This past week seemed to be a week that would never end. It was full of “Chelsea, you can’t miss my game, your like my second mom”, “Chelsea, please call me back”, “Chelsea, you never slow down, your going to get sick”, “Chelsea, I am frustrated with you”, “Chelsea, I need to talk to you about these struggles”, “Chelsea, I drank this past weekend”, “Chelsea, my family lost our house”….
These types of weeks are nothing short of typical in the life of a youth pastor, but this week more than the many that came before it I felt like I was going to absolutely explode. During the course of my last 7 days I felt many emotions, and I want to share those emotions with you in hopes you need to read a blog post just like this and you can relate to it and know you are NOT alone! This past week I felt less than enough, I felt helpless and maybe even a bit hopeless, I felt unworthy, I felt frustrated, I felt alone, I felt overburdened, I felt discouraged, and most of all I felt broken.
As I reflect on these feelings I want you to know that it is TOTALLY normal to feel all of these things. If you are reading this going, “GIRL THAT IS MY LIFE” please realize you, are very normal. In fact, I would argue if you always feel perfect and happy maybe you aren’t in a place with God that you should be, but that’s for another blog. I will disclose to you that as my week was coming to a close and I was heading into Sunday night High School youth group I thought, “Thank you God that this week is almost over.” I have a feeling God laughed a little and you’ll get why as I share the story of my Sunday evening.
My Sunday evening began with a phone call that we weren’t going to have dinner for our Sunday night group which was no problem because we hadn’t went out with the students in a while so I decided a night out with just me and 8 of our HS students smashing pizza would be perfect! As we get there we had one unfortunate event after the other that I wont disclose because I didn’t get permission from my students or their parents to share the details of a night that ended just really rough. I will tell you after it all ended I found my stolen cell phone shattered (Thank you Trader Joe’s office staff and the man who returned it). The point of this blog post is not all the little details that made me want to rip every piece of hair out, and quit ministry forever, my point is I survived and I think God wanted me to share this awful ending to a crazy, overwhelming week because someone else is struggling too.
You see, in the mix of the horrible things and the long nights, and those heart breaking calls, and situations I was in with students this week God was still speaking to me (even if I wanted to cut the phone lines). As I entered the office today, took time to pray, and began reading one of my books, I was given a Bible verse, Isaiah 43:2. This passage was meant for the nation of Israel as God was promising to protect them in their trials, but God was using this passage to remind me that every little thing was going to be just fine. God used this short, powerful passage to remind me that as I walked through the heaviness of this storm with many broken teens that He will carry me through. I want you to know that if you are in a place right now where you are ready to send your two weeks notice to God, I fully understand and so does He, BUT He promises to be right there with you through the pain. I just want you to know, if you are reading this and carrying burdens, pain, heartaches from your students/children/friends/church members, you are hurting and overwhelmed because God gave you a heart like Jesus. You are hurting because you love the way He needs you to love. Just know that as you hurt He is seeing your pain and hearing your prayers and He and He alone, will be with you to the depths of your burdens.
I love you. God loves you. He will be with you always, no matter where you are, the Lord over all will be there with you.