Welp. The water looks cold and frigid, so I guess I’ll jump on in.
True story: when I stepped back from ministry it was a relief. Don’t get me wrong, it coincided with one of the more painful chapters of my life, but there was also a sense of finally being free from the expectations and anticipation of rejection that inevitably come with standing at the front of a room and talking about your life & Jesus.
It’s been a while now, and every now and then people ask me – when will you teach again? Counsel again?
The question makes me feel afraid. But it’s fear that’s really just pride. I’m scared of what people will think. I’m scared no one will sign up . I don’t want anyone to think that I think I’m ‘good enough’ to counsel or teach. It doesn’t matter if I think it’s faithfulness, because people might think it’s self-promoting.
And if I’m not careful, what people might think my motives are become more important than what they actually are. I feel people looking at me, wondering if I’m ashamed of raising my hand and saying it’s time.
The truth is – I’m not ashamed.
I’m not ashamed of the Gospel of which I am a servant by the gift of God’s grace, given me through the working of His power. I’m not ashamed that, though I am the least of all the saints, this grace has been given to me: to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ.
And I’m sort of tired of behaving otherwise.
So, even though I’m afraid, and even though I’ll have to fearfully anticipate the empty inbox of no one signing up for anything, I’ll still just push down on the mouse button. And I’ll trust Him.
I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to working for the church. But I know this – there is only so long you can hold back your design. I couldn’t hold it back any more this past year, so a small group of women and I started meeting in my living room, and I got to unpack the things God was sharing with me. I’ve become rusty in counseling, rusty in teaching, but refined in grieving. So, that’s what we focused on.
And with their help, I’m ready to invite others into this conversation about pain and loss. So, I’ll be leading a 6 week class on disappointment and loss starting in November.
And I’m ready to start sitting across from women each week and listening and loving and sharing the same grace that has kept me all these years. So, I’ll be opening up a few hours a week for counseling clients.
You can sign up for both or neither here: www.fabienneharford.com
Maybe, I’ll look foolish if no one signs up. Maybe, I’ll have to work through insecurity and rejection. But hey, at least I’ll be faithful.
And these days, that feels like more than enough.