Sometimes I don’t feel very spiritual…there, I said it. It’s true…off and on throughout our marriage, I’ve questioned whether what I’m doing is actually “advancing God’s Kingdom.” Is it profitable, or should I do something else?
This week, June 29, Brad and I will celebrate 21 years of marriage. That number is CRAZY to me. We have served in every area imaginable at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Plainview, Texas. I always knew I’d marry a pastor and that we would serve in a local church…but throughout the span of 21 years, I never imagined how my life would be challenged, how much I’d grow in my love for Christ and my love for others. Or that we’d find ourselves where we are today, leading and loving the most humble and giving people I’ve ever met. And yet, in the middle of such a great life, I’ve continually found myself questioning my role. Does what I’m doing matter? Is it really enough for me to love Brad and serve him and our family? Is it enough that I show up on Sundays and hug those I run into and pray for people God puts on my heart? Too often I’ve felt like I could be doing more, and I’ve questioned whether I’m making a difference.
God so graciously spoke His truth to my heart a few weeks ago concerning this issue. I was once again in my cycle of feeling unimportant and useless. I was reading in Malachi, and I came across the verses in 3:13-15:
‘Your words have been arrogant against Me,’ says the Lord. ‘Yet you say, “What have we spoken against You?” You have said, “It is vain to serve God; and what profit is it that we have kept His charge, and that we have walked in mourning before the Lord of hosts? So now we call the arrogant blessed; not only are the doers of wickedness built up but they also test God and escape.’
You see, after reading that I realized my words have been arrogant against God. Who am I to say my work isn’t enough, to question if what I’m doing is vain or profiting God’s Kingdom? Brad and I, to the best of our ability, have prayed and listened to God’s direction. We’ve lived in such a way that our family is surrendered to Christ. And in this obedience life is found. In this obedience God produces abundance. I quickly repented for my arrogant words toward God and asked Him to renew my mind.
I write this post not to get any accolades or reassurance to my place in the church, but to encourage you, the reader.
I can’t help believing more people than just me have ever felt this way. I think in general women question their place and whether what they’re doing is making a difference, and what I want to say to you is yes! Yes, it is! When we are listening to the Holy Spirit and following His lead, what He’s asking us to do is not in vain. It is for a purpose. It’s to advance His Kingdom.
Each diaper you change, each paper you grade, each dinner you make, each hug you give, each prayer you pray, each text of encouragement that you send, each word of affirmation you give to your husband or your child or your friend. It matters, it’s changing lives, it’s impacting this world for Christ, and it’s not in vain.
And our service at church…wow, what an impact it’s making in our community. Over 80% of our members serve in our church. That number is unheard of. I promise you, God sees where you’re giving, and He says it is not in vain.
We just finished a week at our Catalyst Youth Camp. As I watched countless sponsors love and serve on over 140 of our teens, my heart was overwhelmed with gratitude, admiration, and appreciation.
Each sponsor not only took a week’s worth of vacation, they also paid their own way to go to camp. It was a huge sacrifice and a huge commitment—one I understand and one I’ve embraced many times throughout the years. The life of a Christian is one of sacrifice and commitment. It’s laying down one’s own agenda to love and serve others. It’s something you don’t fully understand until you’ve fully surrendered to Christ and His word. And this work, this way of living, this life of surrender is not done in vain. It’s done out of obedience, and it advances God’s Kingdom.
So let’s keep being women who hear the voice of God and obey His calling, and let’s stay in a place of humility where we don’t question our calling, where we agree with God’s word, that what we’re doing is making a difference. It is changing this world for Christ. We all look different; our callings and careers are different. It’s the beauty of Christ. What a gift we are to this world.
This post was written by Julie Snellgrove. To read more about her, click here.