We have a new youth pastor at church. Nobody really told me. Or introduced us. I volunteer with the student ministry, which means working closely with the youth pastor. So this is mildly problematic.
The other lady I volunteer with asked me to help make 12 cards pretty last minute (by this I mean this Tuesday) in the middle of finals week for some goody bags they planned to give out. That nobody told me we were giving out. But I agreed, because I love the girls and I love painting and it was very good stress relief.
Then the lady asked me to have them done by Thursday instead of Sunday morning. And I said no. I had two finals yesterday. I of course explained this. She asked if I could have them done by today. I said no. I have a 10 question homework assignment and a final tomorrow morning to study for. I’m not going to see Christmas lights with my family tonight because I have so much going on. And, a little unrelated, earlier this semester I finally realized it’s okay to say no to people. That I have to quit bending over every which way to make everyone else happy. I’m not that flexible, probably because I don’t work out.
Anyways. She texted me back a little miffed. And maybe I’m taking it too personally. Because I do that sometimes. But she said to just quit worrying about it, she’d just get the new youth pastor’s wife to help her. Don’t worry about it. She’ll take care of it. And maybe I’m imagining her tone a little off, but she seemed upset with me. As if I, as always, had let her down. As if she was picking up slack not just on my end, but for eighty people.
I had already painted the cards, I just had to letter around five more of them. And I wanted to scream, and I wanted to cry. Don’t you see me, trying my hardest? Don’t you see me, doing my best? I don’t get to go to work and read or watch videos all day. I don’t get to take breaks just to make cards sometimes because my grades, my finals, are important to me. I don’t get to change my schedule at command–between work and school, my schedule is full and dominated by other people. My classes and my job and my homework all require my full attention.
I didn’t say any of that. But her words, her tone, the way the sentences came together, it all still stings a little. It makes me sad. Because here I am, trying my hardest. And my hardest was not good enough for her. And I’m actively dedicating the free time I have to the student ministry. But the student ministry does not even bother to tell me of a pastor change. It all stings a little.
And I wish I could honestly say that I turned to God and prayed and realized that I’m not here to please all of these people. That I’m just here to do His work. I didn’t. I mean, I know all that. But I didn’t remember it in the moment. I just cried a little and kept doing my homework. Looked at the cards I had made. I still have them. (If anyone wants a fun Christmas card from a stranger let me know, I have stamps, envelopes, and a surplus of them.)
And ya know, I don’t know why any of this is happening. I don’t know why I constantly feel left out or let down or like a lost puppy that these people just have to deal with. I don’t. But I do know this. Every time something like this happens, I’m growing in my faith. I can feel God using it to push me higher. Because, okay, maybe I didn’t immediately pray this time. Maybe I just cried. And maybe it still stings a little. But I’m not letting this series of events, these things, define me. I’m not pushing myself to be better for these people. I’m just meditating. And knowing that it’s okay, because God knows I’m doing my best. And if He knows that, it doesn’t matter if anyone else does.