Wednesday, December 06, 2006

My Hard Thing




My previous post probably left most of you wondering what the point was.

Simply put I was indirectly stating my “Hard Thing”.


My family recently joined a baptist church and upon doing that, I was thrown out of my comfort zone. Affiliating ourselves with the church is not in and of itself hard. The ramifications of that decision, however, is what has turned into my seemingly impossible “hard thing”.


For the first time four weeks ago, I found myself doing something I had been told would never happen. I was in a classroom with about one hundred youths ages 12 to 18. each week, chatter about their latest boyfriend, and last night's football game escalates to an almost intolerable level. I had been told to be there to give a different view and in a sense regenerate the culture. I wasn't ready, but I went anyway.


But I listened when You said to go
And I set out in spite of my fears

About truth mixed with my imperfection
And the question of what to say when I got here...
What should I tell them when
They're thirsty Lord
My cup is empty Lord
Come and lead me here in this place
Cuz I'm honest, yeah, but I'm unprepared
And I'm just plain afraid
(emphasis mine)


Those verses from “What Should I Tell Them” sums up what I've been facing. The difference is they're not thirsty and my cup isn't quite empty.


The discussions held in the small groups are mere milk, yet no one yearns for more.

I offer meat as often as possible, yet my voice is constantly drowned out – often times glossed over or laughed at. My attempts at trying to show a different angle are blocked at every turn, I seemingly fail each time.


Failure – the thing that scares me more than apathy, a democrat controlled congress, and “normal” guys combined; The one thing that can make me cry every time it strikes. Yet, I seem to repeat it every Sunday morning when my attempts to speak are blocked.


Out side the small group I am drowned out by the chatter and cliques that have been formed. There's no way to jump into a conversation, they seem to speak in Greek.


My Hard thing is two-fold: 1. the constant reminder of blocked attempts and 2. trying to get through the barrier.


My hard thing cannot and will not overcome me, I need to overcome it. My hard thing cannot remain impossible, at some point a hole will be made in it's impervious structure, and it shall be overcome.


17 comments:

Kristin said...

I had wondered about your last post and what it all meant. Thanks for being honest and sharing this.

You said, My hard thing cannot and will not overcome me, I need to overcome it. My hard thing cannot remain impossible, at some point a hole will be made in it's impervious structure, and it shall be overcome.

That's the spirit Kierstyn! With that sort of attitude, you'll go far in life. I will also pray for you and that the hearts of these teens will be open and willing to hear what you say!

Detective J said...

That's really hard, but you're doing the right thing. I will be praying for you. Thanks for opening your heart to us. God is definitely pleased and will reward your for your perseverance.

Sarah said...

"The difference is they're not thirsty and my cup isn't quite empty."

I can totally indentify, Kierstyn. You'll be in my prayers, I know that can be really tough. Keep up the good work. Sometimes it just takes a consistent example to achieve a breakthrough. Continue to let your light shine, and enjoy the 'meat' whenever you can get it.

God bless!

Holly said...

I'm sorry to hear that the kids you're seeing are showing so much disinterest in what you have to bring them, Kierstyn. But I'm so glad to hear you're being faithful where God's called you right now, faithful to be the person He's called you to be, regardless of whether you're with people who agree with you or appreciate your input.
That *is* a hard thing.
I've experienced a little bit of that before, but it was when I was younger and I didn't really know how to handle it. There weren't a whole lot of kids in the church we were going to, but it was as if *I* didn't really exist. ;)
I wasn't like them...and they didn't really want to be like me... ;) When you're 12 years old and dread going to church every Sunday, it's hard.
So I can sympathize. It's hard. It's really hard.
Keep walking in faithfulness, girl. He'll get you through it...
*hugs*
(apologies for being so out of touch lately, too, btw...)

M Drye said...

Edison. 2,000. Lightbulb.
Keep trying. It will work.

Anonymous said...

Hey,

I just wanted to post two songs that you may have heard or may not have heard. They may serve as some wonderful encouragement. They certainly help me.

I Won't Be Afraid

Verse 1

I am a messenger
Made by the Lord.
I have a message
For all the world.
Would all the world listen up now?
I have something to say.
It is very important
And I'm so afraid.
But with His help...

Chorus

I won't be afraid of their faces.
I won't worry about what they'll think.
And if they should choose
To throw the first stones
Then I'll stand up
Speak up
And lift up His name
And I won't be afraid.

Verse 2

I am a messenger
Made by the Lord.
I'm giving the message
to all the world.
Yet they are jeering and mocking me too.
I'm trying to speak.
Its so very important.
I was so afraid,
but with His help...

Chorus

I won't be afraid of their faces.
I won't worry about what they'll think.
And if they should choose
To throw the first stones
Then I'll stand up
Speak up
And lift up His name
And I won't be afraid.


The Chorus to Third Day's "Keep on Shinin."

keep on, keep on shinin'
wherever you may be
keep on, keep on shinin'
for all the world to see




Keep on shinin!! You will be in my prayers! :D

Matt A. said...

*decides to try again, net went out last time*

I was in a similar situation about eight months ago when my family began attending a new church and I also found myself in a "Youth Group" for the first time in my life. While I still struggle at times, one thing I've found: Don't conform and don't give up.

As my dad would say, keep pushing on, even when all the cows are trying to get away. :D God will bless you for your faithfulness, no matter how many times an attempt to speak is blocked out. One thing you might consider: If you offer "meat" and they don't listen, it may not be you or your words that are failing, it may be their ears. What I found, is that once they realized I had something that they could learn from, they began to listen.

But yeah, just keep on pushing on and let the Lord lead. You will be in my prayers and He will give you strength and guide your paths.

You'll be in my prayers and keep pushing on, even when the cows are going the wrong way. :D

God bless! :D

Detective J said...

"Keep on shinin'" from third day is one of my all time favorite songs.

Jordan Greene said...

Thanks for sharing, it was a big help.
-Jordan

Kaitlin said...

Hey Kierstyn! :D I know oh so well what it's like to be 'new'. I'll be praying for you and that the others will take an interest in what you're saying.

~Kaitlin - not the Krazy one. Kristin is Krazy. She's so Krazy, she left the first comment... :D

Jered G. said...

Hey there KP, I had forgot you had a blog. I understand what you are going through at that church. Here at college it is somewhat like that, but more on the political apathy end. Only 4 guys voted, out of 30, and they just did not care about the election. Whenever I try to talk about politics or anything, they start some other topic. You'll get through it.

Becky said...

just wanted to let you know I've been thinking about and praying for you... =)

I've been going through the same thing recently with kids from church and among local homeschoolers. It's hard when the very people who are supposed to support and lift you up are the very ones who are consumed with petty things. =/

Just remember, And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

*hugs*

...me

Bethany S. said...

First of all, let me say how much I admire you for accepting your "hard thing," and being so determined to overcome it. And also for being so willing to share it with everyone. Your post was so inspiring to me. I think I am in a situation somewhat similar to yours. Except, I am not new to my church, like you are. But I feel the spiritual dryness and lack of maturity in my class, often very acutely. I have gone to Sunday School without a lot of expectations for spiritual depth, and at times that has bothered me more than others. But I tried not to let it get to me too much. Recently however, it has been bothering me more, due to some changes our class went through and some things that were heavy on my heart. The timing of your post was amazing. It was so inspiring and in a way, such a "wake-up call" for me to do my best to regenerate the culture of my class, offer what I have, try to promote profitable discussion. And that is really not my cup of tea! I'm really pretty shy usually, and it's so much easier to sit back and let eveyrone else do the talking. But that's what "do hard things" is all about. And in a way, even though I'm not new to my church, I still know what you're talking about there. I'm very much on the "outside loop," being pretty much the only homeschooled high schooler in the whole church. It's certainly not easy (or fun) breaking into cliques and such. But then, when you're already on the "outside," in a sense, what have you got to lose?

Thanks so much Kierstyn! You're such an encouragement! Keep up the hard work! I know God will bless you for it.

Anonymous said...

Kierstyn,

I know exactly what you're talking about. But you'll put alot of unneeded stress on yourself if you keep thinking it's your fault they don't listen. If they don't *WANT* to care, then there's nothing you can do to make them care. It's their choice. Just do what's right in the mean time, act "normal" in the right way and if someone is going to be interested, then they will.

I dunno about failure being worse than apathy. At least you can try and fail, but if you're apathetic... or maybe I'm misunderstanding you. Ah well, personal preference no doubt. I don't take well to losing myself.

~Jarret

Kierstyn Paulino said...

*clarification on the apathy part...

I was referring to my own life, I can actively choose to not be apathetic. However, failing at certain times or in certain ways is inevitable. :P

Hope that makes a little more sense. Thanks everyone for the encouragement!

KP

Grace Joan said...

Kierstyn,
I was encouraged and spurred on by this post! Continue to 'Do hard things.'
We will all fail, we will all fall, but He will not. Our almighty God will forever hold us safe and secure in his loving arms!
Praise his glorious name!
Love,
Grace

Moriah Strickland said...

Wow, I know what you're going through. Sometimes it's hard to stick out and be different, but I believe you are doing the right thing. Keep up the good work! I'll be praying for you that God would open up the kids hearts and that you'll have the right words to say to them.