Our second child, a daughter by the name of Mya Noelle, came into the world bright and early at 3:17 AM on Wednesday December 23rd. Her presence to me was angelic and sweet, a bright light in my life, an unplanned gift that I will always cherish. It's been over two weeks since that early morning and I find myself desiring to emerge from the protective cocoon which is our town home in Florida. A few days ago I was thinking, "I could get used to this life" while daydreaming during a session on my sofa with a book and a baby sleeping on my lap. Then today, motivated by a writing deadline, I opened up a book that's been a source of inspiration to me for a few years, "Writing to Change the World" by Mary Pipher. I opened to a page where I had underlined a particular paragraph.
"Change writers who are not connected to the world generally cannot connect to readers. The pressures of the real world slow up down and beat us up. Pressures steal our time and fog our focus. Yet, in the end, these same pressures allow up to retain our membership in the human race."
This made me think. How often do I get bummed and burnt out by the pressures and pace of youth ministry? How much time do I spend worrying about the perceived failures, the broken families, the effects of the economy on my upcoming spring retreat? Pressures do steal our time and fog our focus. But, as Pipher so eloquently puts it, "in the end, these same pressures allow us to retain our membership in the human race."
As much as I would like to stay in this protective bliss--evading the return to the rigors of ministry in the church, I find myself thinking that this time at home helps me retain that very important membership--the realization that I am a part of what I'm trying to help everyone else through. I too face pressures, heartache, and fear--which gives me a platform which to speak from experience. We share this in common, we are human.
As I look into the eyes of our young students, some as young as ten in middle school ministry, I am acutely aware that they were most were 6 to 10 pound (Lord help the mother who bore a ten pound baby!) infants, swaddled in their parents arms and adorned with the highest hopes and dreams. When they hurt, we hurt. When they question, we listen. When they cry out for help, we do all that we can to find a remedy. Or, at least that's the aim. How much more important is it to lead them to the cross and to a lifestyle rooted and established in the Holy Spirit?
These are the thoughts of a postpartum mama in ministry as she reflects on the life she leads--and sometimes fumbles through.
So, she's officially renewing her membership in the human race today as she thanks God for three hours of sleep last night and a neighbor with a diesel truck that roars to life at 6:30 AM waking everyone in the house. She is grateful that it will make her a more connected youth pastor and writer--grateful that she's not alone--grateful that we are in this together.