Mrs. Kelli Ward -- Rev. Kelli Ward -- Pastor Kelli -- Kelli -- Mommy
I have spent most of my life trying to figure out who I am. And yes, that has been a very interesting and important journey. However, I have realized that in my current season of life, I am no longer concerned with discovering who I am. However, I have had to face becoming comfortable with who I am not.
For instance, I do not have a good sense of humor. I barely have ANY sense of humor. It used to bother me that my peers, friends, and colleagues could tell jokes, play pranks, and kid around with each other when I could barely force a smile. I would do my best to act amused and seem engaged in the light hearted conversations and, for the most part, I still do. The change is in the fact that I no longer beat myself up for not being able to loosen up and have a good time. I have began to realize that I find enjoyment via other means... and that is ok!
This becomes interesting when I think about who I am not as a youth pastor. In my mind, there is a certain box that you need to fit in to make a good youth pastor. You have to play guitar. You have to enjoy listening to music and going to concerts. You have to like camping, bugs, and dirt. You have to be a dare devil and spontaneous and adventurous. Those are all things I am not. And the more I become comfortable with NOT being that type of youth pastor, the more effective I am at being the youth pastor God created me to be.
The same is true regarding motherhood. In my mind, once again, there is a certain box that you need to fit in to make a good mother. You have to enjoy gardening. You have to love playing pretend. You have to be organized and strategic in how you manage your home. You have to make crafts and weekly meal plans. Again, those are all things I am not. And the more I become comfortable with NOT being that type of mother, the more effective I am at being the mother God created me to be.
So how do I respond to all the things I am not? There are a few things I consider important. First, I try to balance my own skills. I invest in those areas I am strong without neglecting the areas in which I struggle. I try to challenge myself from time to time to step outside my comfort box and be willing to do the things I struggle with for the benefit of the people around me. Second, I look for and pray for people who can bring balance to my struggles. I pray for and seek individual that are strong in my areas of weakness. This strengthens the ministries I am a part of and allows others to use and develop their strengths. Lastly, I refuse to allow Satan to use the things that I am not to make me feel shame, insecurity, or guilt. It is healthy to embrace the nudging of the Holy Spirit to grow and develop in different areas of your life, but allowing Satan to use those same areas as a stronghold of fear and insecurity is never beneficial.
That being said, Karis, Josiah, and I are making a craft for my mom for Mother's Day (she knows it is coming) and I am currently working on a permission slip to take a crew of youth to a camping / concert weekend this summer. Will I thoroughly enjoy the craft and camping? Probably not. Will I enjoy being able to give a great opportunity to my children and the students in our church! DEFINITELY!
|Spending a "wonderful weekend" camping with students in the spring of 2004.|