Have you ever heard through the grapevine that someone is speaking poorly of you? How did it feel? I know personally when this happens to me it is hurtful. Why do words of hatred hurt us so much? After all God knows the truth. Isn’t that all that matters? Let’s face it when we cannot let go from those harmful words, then we are still attached to some type of worldliness. Reputations and pride come into play. I am afraid to tell you when you feel pride, you are not attached to God, but you are attached to the world and what people think of you. We would just brush off that gossip if our eyes were truly fixed on God. The only way to get away from that hurtful feeling is to find what is causing you to feel hurt.
Ministry is a way that I can give God back the gifts that He has given me. I am involved in several different ministries for God. I have given countless hours to Him and truly love that God allows me to work for Him in so many ways. I have gained a deep understanding of what God wants me to do with my gifts. Sometimes my leadership role can become a little overwhelming. Those hurtful feelings that I was talking about earlier came into play with one of my ministries. One of the women whom I met on my path decided that my plan for this particular ministry was wrong. It was hurtful because I had a lot of experience standing behind me. It felt like she doubted my path for the group. I was being challenged. After many weeks of very uncomfortable meetings, I relinquished to her. I prayed for God to help me let go of my pride and find a way for this wonderful ministry to thrive. It was hard – very hard. I had to humble myself, keep my mouth closed and allow this person to take over. You know what? It all worked out beautifully.
Through this situation, I found a side to me that I had never seen: I found that I enjoyed being a worker (or what I like to call a “lowly servant”). I liked being quiet (if you knew me – you would know that this is VERY unusual). I liked finding God in the midst of struggle (and trust me He showed me that I needed Him during this time). It was a beautiful time for me to sit back and watch His plan unfold. Many of my friends saw a big change in me during this time. In fact, they all doubted that I was doing the right thing. In their eyes, they saw me as weak (and I was). They thought I had become unequipped to handle the ministry (which I could see their point). They thought I was giving up when I should have been fighting for my ministry (which was a natural response). What they didn’t see was that I felt God calling me to be a worker, not a leader. I knew God wanted me to let this person take the reins. There was a reason – and it wasn’t comfortable for me – but God needed me to serve Him with humility. I was not going to be looked upon by others as having accomplished something. Instead, during this time, God would show others that I was weak. My reputation was going to suffer, but it was for the good of God. I am not kidding you on this one. Even the clergy that I was working with admonished me for my work (or lack of work). I was told that my ministry was failing because of me. This was a really hard time for me, but because this struggle was way too much to endure, I knew that I was fighting God’s plan. I had to take it to prayer and ask Him for help. I felt during that prayer time, God was telling me to “stop fighting me on this one.” I felt Him saying, “I am there to help you through this one, and this is obviously too much for you to handle alone. Lean on me.”
Like I said earlier, what happened was amazing. This ministry accomplished everything it needed to. God’s plan was revealed to me throughout the years after this in small ways. I am so thankful that I humbled myself and let God take over. I learned that pride and reputations are really not important. God knows me and knows the truth. Hurtful things still happen to me, but I try to think about what God’s plan is in it all. Where is God taking me to? What am I to learn from this situation? Maybe His plan isn’t for me, but for someone else? Just because I am hurt, what is the other person hurting from? Don’t ever be afraid to step back and look at things from a different perspective. God may just be revealing His light to you in a new way. Don’t block His plan. Embrace it!