Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Desire

When I started seminary in South Dakota they made us pay money to take a whole battery of tests, including a spiritual gifts inventory.  I’ve taken them before.  Often these tests determine that I am “pastoral.”  I also found out that I was an INFP on the Myers-Briggs.  However, last summer when I took it again, I was an ESTJ.  Go figure? 

I like taking these types of tests.  I don’t treat them as the end all clue to my uniqueness but they are fun to take.  I wish sometimes though that the Holy Spirit would administer a test and tell you the results.  Surely, that test would be accurate.  Surely, you could plan your life’s work and mission around such a test. 

If you read my blogs at all, you’ve probably picked up that I have a fair amount of frustration.  I am an excellent teacher, love to teach, but have no class to teach.  The spiritual gift test is right, I am pastoral, but I have no sheep to pastor.  I am an excellent preacher, but I have no place to preach.  I am a good writer – for that at least I have the blogs.  I am an excellent administrator but I have no place to administrate.  I’m frustrated.

I’ve been told to be patient.  I’ve been told to wait on God.  I’ve been told God’s timing is perfect.  All those wonderful things I’ve been told are true and correct.  But like the woman who desperately wants a child and her biological clock is ticking, remembering my age is like a blaring alarm going off in my head.  I am getting old.  As I woke up this a.m. I had aches and pains.  How much longer can I wait? 

My husband has said to me several times in the last few days, I don’t know whether to pray for a job for you or not.  Sometimes I think you want one and other times I’m not sure.  I replied with no one will hire me because I’m too old.  If my experience is truth, I’m right about this.  I then said to him, I just want to feel like I matter.  I want to feel like the gifts that I have and the intelligence God gave me, are useful.  In other words, I want to take this love I have for people, this pastoral gift and use it to bless people. 

A few months ago I had the opportunity to minister to a wonderful group of women.  I told my story and shared my life with them.  Then I prayed with them.  For 3 more hours, one after another they came to me one by one.  I prayed, I prophesied, I gave them the jewelry off my neck, I cried, we hugged.  It was a wonderful evening.  I said to a friend that I loved each one of those women as they came for prayer.  God gave me gentle and affirming words.  Even when there was a correction in the word, I delivered it as gently and affirming as possible.  My friend, said: “That’s the pastoral gift in you.” 

I think my greatest gift, if you want to call it a gift, is to be real.  I take it as a great compliment when people say to me “your real.”  I’m being real on Kingdom Bloggers today.  I’m frustrated.  I think of a song I heard as a kid:

"I've a yearning in my heart that cannot be denied, It's a longing that has never yet been satisfied.  I want the world to know the One who loves them so, Like a flame it's burning deep inside.  To be used of God, to sing, to speak, to pray; to be used of God to show someone the way.  I long so much to feel the touch of His consuming fire; to be used of God is my desire." 


Liz Kay said...

I appreciate your pastoral gift. You've ministered to me personally via FB and your various blogs.

I also appreciate your gift of being real. That is a rare gift. You always manage to validate the feelings we all share as HUMAN Christians.

David-FireAndGrace said...

Wow Joyce - great blog. I know the frustration.

My mini-book is directed at folks like you. It is meant to provide significance and get people going in their gifting, not be shoved into pre-made slots in the church ministries. :(

Here's a link - let's see if we can get you connected. :)


Tracy said...

My heart goes out to you as I read your frustration. I agree with you that God gave you these gifts and desires to use you! I'll continue praying that He'll open up the doors and show you where He wants you to go. By the way, I know that you already know this, but just wanted to remind you that Moses didn't start leading the Israelites out of bondage until he was 80 years old.

mja2j said...

The way in which you ARE real is comforting to those around you. Thank you for allowing the Lord to move through you. It is my belief that "in this time" the LORD is moving in so many different ways and you WILL find that spot He has for you.

Joyce Lighari said...

Thanks all - I won't comment further - I have a few years until 80 but I don't think I'll have the vigor of a 40 year old like Caleb. We'll see.

photogr said...

I would think when the time comes you will have the vigor of a 20 year old.

OK so you don't have a flock to pastor to. What you are doing now is Gods will. Just think of the people you have touched allready. Sounds like a ministry to me.

OK I know a church with in a building and a title as well as a salary makes it more real. But the real out out side world needs ones that reach out to those seeking God's grace because they have been turned off with in the church buildings. There are plenty of opportunities to serve God in a community out side of the church.