how is it with your soul?

Losing your soul is sort of like losing a credit card. You think it it’s in your wallet so you don’t give it much thought until one day you reach for it and can’t find it. The minute you realize it’s gone, you start scrambling to find it, trying to remember when you last used it or at least had it in your possession. No matter what is going on in your life, you stop and look for it, because otherwise major damage could be done. Oh, that we would feel the same sense of urgency when we become aware that we have lost our souls!”

– Ruth Haley Barton

though i don’t want to admit it. i think i feel this way now. in the foreground i’m chugging along and doing what i need to do and… i think i’m doing them well… but unexpected pressure and conflict, and the layers are peeled back and issues hidden by “success” appear.

leading is such a lonely process. and though i practically take pride in being self-sufficient, when things get difficult, i wish there was someone who understood me and the various things i’m balancing. it’s a complicated space. too many people and needs to address. some seemingly at the expense of other needs. i find that i’m seeking… not so much approval… but validation. that what i’ve done is a valid approach given the complexities.

dealing with the complaints and the complainers is… convicting. because i am quick to critique. how many others have i served under or served with where i constantly second guessed their effectiveness or methods? i find myself identifying with both sides here:

Somehow, when I was working in someone else’s field (so to speak), I had lots of theories and, to be completely honest, lots of critiques. Now that I have borne the full weight of responsibility for an organization for a number of years, I have fewer theories, more questions and a greater respect for others who have set out to lead toward a vision. I have discovered that it is so much harder than you think to create something out of nothing. Things happen that you never imagined would happen to you. The lines are much finer, the issues a lot grayer, the people so much harder to figure out, your own foibles so much more real, more deeply ingrained, and more obvious to others than you ever knew.

– Ruth Haley Barton

(emphasis mine)
maybe i haven’t been broken yet. i’ve done too good a job of avoiding it. my pride hasn’t been undone yet. the mystery of this ministry work hasn’t humbled me yet.