This is going to get real, so if you don't want real, move along. :)
In moving back to the states, I knew I had to step back from involvement in nearly everything that had been the norm. Letting go of a lot. Super hard. I was reaching a burn out level and I could see the train wreck up ahead if I didn't stop. The Holy Spirit was smacking me upside the head because I was quickly falling into the trap of being a "poser". (Thanks, TJ, for the book that smacked me in the face! - slight sarcasm included). I know the lingo, the words, the actions, the script - I could easily keep playing a part, while dying a little more in continuing to give without being refueled. This tank was about to be on E and I was going to be stranded!
I needed a break. Desperately. To the point where I was praying some intense things to the Lord to restore. It didn't mean I had stopped loving the people I was privileged to walk alongside of - I did/do. And I miss them. But I am not Jesus - I'm not the end all (though our pride loves to argue with that, no?). I needed some time to be like Jesus and be in solitude.
Moving to a new place does that. There are no connections. I went to church where no one knew my name. That was WEIRD! As strange as that sounds, I needed that. I needed to be a nobody.
And the Lord was restoring. Restoring desire for Him. Restoring joy. Restoring rest.
So I am in a season on pausing. I'm not teaching a Sunday school class. I'm not leading a women's Bible study. I'm not meeting with a small group of girls at youth group. I'm not leading a discipleship class for kids. I'm not teaching in chapel. The play button had to be stopped. (Never mind the fact, thinking of the people associated with each of these activities brings tears to my eyes, because I love them desperately). I've deliberately paused.
A few weeks ago while visiting Virginia, I was talking to my parents and some others about the itch to get involved. The church I've settled in has some INCREDIBLE opportunities - meeting with a person one-on-one to practice English, kid's ministry (shocking, I know!), local/global ministry opportunities, youth group, and more. But not yet. The Lord has continued to speak over me the need to pause and participate. Participate by being involved as a participant. A lot of this is due to the fact I need to build relationships with people, and ministry is an easy place for me to "hide". So instead, I'm choosing to participate in other things for now. Spanish on Monday nights (y'all, that is a story in itself and one of the funniest parts of my week. I've discovered I cannot understand Spanish spoken with a gringo/Texas accent. Whoa!), Ladies Bible Study at church on Tuesdays, Professional women's Bible study on Wednesdays, and possible small group on Thursday. Yep, I'm still a classic over-committer.
The Tuesday study is doing Gideon by Priscilla Shirer. Part of her study is designed to use hashtags (love it!) as a way to summarize each lesson. One of mine from this last week the Lord keeps impressing upon me is, "My season and role right now matters." I have a whole blog post that has been brewing for the past few weeks, but another time.
While this is a new season with totally different roles, they matter. It's a time of pausing and participating. Perfect.