I couldn't sleep last night. I'm sure it was partly due to the cup of coffee I had during our meeting (I really ought to invest in some decaf, people). Largely, I think my inability to sleep was the result of great joy. Joy because of a meeting.
Those of you who abhor meetings are gagging a bit right now. That's okay. I am fully aware of my nerdiness.
The meeting consisted of a small group of women who barely knew each other taking a few tiny steps in planning our church's first women's retreat. I felt the anticipation as I set out fresh cut veggies that the staff of my local supermarket had slaved over. Joy and fulfillment overtook me as we met, discussing and praying over our first major decision. And after everyone left, it was like a missing piece of my soul clicked into place.
Those of you who hate event planning are gagging even more than the meeting-haters. I understand. It's not for everyone. In fact, I'm not even sure it's for me.
It wasn't the meeting that stirred my passions. Nor was it the planning. It was the act of leading, mentoring, guiding, and pouring into other women. I hate to be cheesy and mis-quote an overused line from a movie I've never seen, but I feel God's pleasure when I am leading.
I love writing, speaking to groups is a thrill, and organizing gives me a sense of accomplishment...but nothing brings the soul satisfaction that comes from mentoring other women.
This surge of joy has me realizing something... In pursuit of writing and speaking and platform-building, I allowed myself to become too isolated. In my isolation, I not only drifted from the experience of fellowship with women, I slipped away from fellowship with God. This morning, I awoke with a burning inside - a desperation - to spend time in the presence of Jesus.
Don't get me wrong, I am wildly in love with writing (and speaking is growing on me more and more). I remain certain that God has called me to minister to women in those ways. I realized, though, that I cannot allow the far reach of that type of ministry to supersede the intimate reach of personal mentorship of women right here in my community.
They're not exclusive. In fact, they are intrinsically intertwined. If I'm not involved in intimate and personal ministry, I cannot succeed in ministry that reaches far and wide. Losing the intimacy distances me from the tangible needs of real women. Losing the intimacy distances me from the heart of my Father. And I find the reality of my relationship with Him falling short of what I know it can be.
I thought that this season in my life might be about teaching me to lean on Him and Him alone for my fulfillment. I thought maybe I needed to learn more about being rather than doing. I think I was wrong. The sweetness of joy that comes from doing life with others is a vital aspect of being His. For me, they can't be compartmentalized.
Do you have a thing that you do, something that draws you closer to God by doing it? Something that, if missing from your life, would leave you wondering why it's so hard to connect with Him?