Becoming an Ex

Becoming an Ex

Only 1 week left, technically 2 days, before my parish ministry position ends as a full-time youth minister. I will be an ex-youth minister.

As I said in my last entry I’ve gone through a whirlpool of emotions but the greatest are sadness and joy.

If you’re familiar with StrengthsFinders you’ll be familiar with my Top 5 – Belief, Responsibility, Connectedness, Self-Assurance, and Activator. A simple, one-sentence summary would be that I tend to act on something that I firmly believe in, network with others to make it happen because I know I can, and then take full responsibility when it fails (sounds a little prideful; I’m a work in progress.

Because of some of these traits, I find it difficult to detach myself from anything I’ve started and become frustrated with myself when these things fail on any level, internalizing the blame. This new journey of breaking away from ministry has been very difficult but a learning experience in detachment.

A wonderful priest once said that even a ‘good thing’ can be detrimental to our growth if we are too attached. Ministry, for me, has become that ‘good thing’. I worked a 3-day retreat a few weeks ago and had to follow a script of questions for our self-introductions: Where do you work and what are your hobbies were 2 of those questions in which I answered, “I’m a full-time youth minister who’s hobby is ministry”.

If I’m going to be honest – ministry became an addiction. I loved how good I felt when I saw kids come to know Christ. It’s like watching your child take their first steps or say their first word. You’re filled with pride and joy. All good things but, as I’m learning and working through self-reflection, can also be vainglory.

I love the Lord with all my heart (at least as much as this sinful girl can) but stepping back from ministry, detaching from the young people and an amazing team of adults that I love so much, I pray that becoming an “ex” will humble my spirit and reset my soul.

Are there any other ‘ex’s out there?
Does my story resonate?

Pray for me as I pray for you.

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