brain farts, Life in youth ministry, Uncategorized

Incomplete

incomplete

Does the word ‘incomplete‘ stress anybody else out? Leaving tasks or jobs or assignments only half-done, or slightly attempted? This is something that really irks me – really pushes my limits. Even if it’s just the laundry – bringing in the dry stuff, but not going the next step and actually folding and putting it away. Bringing it in is only half the job. It’s incomplete. Blegh.

The last few weeks have been filled with assignments, readings, power-points and even some oral presentations as I squelch my way through an intensive Certificate IV. I worked my rear end off in the first 2 weeks to stay up to speed with everyone in my class who was able to attend face-to-face sessions whilst I was not. I submitted stuff, I worked into the wee hours and I bailed on things like vacuuming and doing the dishes.

This meant my house felt incomplete. It meant my weeks felt unfinished because I hadn’t done what I usually do.

Then I got – by the grace of God – to the final sections of this course (which has been a struggle at the best of times) and realised there’s a possibility I may not complete it due to some of the final requirements. So my house is back to being completed on a weekly basis, but now my assignments and my course may go incomplete.

Anyone else feeling that tension? Urgh. The very thought that I worked so hard for something that might now actually not eventuate brings on the tears and the panic and the guilt. The ‘incompletness’ of it makes me feel like I was never going to be good enough to finish it in the fist place, so why did I try? Why did I try something new?

During my latest episode of stress induced guilt and tears (or was it guilt induced tears and stress…?) over it all, this memory flashed into my mind:

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A lovely friend had this made up for my birthday. It’s one-of-a-kind. Hand-made. Unique to me and created for who she knows I am. And you know what? I got a little perspective. I am not this course – complete or incomplete. I am not the vacuuming – done or not done. I am not the washing or the folding or the dishes or the gardening…I’m actually none of the things that I put such incredible pressure on myself to have complete.

I’m the sort of person who gets lost, pretty quick, in the concept that my feelings or my actions or even my thoughts or what someone says about me is what I am.

God’s Word says the opposite though – there’s so much more to who I am in Christ than what I can complete. I am actually enough already, regardless of whether the washing gets done today or not.

And I am enough already regardless of whether I get a full course completion or not. Who am I performing in the course for anyway…? God? Me? The facilitator? My boss? At the end of the day, the skills and knowledge that I learned along the way aren’t forgotten because I may or may not get a piece of paper at the end. The people I met and the conversations I had during that time aren’t nothing. Every experience I have is worth it because I learnt something and it was were I was meant to be at that time…so complete or not, I guess what I’m learning now is that the outcome doesn’t define my worth or competence.

Completing the course doesn’t define my abilities and role as a student or an employee and completing the dishes or the laundry doesn’t define my abilities and role as a mother and wife either…I. Am. Enough.

*new blog series*

Week thirty eight & nine – ‘love what I do’

More than anything, this is a post of gratitude. Of thankfulness. Of blessing. Of recognition. Of enjoyment for my job.

If you haven’t worked it out by now, I’m a youth worker in my church family with one other guy under our youth pastor…and it’s just the best job! Not only do I get to see Friday night youth sessions and events from before they’re even actioned; I get to learn from an amazing youth pastor who is crazy-passionate about our youth kids and the Kingdom; I get to partner with the other youth worker who is super skilled in his creative expression and really raw in his relationships with the youth kids and on top of it all, I get to hang out with young guns! All the time! I get to talk about high school, about tv shows, about school holidays and most importantly I get to talk about God. I get to speak into the lives of these awesome young people each week and be a light for His glory as He has called me.

On top of the awesomeness of my week-to-week work, I also got to be a part of our annual youth Easter Camp this year and having had a few years off of this, it was awesome to get back into it! From the Thursday afternoon through to the Monday afternoon of the Easter long weekend, there were roughly 90 of us at a campsite by the sea. Cabins, songs, worship, acting, Medieval team sports and games, small groups, amazing food including a Medieval banquet; new friendships and hilarious laughter – the whole shebang! Easter Camp was incredible and this year, I noticed such an amazing and real community feel. Something I hadn’t experienced at an Easter Camp for a long time – true, raw and honest community amongst the youth and the leaders. It was brilliant!

The overall theme was the Kingdom of God and our speaker this year, a young artist was spot-on with his sessions and talks, sparking some deep and truthful discussions amongst our youth in small group times. As much as it’s sometimes difficult to get year 8 girls (the age of girls in my small group) to focus in small group times, they really had some precious gems to share at camp and I’m 100% sure they got a lot out of the talks and discussions!

If you ever feel that God is calling you to step out on the waters of service in your home church and your church has a youth programme, can I encourage you to prayerfully consider serving His Kingdom by serving the youth? It is insanely fun but also intensely rewarding! I’m so blessed to have the job that I have; so thankful for being given the opportunity to serve and work in this way. Each week I look forward to going to work – it’s just the best!

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