Tag Archives: friendship

A Lonely Road

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(I originally wrote this on October 27, 2014, but I just haven’t put it up here yet)

Some say that ministry is a lonely road, and they’re right.  One of the things they don’t bother to tell you while you’re in college, especially in ministry prep courses, is just how lonely the road can be after graduation.  A lot of recent college graduates I’ve talked to have said the same thing.  They just didn’t know how hard and lonely it would be!

Think about it:  The push in college is not only to get your degree so that you can get that dream job, but to invest in wonderful, life-long friends.  But guess what?  When graduation day comes, the friends usually disperse all over as the Lord calls them separate ways.  Sure, we remain friends, albeit from a distance, but what do we do when we find ourselves in a completely new place with no friends and no connections?  Who do we connect with?  Who do we befriend?

Those who walk into ministry as singles face this in an especially potent way.  As the Lord calls us to new territory where we know no one, we can face deep loneliness.  Often times, we don’t have the opportunity to go serve with our best friend or with our closest loved ones.  (Maybe it’s just me, but I think that this applies to others too.  If you agree, can I get a shout out down below?)  Granted, the role of the single adult in the Church and the Kingdom of God are important and vital.  It is a key calling, but it is a hard and lonely one.

Yet despite the loneliness that can come with the calling to ministry, God is always present and always with us.  Even when the loneliness is overwhelming, He IS there!  We are given an opportunity to press into Him in a unique ways and to depend on Him more fully.  The challenge is will we take the opportunity and actually do it?

Here’s the other thing: even though ministry and being a vocational minister is a lonely road, we’re not meant to walk it alone.  I challenge those of you in ministry to reach out to someone in your church or area whom you can befriend.  Share life with them and together seek the Lord encouraging one another in the ministry and in the Lord.  We are not meant to live or minister alone. And though we may feel lonely, we are not alone!

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Believing Others Value You

One of the greatest lessons to learn, regardless of when, is believing other people when they tell you that they care about you, love you, and value you.  This is also one of life’s hardest lessons when you have to believe people when they say these things, not for anything you do or give, but simply for being you.

This is one of the things that I tend to struggle to believe.  Life tends to demand so much of us and it is tempting to think that people only hang around us because they want something from us, something in return for their friendship.  It is easy to become a relational cynic.  At one point in my life I was stuck in that place.  But God continues to break down the walls and the remnants of my cynicism.  He continues to teach me how to love people for who they are and take joy in their friendship just because they are who they are, rather than because of something I can get out of it.  Not only that but He continues to show me that others can feel the same about me.  Others can love me for who I am and take joy in my friendship because of who I am, not just because I have something to offer or give them.

To some of you, this may sound like a no brainer, but for others this may be something you have faced before or currently face.  For all of us, being loved and appreciated and considered a blessing just for who we are is a great gift.  Even if we don’t see this in our lives presently, or in the lives of those around us, there is one who always loves us.  Our God loved us enough to save us from our sin even when we were utterly lost in it.  He sent his son Jesus to take the punishment we deserved.  He freely gives us the gift of salvation if we believe in Him.  My prayer for you, reader, is that even if you doubt the love of others for you, that you would begin to grasp the great love that God has for you and that in understanding God’s love for you your doubts concerning the love of others would fade as well.

I am still learning this lesson, but by the grace and mercy of God I am learning it and believing it more and more each day.

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