Comparison: Ugly Lies in My Mind

I just had one of the most amazing weekends in my short time of doing full time ministry. A weekend retreat with middle school confirmation kids at a place that was like the summer camp in the Parent Trap. (The Lindsay Lohan version if you’re really wondering.)

Over the weekend I realized a few things. First of all, adults don’t give middle school kids enough credit for how intelligent they are. These kids were asking deep questions about Jesus and their faith. Questions I didn’t expect on topics that I had no idea middle school students were even worried about in this point in their lives. Second thing I realized after I got home was that ministry is fun! However, I almost missed out on how fun it can be. Let me explain by backing up to the beginning of the week…

Monday I was on the hot mess express. I let my anxiety get the best of me and shoot through the roof as I was preparing everything for the weekend. As I’ve stated in earlier blogs I am a planner so I had my checklist of all the things I needed, the things I had done, and what I still needed to do. Anxiety, the ugly monster that it is, started feeding my brain all these little lies.

You’re never going to be as prepared as you want to be.

Someone else could do it better.

Other youth leaders are more fun.

Other youth leaders would do the lessons a different way.

These kids aren’t going to get anything out of this weekend.

So those thoughts made me start to doubt my own abilities. I started thinking things like “Maybe I should try and do it like ________, they always have a good turn out with their youth.” Or “I wonder how so and so would teach these things.”

By Wednesday my brain was fried with lies and doubts. After a lot of prayer I realized that I was being ridiculous. The Holy Spirit is the one working in these kids’ hearts. All these lies and thoughts were distracting from the real purpose of the retreat. The whole goal for the weekend was to talk about their faith, talk about their identity in Christ, and the love that Jesus has for them. There are a million different ways that you could go about doing that. Now looking back I know that another leader would have done it completely different then the way I planned it, but friends, do you know how boring it would be if we all the same gifts and talents and interests? It would be SO BORING. God made us all different for a reason. The Holy Spirit works through all our gifts that are given by HIM to show his love to his children. We don’t all learn the same and we don’t all show love the same, so why should we all teach the same. Embrace the gifts you do have and throw those lies of comparison out the window! If you don’t, you might just end up missing all the fun!

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