I realised shortly after writing about 2011, that something big did happen this year. I resigned from my job*.
For the last three years, I’ve been doing potentially the coolest job in the world. Basically, it has been my job to provide support for children and young people who come to know Christ as their Saviour. It feels really weird to think that in a few weeks, this won’t be my job anymore. I will miss it. But I know that it’s time, and that not only am I moving on to an awesome new adventure, but God has the most amazing young woman taking my place (true story, when praying about leaving, I felt like this particular person needing a job in 2012 was one of the many confirmations that it was time for me to move on, and this was months before I’d even spoken to her about applying for the job – and now she’s got it!).
I have learnt a lot over my time working here. Looking back, I can see that it was no mistake for me to have spent the last three years here. God has taken me further then I ever thought I would go.
I feel like I need to share the things that I have learnt. So here is the first:
I am who God has created me to be, and no one else.
During my time here, I have learnt the importance of working from my giftings. I am not loud. I am not outgoing. I am not organised. I’m introverted, sensitive, and laid back (I’ll admit it, even a little lazy at times). I have struggled a lot, because I didn’t fit into my ideal of what someone working in Christian ministry should be. I thought I needed to be crazy, excited, emotional. But I am none of these things. And that’s okay.
I can not get up the front and jump around and hype the kids up. I have a friend who is exceptional at this – she even gets me all hyped up when she’s up the front! If I got up and starting jumping around and shouting like she does, the kids would block their ears and look at me like I was a psycho, because they could tell it was fake. I’m not like this friend. But I am calm. I can bring children back down from the hype.
I can not just strike up a conversation with anyone, anywhere. So many of my closest friends have this gifting. My husband is amazing at it. I’m not, I need the other person to carry the conversation for me. Put me next to another shy person, and you can guarantee a very awkward evening. But for some reason shy children are drawn to me, and I’m not shy around them. If I were loud, I may not have been able to have the many awesome conversations I have had with children who have opened up to me because I’m not threatening.
I can not organise things, or people. When I lead a group for something, it is done in a very laid back style that makes the others take responsibility, too. While I’m sure this annoys some people, I’ve heard it is good for others. Which works well for me, because I get very overwhelmed when I try to lead from the front (rather then beside).
I’m not good at running around and playing crazy games. I like to sit down and talk.
I’m not good at speaking in front of large groups of people. I like to pray for them.
I’m not good at following to-do lists, or any other normal organisational stuff. I have my own structure, and I work well with that, regardless of whether others see the pattern.
And that’s all okay.
God has given everyone specific giftings that are to be used to further His kingdom. You have the specific gifts that you have because they’ll be useful in the plan God has for your life. I’ve learnt that if I try to be anything other then what God has created me to be, I might not be able to fully do the work that God has for me.
Each of you has been blessed with one of God’s many wonderful gifts to be used in the service of others. So use your gift well.
1 Peter 4:10 (CEV version)
*It’s not that weird that I forgot about this, I quite often forget about important things that are happening in my life at times when it would be appropriate to bring it up (for example, I went to school one day and was like “Oh yeah, by the way everyone, I have a tumour in my inner-ear, and am going into hospital tomorrow”).