan to ask Him to start the process of defining me.  At first this idea made me cringe…I wondered what flaws God may need to point out in my life.  But as Barry and I talked this evening I began to see that my thinking was casting a shadow on this important quest .  God is not beckoning me to draw near for a rebuke…He is calling me close in love.  He is drawing me near so that He can place His value upon my life.  He desires to bring definition to ME…not my shortcomings.

11 thoughts on “Define Me

  1. Jana,
    i truly love this blog. made me teary eyed again! Gods love is so deep and amazing and gracious and crazy!! he just loves the mess out of us and we haven’t a clue! 😀

  2. Thank you, thank you ladies! For your thoughts and encouraging words! They mean so much! I only have a moment today Jana but I’ll send you a little note soon! Thank you so much for caring about me as a person! Blessings

  3. Thank you for sharing this Jana! I love reading your blog and wish I lived closer so we could have a nice long chat, you are such an amazing and humble woman of God! My husband and I have just been through a truly hurtful experience in ministry and it has left us feeling worthless in so many ways. When we finally were done at the church I felt relieved in many ways, closer to God, more filled with faith and hope than I had in a long time and somewhat excited for the future. My husband has been interview at a great church and we are so thankful that God has brought so many opportunities to us so quickly but…and this is where I’m looking for some advice…emotionally I don’t have the energy. The excitement is gone and I’m left wondering if I can do it again. As part of the interview process my husband and I were invited to dinner with the lead pastor and his wife. I was excited and have always loved meeting new people but suddenly my heart sank and all I wanted to do was cry. I just don’t have the energy to do it…I know I need to lean heavily on God and I guess all I’m really asking is how you made it? What do you do when you feel empty and you don’t know how to pretend that your not!

    I know you may not have the answers Jana, but as you know, sometimes just writing it down makes a person feel better! Be blessed!

    Jill

    1. Hi Jill,

      I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you all day since I read this post. I feel your pain and know how tough ministry can be. The one thing that comes to mind is Psalm 23…

      1 The LORD is my shepherd;
      I shall not want.
      2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
      He leads me beside the still waters.
      3 He restores my soul;
      He leads me in the paths of righteousness
      For His name’s sake.

      There really is nothing wrong with a season of green pastures and still waters so He can restore your soul. Leading on empty is dangerous for you and for the people you lead I think (my opinion could be wrong). I am going to pray for you, also read Leading on Empty by Wayne Cordeiro – it’s a great book 🙂

      Hang in there it will get better.

      Love
      Angela
      xxxx

      (Sorry Jana I hope you don’t mind me hijacking your blog)

    2. Oh Jill, as I read what you wrote I remembered that feeling so clearly. I spent a long time feeling empty and worthless. Our rough season in ministry truly took it’s toll on my relationship with God and my heart for ministry. I read once that pastors and their wives can also suffer from post traumatic stress syndrome after leaving a difficult church. It’s categorized by a lack of energy, not wanting to pray or read the Bible. Feeling alone and wondering if you will ever be able to enjoy your caling again. I felt and lived through all of those things. Barry and I took time away from ministry completely. We spent almost a year and a half working regular jobs, with regular schedules and nice fat pay checks. 🙂 We went on road trips and we slept in on Sundays if we felt like it. We just allowed ourselves some time to breathe and rediscover each other and our love for God. That time in our life was priceless and it helped us to heal in so many ways.

      When we knew we were about to re-enter into ministry it was hard on me at first. I wondered if I would have anything of worth to give to our youth group. It took me a while but I eventually began to feel my love for my calling return. But this time, it was fresh and energizing because I was free to be myself. I was very honest during our interview process and I made sure they weren’t looking for a two for one deal. (Been there, done that…not going back) It helped to know the churches expectations up front and it helped them to know my boundaries in advance. Communication on both ends has been key and very freeing as well.

      You are in my prayers. Your heart is so genuine and lovely. I know that this season will pass, but I also know that while you are in the midst of it…it can be overwhelming. Feel free to email me anytime!! Hang in there…I trust that God has His eye on you and He will be faithful to see you through and heal your heart.

      Much Love,
      Jana

  4. What a beautiful post, I am so excited for you as you begin to seek God to define you. It is so worth it and the outcome will be a freedom like you have never known. You are in for a big surprise as you see how much he treasures you. He watches you sleep at night just because he can’t take his eyes off of you!

  5. Oh Jana, YES YES YES!!! If you can see this now when you are 30 instead of understanding it 10 years later like I did you will have so much more joy! He DELIGHTS in you! In prayer one time God showed me that when I am with Him He sees me wrapped in Christ’s righteousness…so He sees Jesus! I picture (especially when I am being tempted to despair) Jesus right there with me with a huge robe completely wrapped around me. It is such a comfort. This is for you today: “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will REJOICE OVER YOU WITH GLADNESS; He will quiet you by his love; HE WILL EXULT OVER YOU WITH LOUD SINGING”. THAT’s what He thinks of you! You are SO marvelous to Him that he exults over you with singing!!!

  6. Mmmm….good thoughts. I can so relate. I’m praying for you as I pray for myself with this issue….I’m right there with you. May God reveal and bestow sweet truth as we seek Him with all our hearts. Even if some of it’s bitter-sweet that He reveals, it is for the overall good. And thanks for sharing where you are.

  7. Wow, this sentence was a real eye opener for me: “I was so focused on my shortcomings I failed to see the impact it was making on my faith and my relationship with God.”

    Thank you!

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