But I didn't start this post to talk about my wedding (even though that's how it turned out, sorry Pastor Jamie). I started a new post to talk about ministry. Not my job necessarily, just ministry. And how ministry is hard.
Let me repeat. Ministry is h.a.r.d.
Do I love ministry? Yes.
Am I called to ministry? Most certainly.
Is it always puppies and rainbows? Hahaha.
I've been working in this ministry position since October, just short of 8 months now. And I love what I do. I feel, without a shadow of a doubt, that God has me exactly where I should be. I'm definitely not one of those people who does her ministry begrudgingly because I'd rather be doing ministry somewhere else. No, that's absolutely not me.
But sometimes I wish there was an "off" switch for ministry. That I could turn it off just for a little bit so that I can really let my hair down without suffering the inevitable repercussions of my actions. That I could avoid the limelight for a little while and not have my personal life under scrutiny all the time.
For instance, I have to be very careful when I talk about the house that Matthew and I are renting because, if I refer to it in an ambiguous way (such as "our house"), someone misunderstands and thinks that we must be living together already. I would think it goes without saying that we aren't living together yet because we're not married yet. Still, some from my church have raised questions about it. (And, for the sake of clarification, I'm living at the house until we get married, which is when - obviously - Matthew will move in. Until then, he's still living at the camp where he was working.)
And I get that this sounds like a rant of frustration - it's not. It's just an example of how the ministry switch never gets to be turned off, even for stuff that has nothing to do with ministry. And that's hard.
The thing is...as a Christ-follower, my life has always been under scrutiny. And it should be. Being in ministry doesn't change that at its core. Yes, ministry changes it to a different degree, but Christ-followers are called to be set apart from the get-go. It was never an option to turn the switch off. Yet, I used to do just that all the time. I didn't always live in a way that reflects the calling I have on my life as a Christ-follower.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. - Romans 12:1-2I'm finding that, in ministry, I'm doing way more learning than I am teaching. I thought it would be the other way around. But I'm okay with that. I hope that I will always be teachable and moldable. And my prayer is that the Holy Spirit will instill in me a deeper desire to keep that switch in the "on" position, that it will be more natural than "off". Not because I'm in ministry. Because I'm called to be like Jesus.