Time for Me?

As a new member of Nav Encore, I am making the transition from full-time ministry to fewer scheduled hours. But to do that transition well, I find that I need to think about what I value at this season of my life and what restores me to feel energized and be effective in ministry.
 
Recently, I was challenged to think about how my values affect my choices. The challenge came in the form of a question: “Is it okay to value what is important to me, to focus on my own needs so that I can be healthy—healthy to serve and love others without feeling guilty?”
 
My key verse for life has been Galatians 2:20 (NLT): “ My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
 
I also have thought a lot about 2 Corinthians 4:7 (NLT): “. . . but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.”
 
How do I understand my own needs when Christ is living in and through me?
 
As a human being, at times I feel like a fragile clay jar. In Christ, I sense power and direction from God. As I am growing older, I have a strong desire to be intentional and purposeful—a good finisher of this life race. Am I being self-centered to slow my pace; say no to some activities and even some people with needs?
 
When I moved from full-time ministry to Nav Encore, I was looking forward to having more time to give to music pursuits; serving in the community; making a quilt; spending time with my 91-year-old sister; making new friends; and so forth. Can I do these things and do the ministry God wants me to have in the lives of women and families?
 
I believe the answer is yes! The apostle Paul’s exhortation in Philippians 2:4 assures me I can do both: “Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too” (NLT). God built these values into me—they are part of who He created me to be. I believe He rejoices in seeing me pursue activities that refresh me as much as when I am “doing ministry.”
 
I am looking at my schedule and making some adjustments. I have found I function best when I can spend focused time with people. I love having lunch with a friend and talking about spiritual things or lessons learned. I also need time alone each day—time with God and time to do some basic life activities such as cooking, potting a plant, or writing an email.
 
The challenge is to listen to the Spirit and do what He is leading me to do. After years of living by a schedule, this is a new way of thinking for me. But it is one that leads to freedom, restoration, and fruitfulness.


Sharon Turner recently moved from Metro Detroit to Iowa to be near her family. She has ministered to women in Iowa, the Chicago area, and for the past 18 years in Metro Detroit. Now with Nav Encore, Sharon is enjoying getting to know her family and making new friends as she lives in the ranch condo God provided for her in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 

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