Everyone knows the story of Jonah. It’s an oldie. God tells Jonah to go to Ninevah, Jonah says uhhhhhhh nope, tries to hide from God, fails, is swallowed by a whale, and washes up on the shore of Ninevah, with really no options besides doing what God told him to do.
I am Jonah.
Upon relocating my entire life to Texas, I had to give up some things. Namely, any control I thought I had over my life. Being here has definitely forced me to recognize that I cannot run and hide from God because he has already had a whale called youth ministry swallow me up and spit me out at the foot of my cross, aka an undetermined amount of time in this place.
You see, when I moved here… I thought it would be temporary. That I would just take the summer to get well, overcome my depression, and basically return to super-human status and move back to the CO for the fall. Like Jonah, I thought I could rely on myself, prove to God I knew what I was doing and that I was too good for what He had in store, and was going to make it alone.
Yeah, nope, not so much. God sent me a whale. And I’m naming that whale “Youth Ministry” because without the promise of volunteering, I would continue to be bitter about being here.
The Lord knows me very well. And He knows that my heart yearns for discipleship, to be discipled and to disciple others. He also knows that Dallas is my Ninevah. I don’t want to be here, but it’s where He wants me. So I have to make the best of it. I have to open my heart to love.
So, Lord, here me are. Standing with my heart working towards open, slowly unclenching my fists, and doing my best to deny myself for the sake of the Kingdom.
In a very concrete way, this means that I’m going on a retreat with my new church this weekend. Please keep me, the core team, and of course, all of the teens, in your prayers.