The Tyranny of “I Should”

A while ago, a friend said to me, “I’d hoped you would participate more in the school activities…eat lunch with us, maybe go to chapel.”

I froze.  My mind whirred with responses, some excuses, some truths:  “The lunches are too expensive.  I forgot.  A lot of the time I’m busy!  Sometimes I’m too socially tired to leave my room because I’m scared I’ll run into someone and have to make small talk!”

Instead, I answered with a more palatable truth.  “I want home to be somewhere where nothing happens.”

My friend stared at me, and I could see their brain desperately trying to understand what I had said.  Finally, still with a confused look on their face, they said, “Okay.”

I agonized about this interaction for DAYS.   Continue reading

Skip to the Empowering Part

I borrowed an epiphany from my brother when I was visiting him for Thanksgiving.  Roy and Idil were giving me a tour of their house when I noticed Half the Sky on one of their bookshelves (I tend to focus on people’s books during house tours).

“I tried to read that, but it was too depressing,” I said.

“Huh,” Idil mused.  “I thought it was supposed to be really empowering.”

“Oh.  I didn’t get very far.  I just really hate reading over and over again about all the ways women are abused throughout the world.  But…maybe I’ll just skip to the empowering parts.”

Roy laughed.  “That’s an interesting idea,” he said.  “Why should we force ourselves to re-experience something we know is bad?  We have the right to give ourselves a break and just get to the good news.”

Yes,” I said fiercely, absolutely confident in my two-seconds-old opinion.  “That is 100% correct.”  Continue reading

Sex Trafficking (3 of 3): Caregiver’s Perspective

The following information comes from information provided by Redeemed Ministries at their weekend conference on Aftercare Training.

Christians, if not careful, can let a healthy passion for ministry turn into a martyr’s complex.

In psychology a person who has a martyr complex, sometimes associated with the term victim complex, desires the feeling of being a martyr for his/her own sake, seeking out suffering or persecution because it either feeds a psychological need, or a desire to avoid responsibility. (Wikipedia)

In pursuit of pleasing God (as though he has not already given us his love), Christians can run themselves ragged, draining their own resources in service to the point that they are no longer useful.  It is only with careful self-awareness that ministers can serve whole-heartedly…because they have made sure to keep their heart whole.  The first step to healthy service is to examine the cost.  Continue reading