I know many young leaders who get into ministry because they grew up in a church that made kidmin exciting or they served along side a leader who did that and so much more.
Then once they entered ministry they found out it could actually have a dark side. (feeling defeated, discouraged, lonely, or feeling depressed.)
I felt led this morning to write this post for whoever it is that is going through a valley in life or ministry. The holiday season is taxing on those in ministry and many in the church have no idea how hard it is. Most leaders are masters of hiding the hardship and struggle they may feel and we don’t let many know.
If you serve in church, and are feeling alone or discouraged during this time, may I offer some encouragement?
“Valleys are not endless nor, are they without purpose.”
When we experience hardship in ministry it can be an opportunity to see where the Spirit desires to work on us. I have been walking in a valley for the past few months and during this time I learned a great deal about myself. I learned that I have been wounded and the wounds were deep and dark. I slid into some depression and stopped everything I’d been doing. It was like walking into an area where a rockslide happened. It was a mess, I was a mess.
I discovered that the valley is where the Spirit continued to chip away at me and show me how God still desired to use me and I had to let go of my pity party mentality, and embrace God’s plan. I know you may be saying, “I’ve been doing Gods plan and I’m still alone, frustrated, discouraged, or depressed.” I will tell you, I said the same thing, but when I looked into the mirror of God’s word, I saw my inner man and it was a rockslide mess.
I know your saying, “How is this encouraging, Tom?” Stick with me, I’m almost there.
I learned a lesson from a rockslide that happened in Yosemite National Park. You see when it happens, it changes everything! Nothing escapes its force and nothing can keep it from happening. It happens and its usually not when you think it’s going to happen.
As leaders spiritual rockslides, are necessary to make us who we are supposed to be. God uses the rockslides to reshape the valley, to show his power, to move us in a different direction.
I am moving out of a valley, I experienced a spiritual, physical, and emotional rockslide and here is what I know. I will be a better leader, and a better follower of Jesus because of it. I’m already seeing Gods amazing hand as he reshapes my life. I will soon be crossing that line of the supposed “half-way” point of life in a few weeks, I am more excited than I’ve ever been. Why? Because I’ve walked through a valley, and experienced a rockslide that the Father is using for my good like he promised.
If you are a leader in ministry and going through a hard time, I understand your pain. I understand your silence. I also know you will come through it better than when you entered it. I am grateful for Gods people who walked with me in the valley for a little while. They didn’t let me walk alone, or judge me for feeling what I was feeling or for wrestling with my fears or doubts. They just walked and kept pointing to the view of the mountains and the beauty the Father surrounds us with in his word. We all need someone to journey with! Don’t think you can walk a valley alone.
One last thought, God never wastes our pain, nor does he want us to keep it to ourselves. The enemy does! He wants you to continue to believe you’re alone and you can fake your way through. The enemy wants you to think valleys and rockslides won’t ever end. Those are LIES!
If you are currently walking in a valley, I want you to know I am here to walk with you if you need someone to walk with. I’m here to listen and pray with and if you want I’ll offer some help along the way. Just take a step and shoot me an email wbman99 (at) gmail.com
Just know that the reason we celebrate this season is to realize the Father brought his son into the valley of this world. He allowed him to be put on a mountain and give up his life so we could see life in the valley and up on the mountain.
If you are someone who attends a church: Please pray for your leaders. Show your love by serving, giving, and saying Thank You! It doesn’t take much but leaders need to know they are not employees but honored shepherds.