POD #26: The voice in your head
Very seldom do I write things off, due to the voices in my head. I may set a goal and say “when…then.” Like I want to go sky diving and bungee jumping, however I am morbidly obese and I don’t think that is the smartest idea. However, I am on a journey to being fit and those two things are on my to-do list when I reach my goal. I have little goals of things I want to try along the way as I reach other milestones in the journey. I share them with others so they will help hold me accountable along the way.
If I really pause think about the broken record that places in my mind, the voice I listen to most often says, “You have no idea how to begin.” I don’t really hear it as a “you can’t, as much as a “keep searching.” The vision and dream I have before me, I really have no idea how to reach. I know that I am walking in it, but I am not sure how to go to the next level of it. I just know to do what I am doing, and let God connect me in His timing with the next step, and hope I don’t miss it due to my stubbornness or disobedience.
About thirteen year ago I attended a conference and they talked about “One-Church, One-Child.” It was the idea that if each church in a community would support one member of their church answering the call to foster, there would be no children who had to stay in a shelter or group home because of lack of foster parents. I loves the idea. At the time I worked for the state in the foster care system and it felt like a worthy cause to run with. I sent out a compelling letter to every church in our community. I received two calls back. I felt very defeated and saddened. While this is just a small piece of my dream, it really did impact me. At the same time I was reaching out to the churches in our community with no response, there was a fight at the state level to give the right to foster to same-sex couples. People were up in arms about it, but at the same time there was little response from those who God called to step in and be a father to fatherless.
I wrote the experience off that maybe it was because at the time I was affiliated with the state. I decided that churches might be concerned about the separation of church and state – despite the fact there was a movement at the federal level to fund faith initiative programs. I reasoned the letters were sent to the pastors, and they might not have shared it with their congregation, so people really might not know the need. I just didn’t start in the right place. (On a side note, there was another organization that was started the same time in my home state – and the churches do answer the call even now.)
A few years later, I tried again. I wasn’t asking anything other than to meet with churches to know what services they were offering – Celebrate Recovery, Mother’s Day out, Christian Counseling, etc. I knew several churches in the community offered programs that would be beneficial to the birth families (Of the foster children) that I had been working with. I thought if I could compile the resources, it would be an option for parents that would point them in the direction that would really change their life. I also believe it could help build a healthy support system around these families that may not have had a good example growing up themselves. Again, one call, one meeting. I decided that I really don’t know where to begin.
When I moved away from that community, I took my dream with me. It is still there, waiting to burst forth. I so want to see hurting people connected with God’s hands and feet in this world. I want to see Christian’s engaged outside the four walls of the church, being the Church to meet the tangible needs in the community. For now, I connect people. I know the resources in my community, and if someone needs a place to get involved – I connect them to places they can give and volunteer. When I come across people who are hurting and in need – I connect them to resources, especially those in my community with a spiritual component that I know can help them. I get to do this weekly, sometimes daily on an individual basis. It doesn’t look like what I thought it would, but I’m doing my part and letting God do the rest.
The other voice I hear a lot is “You don’t have time.” When you live a pretty structured schedule, there is some truth to the statement. However, I have learned in the past few years that we make time for what is important, so if it is really something that I want to do, I will make it a priority. It may mean getting up a little earlier or staying up a little bit later. It may mean saying no to other things, but I have the ability to apply my time to things that I feel that I should be doing. I still need to work in this area. I know I spend too much time mindlessly online or in front of the television instead of making mindful decisions of where I invest my time. Although it is much less than I use to, it is still too much. It is a daily decision I have to make.