It was a jam packed 2 days filled with 18 hours of car time and lots of giggles and napping.
I had no time to really look at or choose the break out sessions I wanted to go to until the morning of the conference. Since there were no blatant breakouts about outreach I chose the volunteer culture breakout in the morning and caring for care ministries in the afternoon.
The morning session was good, not what I expected though. They were mostly question and answer but the leader made a great point about caring for your volunteers. I was excited because one of her suggestions is exactly what Washington Project is doing for the Odyssea volunteers at church in the next few months. But by the end of it I was so hungry I was shaking so I was just ready to be out of there for lunch.
After lunch was the caring for care ministries breakout. They were mostly talking about benevolence funds, hospital visits and similar things, nothing really like what Washington Project is doing and barely a mention of any of their international outreach efforts. But the leader got up and he said he would open it for questions in a minute but first he wanted to check and see how our hearts were.
He offered up their care ministries volunteers to pray with us and speak to us about any struggles we might be going through and he also wanted to just talk about the state of our hearts.
He asked us if we knew, I mean really KNEW that we are loved and cared for by God not because of our performances but because we are sons and daughters of a King. He asked how the people we were surrounding ourselves with, the things we were exposing ourselves too were working for us. He talked about guarding our hearts and how it was so important to pull weeds the minute they started growing in our hearts.
Then he said it.
It's easier to pull weeds than uproot oak trees
Whoa. Did you feel that? I mean, it makes sense right? It's so OBVIOUS.
But sometimes I need to hear the obvious and have it slap me around a little.
Because I've been struggling with how now that the core of the issues have been identified it's time for them to all roll up neatly in a little box and *poof* go away. But it's hard work defining the lies I believe and combating them with the truth. I feel adrift and unsure of if the truth is really the truth even.
I realized in the midst of all this other learning and leadership stuff that my job right now (personally, not including you know professionally or in my role at church) is to uproot the damn oak trees that have grown from weeds that I (and others) have allowed to be planted in my heart and life.
The oak trees have always infected my life but now they are infecting every single aspect to the point where I couldn't function even and I'm taking steps to uproot them. I just need to keep working, keep plodding away and keep believe that I am valuable and worth it because I am the daughter of the King not because of what I do or don't do for anyone around me.
Perry also said during the afternoon session that we can't expect what took 20 years to break to heal overnight. That there will be people in our churches that take a lifetime to heal, and that's ok. My problem has lately been now that I know where the wound is (and believe it's a valid one) I just want to slap a band-aid on it and move on. But you can't uproot an oak tree in a few minutes so I'm going to try to stop trying to uproot mine in a few weeks.