The overwhelming feeling of heaviness washes over me.

I stare at the cross.

I feel conflicted – am I doing what you have called me to do or am I just doing stuff to be doing stuff?

Am I serving you or am I serving myself?

Are you calling me out or calling me in?

To whom much has been given, much is expected.

But how much is too much or is there even such a thing?  Where do we draw the line?

I feel demands on my time and remember that Jesus was scheduled tightly, too.

I feel that I can’t give anymore to my circle of influence and am reminded that many just wanted to touch his robe.

I feel tired but remember that even Jesus had to retreat, had to go to the hill and pray, had to sleep in a boat.

I feel guilty because I want to help everyone who asks and yet I know Jesus didn’t heal them all.

It’s just this stuff I carry today.  And normally I can rest in Him on a Sunday morning and open myself to the message but today, the heaviness washes over me.

Our pastor discusses “Cape Town 2010” and shares stories that make me feel ashamed of my selfishness.  Genocide.  Rape.  People killed for believing in Christ.  And yet hope.  Change.  A commitment to the gospel that I’m not sure I possess.

Would I die for what I believe?  Would I cower like Peter and deny I’m a follower if a gun was pointed to my forehead?  As the image of my family flashes  through my mind, probably I would.  I would deny it.  I think I would do literally anything to stay with them.

And yet I wonder then if this makes my family an idol.  Is there something I need to examine if I doubt I am willing to take a bullet to the head for my faith?

Am I overthinking this too much?  Perhaps.  But I’m not packing my suitcase filled with Bibles and heading off to Afghanistan.

I’m merely raising a family.  A young one.  I am tired.  I want to do so much for this world and light a fire for Christ that burns through generations, but alas,  I am merely raising a family.

“NO.” The voice interrupts my thoughts.  “”NO.”

I stop.  I look around and make sure someone didn’t speak this to me.  No one did.  But someone did.

“You are sharpening arrows.  You are increasing the number in your quiver and your arrows, you are raising them to be deadly ones.  Not a vicious type of deadly but a type of deadly that speaks truth in a world that doesn’t want to hear it.  You are not merely raising a family – no.  You are planting mighty oaks of righteousness and your ministry is in cultivating them until they bear fruit.

Until they can make disciples of all nations,

until they will proudly state they believe,

until they won’t deny me.

Perhaps then you will see the scope of what you are doing but until then, rest in me.  Be still and remember who I am.”

“Who you are?” I wonder.

“God. Yaweh. Wonderful Counselor.  Prince of Peace. Everlasting Father. Mighty God.”

“Why are you speaking only to me?” I ask Him.

“Because you, you dear child, ahh…you.  You are the apple of my eye.  The giggle in my days.  The one I love beyond what you could ever fathom.  You, whose works are beyond well, you who share my love by just being in me.  It’s you I delight in, dear child, and I don’t like to see the enemy grabbing you by the hand and telling you what you aren’t doing in a sea of thoughts that are drowning what you are.”

I’m dumbfounded.  I have to sit for a moment and be sure I’m hearing this correctly.  Is this what I want to hear or is it really Him?

“And furthermore, should anyone ask, I feel exactly the same about the person sitting next to you right now.  And the person next to her.  And him.  It doesn’t ever stop,” He adds.

It’s real.  It’s Him and not me.  The last sentence made me certain.

It’s true that I pour out.  And out. And out.

I want to do so much – I want to take the world by a storm and travel to Africa for mission work.  I want to work in human trafficking. I want to tackle the mistreatment of children.

But it starts here.  Here in my little family who I am hopefully raising to be the change I want to see in the world.  I’m sharpening my arrows so my quiver will be filled with ones that are powerful, ones that are effective.  Ones that are not satisfied with status quo.

What I do does matter.  It may not be traveling through Afghanistan or dying for my faith but I am waging a war against a culture that conflicts with the way I want to raise my children and see temptations at every corner.

And I have Him here to walk with me.  He’s guiding.  Even when I least expect it, He’s there.  Always.

He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” – Isaiah 40:11

There He is – gently leading me when I lose sight, when I get confused about my one true ministry.  He is gently leading.  And I follow.

I’m linking up with sweet Jen from Finding Heaven.  She’s a gem – please go and read her and the other fantastically wonderful writers who are joining her as well.