Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God!
Working with people in the context of a local church is hard. I don’t think I have to explain it. If you’ve done anything with people, you’ll know that people sometimes suck. Some people intentionally suck, but for the most part, people just suck on accident. That is to say that they don’t mean to say or do something that hurts you, but the timing of the phrase, or the tone of the word, might just cut to the soul.
As someone that identifies as a three in the enneagram, the way that I am perceived is very important. Three’s typically do and say things to maintain a certain rapport with folks. We’re achievers, for sure, but often times we want to impress others. We’re obsessed with image.
Unfortunately, a lot of my worth comes from how people view me. To quote the awful Cheap Trick song, “I want you to want me. I need you to need me. I’d love you to love me…”
Being a three is hard when dealing with people.
I feel like I do a lot of work for my church. I serve where I can. I lead where I can. I do things that aren’t super fun. Even as I’m writing this post, I’m multi-tasking by creating a logo for a conference we’re planning for next summer. I don’t want you to to be impressed, but I mean, come on! (You can be impressed)
So when someone questions my work, whether content or quality, I take it to heart. I probably shouldn’t, but this is the way that I’m wired.
So a little backstory to where I’m at right now: I have the privilege of working with our student ministry at church. I help oversee our (small but mighty in the Kingdom) 6th-12th graders. I came on staff August of last year after graduating seminary. I had all these dreams, goals, and visions for working in a local church. I took the position thinking that I would help to “spark” the growth of this group. If anyone could handle the challenges of growing and re-building and re-structuring a group, it was this guy.
Week after week. Month after month. We slowly rebuilt. People were coming back into the program. New people were coming in; people were responding. I came on with four or five students, and within a year, we had fifteen at our last summer meeting. I felt on top of the world.
But then school started back up, and we’re kind of back at square one. The group is small again, and I’m trying to think and pray through how to amp it back up. These past few weeks have been a little hard. Though we experienced growth in the last year, we’re back to where we started.
I feel like this whole year has been kind of a wash. (I know that it hasn’t because there have been so many good things that have happened with our students, church, etc.)
I can’t help but think about what I’ve been doing wrong to get here. Surely, it’s my fault that we’re where we are at. But then I came to this Psalm this morning and read through it, and I was reminded that God fights for us. The Lord has control of the situation, knows where we are going, and says to us, “Let me handle this. Stop working so hard.”
I felt so relieved. I know that I’m supposed to trust God, but I don’t always trust him, you know? So re-reading this Psalm and re-reminding myself of this truth was so helpful: God’s got it.
And then I get a phone call to talk, and I don’t need to go into huge details, but I feel like I’m getting sucker punched again. I felt down, then got back up through reading the Word of God, then I get knocked down again.
Time to put into practice what I just read. Maybe I need to keep reminding myself of this truth. It might not just be something to do daily, but I might have to remind myself hourly.
There are going to be situations where people just do stuff, and battles start. But God’s got it. There are going to be times of defeat and loneliness, but God’s got it. People are going to suck the wind out of you, but it’s in those situations that you need the fresh breath of God to fully operate and be the person that you’re called to be. Don’t let people take you down. It’s not about what you can do. It’s not about your works, your successes, your dreams, or visions.
God’s got it.