My husband and I started a church just over 3 years ago now, and I have recently realized that since then, I've been struggling to feel purposeful. Three years is a long time to wander around without much intention. Disappointing, if you ask me.
To be clear - I'm not having an identity crisis where I'm questioning my worth as a person or my reason for existence. My security in Jesus is totally solid. My infinite value as a life-partner and helper to Michael is undoubted. And I am happily focused on being a mother. But as I read my journals and reflect on conversations with my coach, I have to acknowledge that my soul has felt restless these last three years, that there has been an absence of clarity regarding my overall life direction or immediate purpose in action.
To be fair, this has been true since I first started following Jesus. I learned very quickly that it was useless to make plans because I'm not actually in control of making any of those plans come to fruition. Besides, it is much easier to enjoy the ride of faith when you're not trying to unbuckle your seatbelt and jump out at improper moments (and then have to be forced back into the moving car). The last ten years have been absolutely unbelievably exciting, amazing, challenging, life-changing, and AWESOME. Ten good God years.
But something significant shifted when we started this church. For the first time in our marriage, my husband was in a position of public leadership, and I wasn't. We started with another couple, so Michael and Chris were working out how to co-pastor, and I had to step out of the way so that their relationship could develop healthily and equally. Not only did I (willingly) leave the place of leadership I had comfortably enjoyed in our prior church, but I also lost some of my partnership with Michael. I knew how we worked as a team; but now he had to figure out how to be a team with someone else. A team I couldn't join. So instead, I've been doing 'other' things in our church. I volunteer with a few ministries, I'm in charge of some stuff, but really...my heart doesn't get excited over those responsibilities the way I would expect it to if I believed they were part of my life's purpose.
I'm not bitter or sad about the changes that happened in starting Hiawatha Church. In fact, this has been a grace-filled three years in which my husband has grown and changed in beautiful ways. I love our church family. I'm just not sure what purpose I serve with them.
So I've been talking to Jesus about this, and I'm feeling pretty hopeful. For my determined purpose is that I may know him, that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of his person more strongly and more clearly* - and that's more than enough purpose for a lifetime!
*the Amplified Bible's translation of Paul's letter to the church at Philippi, chapter 3 verse 10