Doing What God Has Called Me to Do…Begrudgingly

Hi, friends. Today’s post is sort of off-the-cuff since my brain feels like a pinball machine lately, ha!

For the last few weeks, I’ve had my nose to the grindstone working for United Methodist Women, a women’s mission organization in the UMC. I serve as the Communications Coordinator for our district, which includes about 150 churchs–half of which have active UMW units. I’ve been merging a 2019 spreadsheet with the names/physical and email addresses/phone numbers of local unit officers (Pres, VP, Tre, Sec, etc.) with the spreadsheet of new 2020 info. If that already seems tedious, imagine the extra facet of complexity that comes with units who don’t send us updated info for years at a time. On top of everything, I have to decide how long to keep a unit’s non-updated info before deleting their unit from the spreadsheet (2 years? 3 years? Ugh).

I use the spreadsheet to determine who/where to send our quarterly newsletter. Given that we are a MISSION organization, I wanted to make some changes going forward that will save money on administrative costs. So, I decided we need to create an email group through which we can send forms, flyers, and other things we’ve been (superfluously, in my opinion) printing in the newsletter. [One of our newsletters last year was 24 pages–is that not overkill?!]

So, long story short, I’ve been merging the spreadsheets, compiling a newsletter, AND creating an email group–which has left me with only a few brain cells left to rub together. Some days, I fantasize about quitting because some of those I work with don’t share my vision (“But we’ve always done it this way”) or grasp how long things take (*someone asks nonchalantly if I can make a huge change to the newsletter when I’m almost finished*). In response to my griping recently, my sweet fiancee asked me a perfectly logical question–“Why do you volunteer to do this if it makes you miserable?”

In the midst of my work, I read a devotional based on Colossians that talks about how we should willingly, even eagerly work for the Lord in all we do (whether church-related or not). Then, this past Sunday, my pastor made the statement that if God puts a burden on our hearts, WE are being called to bear it. Applying this to my situation, God is calling ME to urge change in the face of inertia, to bring this organization more fully into the twenty-first century, to move us to a point of using less money wasting natural resources.

This is the answer to my fiancee’s question; I NEED to do this. But I should quit complaining and bear this cross with the grace of Jesus Christ. Plus, if I’m being fair, I know many ladies, including some of my teammates, see and appreciate my efforts. Also, I do enjoy what I do overall despite the frustrations.

Really, I should view God choosing me for this task as a blessing; it is a blessing to be a blessing. In the newsletter and in emails, I remind us all that what we do at the bottom of the totem pole enables those at the top to carry out ministry and mission projects that truly change people’s hearts and lives.

Thanks for reading! Do you have tough things God has called you to bear/see through/deal with? Let me know in the comments.

19 comments

  1. I find Samuel’s words give some good advice in serving the Lord.
    1 Samuel 12:23,24
    Pray for these people and remember all the good things He has done for us in the past.
    This prayer and praise definitely help me overcome negative feelings and surrender them to God.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Lily!
    After working in Ministry for many years I can relate. It can be tough feeling like you’re the one always sticking your neck out, having vision and leading from God and making it happen when others can’t see it. It’s discouraging when people pile on more work or question the necessity of the work you are doing because it can feel invalidating and unappreciative. Maybe we’re not “supposed to” complain in Christian contexts, but I always find the Psalms, Jeremiah, other prophets encouraging at those times because they really did complain: they poured out all their complaints before the Lord and He heard them. Sometimes I think we need to do that, to just put it out there that there’s some things we’re not feeling good about and let the Lord and our brothers and sisters respond in a loving, “I hear you and your pain, and I invite you to rest in God’s will and leading” type of way.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Melissa, you perfectly described some of what I’ve been going through. As you point out, there are many texts in the Bible that show how people openly wrestled with God, which is reassuring that God can “handle” our strife/confusion/anger. Great advice; thanks for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Being with people who aren’t perfect and struggle with us I like to think is part of the refining process. God puts heavy topics on my heart to write and I know not everyone agrees. But He also shows me this helps me have compassion and humility on those who do not understand and it is a process on me not to want to feel validated. But God helps me break away from my thoughts.

    It’s still hard but I really want to show the love of Jesus and that is often the most important in times we want to give up with others. May you continue to grow and may your love be encouraging to others!!

    It’s always nice when we do have a supportive team. 😊 I’m glad you have those people in your life who understand.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, that’s a great point about the refining process. It’s funny that we complain about working with imperfect people in ministry; everyone God uses for His glory is imperfect! 😉 Maybe He is trying to show us how to love people through their flaws the way He loves us and also showing us how to work with others the way He is working through us. It is definitely great to have a support team, in real life and online. I’m grateful for a space to express myself through writing and get really helpful feedback! ♥

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️ yes!!! Everyone is imperfect and I know it’s tempting when those imperfect lash out, or judge unrighteously, whatever, for us to point fingers. Guilty as charged! God has really been working on my heart about that

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  4. Faith over fear, anger, frustration, and lack of support. You are a blessing! As melissamyyounger said to remember the prophets. Sometimes they appeared to me to be whiny, but God still encouraged them as he encourages us. He even takes the time to encourage me when I am whiny. Love you Girl of God!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Faith over all the messy stuff! Reading about the prophets and others in the Bible reassures me that God can “handle” our whining or questioning or frustration. I started Book 2 of Psalms yesterday, and the laments are intense. I also read in a footnote in Isaiah that he follows the pattern of the typical prophetic call; though I can’t remember all the elements, I was amused that one of them was “objection.” Love you too!

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  5. Hi Lily, I can only imagine what a task you have ahead of you. I can pray for you, and will, I know God hears our prayers. I know things have changed a great deal in the church. I know some change is for the better but I also think some change is not good> I feel you will make changes to better the UMC in anyway you can. I know God will be with you and help to make thjs task as easy and less stressful as posible. Prayers going up! Love Deb

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love the simplicity of this article and the example you used. God does command our emotions, for example: “serve the Lord with gladness” and to “do all things without complaining,” etc. Duty is drudgery. Great post!

    Like

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