Well, I survived eight months in Tyler. And praise the Lord: it was exactly what I never knew I needed. I got challenged a lot. My character was molded. And now I think I’m on the back end of a 6-plus year relationship with a ministry that I love.
But now that the Forge is over, I’ve still got 3 months in Columbus, back at the Outback. We just had our initial week of camp here, and I’m hours away from seeing 160 more campers come onto the property. It’s going to be pretty crazy.
I’m starting to realize that effective ministry can’t happen without personal brokenness. We have a horse program here for the young kids, and our wrangling staff worked hard for a few weeks before camp even started to get the horses ready for riding. There’s one right now, a mare (I think) that’s not been tamed yet, and so it still bucks and resists its riders. That’s hard for a 20-something to deal with, which means it’s even more impossible to put a kid on its back. So we can’t use that horse yet. It’s not ready for ministry.
Same with me. I came in a with a pretty full head of steam, thinking: A) I’ve just spent nearly a year being trained by PC staff to do their style of ministry, so I’m pretty prepared, and B) I’m stepping back into a previous job that I really felt I did well with. And I’m the only returning leadership staffer who knows how to do it.
Monday and Tuesday, I got brought down by a sinus infection. I begged for a nap in the health clinic. My body was HATING me. And we still had things to plan on the fly, things I thought only I had experience in. But I didn’t have a choice. I had to hand the ball over to my new leadership. And they succeeded with flying colors. That was both a relief… and a bit of a humbling to boot.
It was good to see, even after the mighty Forge, how unessential I am to the work of God’s Kingdom. He loves me, loves US, enough to allow us to play a part. But how much glory does He get when we realize success rests on Him coming through, not us carrying the burden all alone?
It’s going to be a good Week 2. And I’m praying I don’t start thinking again that I get to pick the direction or haul everything on my own. God uses broken horses. And that shouldn’t give me a long face.