Last night Darin and I had the most awesome privilege to witness an intimate acoustic set with our very favorite band: Jars of Clay. One of the songs they played is called “World’s Apart” and it honestly has been at the top of my favorite songs list for a long time.
I closed my eyes and listened with my heart.
“To love you - take my world apart
To need you – I am on my knees
To love you – take my world apart
To need you – broken on my knees”
That used to be my prayer. Years ago. When I didn’t really know what that would mean. God answered that prayer, took my world apart, and with amazing amounts of grace is rebuilding it. And the lessons I’m learning I hope sink so deep down that I never have to be reminded of them again.
Sometime shortly after I wrote the last journal-y post, I picked up the book “Me, Myself and Bob” by Phil Vischer. The book had been on my to-read list for a while, but I figured now would be a good time to read a story written for “anyone who has ever lost a dream.” After retrieving my copy from the library hold shelf I devoured it in two days. The story of the rise and fall of Big Idea Productions (including the stories of the creation of Veggie Tales, which since the days of high school youth group I have always loved) was really interesting, but I knew there was something waiting for me in the last pages of the book. And there certainly was.
Phil concludes his sad tale of loosing it all by re-telling the story of the Shunammite woman in 2 Kings chapter 4, who after being given a son after many years of waiting and hoping for one, loses him. (If you’re not familiar, you really should click on over. It is quite a crazy tale.) And then Phil stopped me cold with this thought he heard from a friend:
“If God gives you a dream, and the dream comes to life and God shows up in it, and then the dream dies, it may be that God wants to see what is more important to you – the dream or him. And once he’s seen that, you may get your dream back. Or you may not, and you may live the rest of your life without it. But that will be okay, because you will have God.”
And with those few words I felt God was looking right at me and asking the question “What is more important, Deanna? Me or the camping thing? Because I took that camping thing away for a reason, and now you need to decide. Me? Or the dream?”
Phil continued to share some thoughts from the great C.S. Lewis who once said “He who has God plus many things has nothing more than he who has God alone.” Phil: "If God is infinite, we can’t add anything to him. Nothing, added to God, can meet our needs any more than God alone. So we need to put everything in that blank.” For me, that meant “She who has camping ministry, plus God has nothing more than she who has God alone.” Or “She who has a life raising children in the midst of camping ministry has nothing more than she who has God alone.” Or “She who has great impact on the lives of college women has nothing more than she who has God alone.”
All my life I’ve wanted to be a world-changer. I was raised by parents who were world-changers. I lived on an island full of dreamers and world-changers. I served a God who said I wasn’t just put on this earth to waste space, but to change the world. I worked and studied alongside people who were called to BIG things, in BIG places, and I wanted to be right in the thick of it. My dreams were big dreams of impacting the world for the better in the name of Jesus.
Expectations came down a few notches when I chose a few years ago to leave it all behind and become a stay-at home mama. But that was okay, because I was gonna raise me some world-changers.
And then I got the chance to work alongside my husband in discipling a great group of college-aged world changers. And I was busy doing that.
And doing lots of other stuff too. Good stuff. God stuff.
Or so I thought.
Until I was asked the question.
“Is it Me? Or is it ministry?”
(More to come...)