This post is one that is not easy to write. I wrestled for a long time and prayed about whether or not I should even share it. When I was praying and asking God whether or not I should go ahead with writing this, His response was, “Yes. This is part of the process and you need to convey that.” So here we are. It’s 2am and I can’t sleep. This is not something I’m comfortable with talking about, but I’ve said I want to document my licensing journey, which includes exposing my insecurities and fear.
The video clip attached to this post is called The Death Crawl. Like the video, the football player was doubting his abilities with carrying the weight of one of his peers on his back. He started out strong, but then grew weak as the pressure and weight began to build. He over and over promised his coach to give his best effort. As you watched, he pushed through his pain and fatigue and made it to the endzone.
The full movie is called Facing the Giants and is about the faith of a small-town Christian school football team. (Disclaimer- I’m not sponsored by them but definitely check it out if you haven’t). This scene is one of the most powerful in the whole movie. It parallels my licensing process perfectly up to this point.
As I’ve said in an earlier post, I am a senior at Bacone. I’m a double major who juggles two praise teams, various church activities and engagements, and is obviously preparing for licensing. The past week, I’ve been extremely un-Sarah like. Normally, Summit is my element. It’s where I feel most in my skin and most comfortable. Praise team practice is really where I let my hair down, so to speak, and can fully be myself goofing off and having fun.
Last Sunday, I just got in this mood where I was doubting whether or not I belonged at Summit anymore. Nothing bad happened but it was as if I was starting to pull away and distance myself. Due to various other commitments, I had to push my licensing back. I don’t know. I was really questioning myself on whether or not I really wanted to go through with this process. I was attending a special program at Divine Love Fellowship and it was like I was subconsciously almost talking myself out of it. I was on spring break the past week and was letting myself stay in that place where I was ready to put a halt to my licensing as well as this blog. Burnout was setting in and it was dragging me down. I spent the week working on my academic workload, putting my church activities in the backseat. Saturday morning, we had praise team practice. I reached a point where I said, “I don’t want to do this anymore. I want out.” I ended up staying home to work on a paper I have due soon. I woke up this morning to get ready for church. I was not feeling Summit and texted First Lady J that I wasn’t coming. I had plans to either attend another church or to just stay home and work. At the last possible second, I decided to swallow my feelings and go.
I got there, felt uncomfortable and like I didn’t belong. The service ended and I approached Pastor and said, “I’m done with this licensing. I don’t want to do it anymore. I want off the praise team and I want to bail on this blog.” I felt like I wasn’t making an impact. I felt like nothing I said mattered. Ultimately, I was under satanic assault. I was thinking emotionally and reactively rather than spiritually.
Paralleling my life to the video, I started this process out strong, my calling from God on my back as I began crawling to the endzone. Life happened. Reality began to set in and I was starting to get tired from the weight and pressure of it all. I reached my lowest point Saturday and today where I said, “I can’t do this anymore. It’s too painful, I’m too tired. Everything is too heavy and I want out.”
This is why I will forever be thankful for an AMAZING Pastor, First Lady, and church family. Pastor Moore had to do his fatherly, “Sarah. What on earth are you thinking?” and reaffirmed that everything was going to work out and that I was on the right track. Then I dropped the bombshells that I wanted out of praise team and this blog. First Lady and two of my mentors, Minister Barbara and Otis Logan got in and basically it was a 4-against-1 tag-team intervention. I needed it, not because I needed validation or people believing in me, but I needed to hear that I was doing the work God has called me to do, despite how it appeared to me. I was focused on the work I was doing rather than the work God was doing through me. What I failed to realize the past week was that it’s not about me. It’s about the words God gave me to speak into someone else.
I posted on my social media profile tonight that I never want to be so caught up in everything that people just see me as Sarah, the girl who blogs a few times a week or the dark-haired girl on the praise team. It is my prayer that you see all of this as God moving—I’m just the vessel He used.
I left church today to help a friend and was still kind of emotional because I was trying to process everything that was said. My excitement was starting to come back, but I still had a little residual self-doubt, fear, and a little self-loathing left that I was trying to combat.
I am a Christian counseling major and had to help diffuse a situation today that was perfectly aligned with my career path. It took something like that to get me out of my own head and made me realize, “Wow. This isn’t about Sarah. This is about God using Sarah to move in the lives of others.” I was warned by more experienced people in ministry that the closer I get to licensing, the harder I am going to be hit. That is definitely proving to be the case.
Going back to the video, I promised to give God 1000000% and despite how painful and exhausting it might be, I intend to do just that.
This post is getting lengthy so I’m going to start wrapping it up. Days like today make me so thankful and humbled to have such an incredible church family. It’s rare when you find a church family you love just as much as your family at home. It’s even rarer to find a Pastor and First Lady that love you, invest in you, pour into you, and become like your spiritual parents. Like a mother and father discipline their children, I definitely got some spiritual disciplining today that was much needed. I needed that tough love to make me realize my potential. More so than that, they see the potential in me and want to foster and encourage that growth.
It was pointed out today that when I first started at Summit, I spent the first two months in the back row, almost in a corner. I moved up to the second row from the front and also joined the praise team. Seeing that growth and the metamorphosis process of becoming what a mentor and I have affectionately called my Christian Ministry journey as the “Baby Sarah” years to becoming the young woman of God I am called to be.
As I sit here, a quote from Pastor Moore’s sermon comes to mind, “Sometimes God puts you in a chaotic situation to bring out the leader in you.”
Speaking from the standpoint as someone who has served in various leadership capacities, this ties in with what is one of the most convicting quotes from the Death Crawl video clip with the coach and Brock, one of the key football players::
“You are one of the most influential people on this team. Don’t tell me you can’t do more than I’ve been seeing. If you walk around defeated, so will they. God’s given you a gift of leadership—don’t waste it.”
I don’t say this from a place of pride. I don’t say this with a boastful heart or to brag in any way—I have a strong heart and fire for mentorship, especially high school girls. The past week, God has been on me about my leadership. God has laid a few girls on my heart to minister to and the last thing I want is for my own shortcomings to interfere with how effective I am as a youth minister and Christian counselor. I know that if I feel tired, defeated, despondent, so will they.
The main thing I want to emphasize in the space here (that the Holy Spirit is also dealing with me on) is that we don’t have to walk around in the spirit of defeat. My fear, iniquities, and shortcomings are miniscule compared to how big my God is. What Satan has tried to destroy and deconstruct, God has already co-signed, sealed, and delivered. Nothing will happen that He has not already allowed.
If you’re reading this and going through something, know that it’s not the end. 70x7, all of your shortcomings are cast in the Sea of Forgetfulness. Like I said in another post, it’s never about how big your storm or situation might be, but about how big your God is. For me personally, I take a lot of comfort knowing that I’m where I need to be at this point in my life. His Word will never return void, neither will His promises.
The last thing I want to stress here is always strive to be the best you can be. Always give God your best effort. I’m speaking to myself when I say this—even when you’re exhausted and feel like you can’t do it anymore, keep pushing through. You are a conqueror and co-heir with Christ. Always rely on His strength and never your own.
Whatever you’re going through, God’s got it. Know that whatever your situation might be, you’re beautiful. You matter. You’re worth it.
Love and light,