I have always taken pride in being a detailed oriented person. I love serving others well and for me, this often means checking to make sure that every detail is just right. One of my favorite aspects about serving in this ministry is when after months of planning meetings and fine-tuning, we get to see our guests enjoying the variety of the activities we offer at our conferences. I know that when I have all the details in order, people will have a better opportunity to get reconnected with God and their family and friends.
I love knowing that I am serving God and others by using my gifts. However, God opened up my eyes and allowed me to see how something I tightly grasped onto to as a strength was actually becoming my biggest weakness. A few weekends ago, due to a series of unforeseen circumstances, I had the rug swept right from under my feet and all my detailed plans were shattered like broken dishes.
I had felt like a tornado had come and swallowed up all my time and I was left without any foundation. As I walked into work with the many unfinished projects awaiting my arrival, the best way to describe the feeling was walking into class on test day know full well that you did not study hard enough for the exam.
From that moment, every chance I had, I prayed, “Lord I can only do this with your strength and guidance, not mine- please help me!” For one of our most popular conferences, it seemed like every activity, event, seminar, etc. I had in my hands did not go the way I had hoped. I was completely unprepared, and the reality of my situation was that my best was simply not good enough. Maybe you can relate or have found yourself in a similar situation.
By the end of the weekend, I had felt like a complete failure. Where I wanted to step up and be a good servant I had let my coworkers down. As exhausted and shattered as I was, I went to the last session of the conference in an attempt to finish the weekend “well”. The speaker taught on God’s grace and the scripture that the Holy Spirit kept bringing to my mind was 2 Corinthians 12:9,
“But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
I realized at that very moment how much I depended on the illusion of control. There is an overwhelming sense of comfort I receive when I having all the details together. When we take a step back and look at the big picture God was, is, and always will be the one who is fully in control.
Being detailed oriented is a great thing, but when that becomes my dependency, foundation, and identity that “good quality” takes the place of God leaving me begging for disaster. God allowed me to see in all the chaos that my biggest strength is my complete and total dependency on Him. Especially in light of the gospel, what an amazing gift it is that I don’t have to earn God’s acceptance or love. It brings tears to my eyes knowing that God loves me so much and wants me to have a relationship with him so badly that he didn’t want anything to get in the way of that- including myself. God wants that for you too.
My prayer has been for God to continue to work this way in my life and allow me to rejoice like Paul did in the midst of chaos. I challenge you to learn from my mistakes and ask yourself where are you finding your comfort? Maybe it’s even comfort from being physically comfortable! I encourage you to think about this question deeply today and ask God to open your eyes. Take hope in that His grace is sufficient and He will be with us with every step.
Written by Kori Warren: Kori Warren serves as a Guest Services Representative and recent graduate of Rutgers University in New Brunswick with a BA in Planning and Public Policy. She is passionate about serving the Lord and showing His love for the people around her.