No, I’m not going to start singing ‘Let it go’… Although that song has, unfortunately, ruined that phrase for at least the next decade…
I didn’t really plan on this happening, but 2015 has been a year of letting go for me. I know it’s not quite over yet, but it’s already December… At the beginning of the year, I had a full-time job, I was volunteering after work, and I was serving once a month in each of 3 different ministries at my church – our cafe, our 2nd-5th grade large group worship time, and adult worship. Somehow I managed to also have a social life in there…
Towards the end of 2014, I had started thinking about how full my life was, and decided that the easiest thing for me to let go of was my one Sunday a month in cafe. The schedule was finally full, and it seemed like an opportune time to take a break. So I did! Not because I had any issues with anyone or anything there, but because I was feeling a little overwhelmed with everything I was doing and needed to give myself some breathing space. I continued helping in the other ministries, though, because I enjoyed them and felt that my talents were being put to good use in each.
Fast forward to a couple of months ago, and I found myself praying about whether or not I was still going to be involved in the kids’ worship ministry. Changes were being made and implemented, and I was going to have to be more involved than I had been previously. They were looking for people not just to lead worship once a month, but also to be more involved in the kids’ ministry community by going to planning meetings once a month, or maybe leading a small team of teenagers on your Sunday… Good things, definitely, but I wasn’t really looking to become any more involved than I currently was with that ministry. After praying and thinking about it for a little while, I felt like I needed to take a break because I really didn’t want to up my involvement, and because when I was honest with myself, my heart hadn’t been in it for most of the year, and I’m not a fan of half-hearted anything, really. (It happens, obviously, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay 🙂 )
The last hurdle I had to get over was letting go of my involvement in our adult worship ministry. Since I was in high school, I’ve sought out opportunities (or occasionally been pushed into them… 😛 ) for using what little musical talent I feel I’ve been given. I know when I was younger, there were times I was positive that God was calling me to be a worship leader. I’m still not quite sure how I drew that conclusion, since I’ve done my best to avoid having to talk in front of people since elementary school… (I decided several years ago that He’s not actually calling me to be a worship leader – although I’m still not sure what He is calling me to!) There were also changes being made within this ministry – again, good changes, but ones that were going to require more of my time & energy. I was, however, willing to continue in the worship ministry, see how I could rework my schedule, etc., even while I was praying for direction and stressing myself out about it all. And then I was driving home one night, thinking about something unrelated, and I suddenly had a very clear impression that I was going to take a break from worship ministry as well. I’m reluctant to say that God spoke to me because I didn’t hear anything audibly, but it was God nonetheless – I just had an overwhelming sense of ‘this is what you’re going to do.’
As I’ve been talking some of this out with a few friends, I keep saying how weird it all is to me – in so many ways, my life hasn’t turned out how I anticipated. But Philippians 4 talks about ‘the peace of God that transcends all understanding’ – and this year has been full of that. I have a note in my phone from a podcast I listened to over a year ago about God’s peace: We receive peace not because we understand the situation, but because God gives us peace regardless of the situation. And I have that peace – it’s strange to me, and I don’t understand it – but I know I made the right decisions.
It was a long road for me to get to the point of letting go of these few things, and I stressed myself out needlessly over the right decisions in each instance. However, as this year comes to a close, I find myself strangely okay with wrapping up the last of my commitments and then starting off 2016 with no foreseeable involvement within my church. I do volunteer outside my church at an after-school program with some amazing kids and some equally amazing volunteers, and I wouldn’t give that up for anything… I’m not opposed to other opportunities within my church, but having spent the last several months deciding to divest myself of various commitments, I think I’m good for now with work, volunteering, time with friends, and relaxing Sunday mornings enjoying some good Bible teaching!