Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My splintery platform

Several weeks ago I turned over leadership of my Living Room group at Brentwood Park Alliance Church to my co-facilitator, Mark. I thought my emotional health was too unstable and wanted a strong facilitator for the group. My on-again off-again depression was proving to be too much. Thought I should have a break and return when I was stronger. (I attended the last meeting, but left everything to Mark to run.)

I've had a good rest, turning my energy to cooking and to spending more time with my husband. Now I'm wondering whether I'm ready to return to full leadership. I hesitate because I still have down times. I'm still not stable. But - I wonder - will I ever be completely stable? I expect not. Does that mean I should not lead a Living Room group? I don't think that's the case.

I think facilitators who deal with mood disorders are always in danger of falling into depression or rising to mania or hypomania. When these problems get bad it's so good to have a co-facilitator to take over for awhile. But I'm learning that I'll never be perfect and I should take back the leadership when I've started doing better - when I've had a chance to have a good break.

A friend gave me Dear Jesus, a devotional book written by Sarah Young. Those devotionals are proving to be the perfect thing for me to start my early morning quiet times with.

This morning's devotional helped me in my struggle to decide whether or not I should return to leadership. The author - and I along with her - asks Jesus:

Dear Jesus,
"I want to be available for the display of Your Power and Glory. But I feel more like a splintery, unfinished platform than a polished ready-to-use stage. I may not even be safe enough for Your performance, since some of my boards aren't nailed down properly."

and Jesus answers:
"Beloved, no matter how polished you might become, you could never be good enough for the display of My radiant holiness. However, I have chosen you to reflect My Glory, despite your imperfections. Moreover, your weakness is the ideal stage for the exhibition of My Power. Your part in this drama is to look away from yourself and gaze at Me in My awesome splendor. Forget about your unworthiness and delight yourself in My glorious Being. Watch while I perform great things for you."

Yes, I need to look away from myself and my imperfections and look at Jesus. I need to forget about the feelings of unworthiness that have been plaguing me and think about Jesus and what He can do...and all He has done. I need to say to myself, "Forget yourself, Marja. It's not about you at all."

I'm preparing my heart for our next meeting on January 14th. Looking forward to sharing Jesus with others who suffer from mood disorders. Looking forward to sharing how He can work in us and through us, in spite of our imperfections. As Jesus said,
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9


More Than Conquerors said...

Dear Marja,

Thank you for stopping by my blog and for your prayers and encouragements. It is always so good to hear from you. Thank God for His goodness to us. Thank God for granting you rest and now renewing your strength.

I like the quotation you shared on Jesus' answer. It is so true that in and of ourselves we will never be good enough for our Lord to display His radiant holiness. It is a mercy that He has chosen us, broken and weak vessels, to be instruments in His mighty Hands. It is often in our weaknesses that His Power is shown forth. He becomes very real to us and performs that which we are unable to do. This has been my blessed experience through this year and the years past too.

I pray that our dear Lord Jesus Christ will continue to strengthen you day and day, guide you in His service, and bless you with great joy and peace as you walk with Him and serve Him in your various callings. May you continue to know His Power and Strength in your time of need. And may His love and faithfulness strengthen your hands and heart continuing.

Love and prayers,
your sister in Christ,

marja said...

Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement, Nancie. I wish you a happy new year.

Love, marja