Friday, July 26, 2013

Mission? Transition!

I've probably washed enough dishes to fill the Grand Canyon, served enough breakfast tacos to feed every inhabitant of the State of Rhode Island, and Merry Maids has nothing on me for numbers of toilets cleaned.  "Why would anybody do such a thing?", you ask. 

Over the last 17 years I've met religious leaders, literally, from the four corners of the world.  I've made dear friends by the boatload. Many come to Cross Roads yearly. We swap stories and share Christ and our lives.  Several women have come "with child" only to return with their child in tow. I am blessed to watch them grow.  A youth pastor who lost a toddler, a budding trio of pre-teen guitarists, a parent volunteer going through a divorce, some sr. high "clowns" in training, a young woman with cancer, a potential author needing encouragement, a depressed empty nester, a teenage 'cutter', God sends them all all, adults, children and youth.   I am blessed to share their joy, sadness, hope, faith and love as they pause briefly at the Cross Roads.  I watch kids pass through these gates and journey from goofy junior high schoolers to confident adults leaving for jobs, college, marriage, or the armed forces. It makes me cry to say good-bye.

But, life is change. Transition or die - or at least get left behind. 

I am not as young as I used to be and putting in those long physically demanding hours have worn me down a bit.  It's time to pass the torch to a new, younger, and more energetic generation, so they can experience the absolute JOY that is Cross Roads.  Cross Roads has been my life and for now I will continue as director trusting God to show me who is to follow me and how. But, change is in the air.

I am in a major transition right now between the first ministry God called me to at Cross Roads Retreat and the second, the book He called me to write, Stand at the Cross Roads.  You would think that after watching God vanquish every obstacle that stood in the way of His building the camp and then experiencing His abundant blessings through it, that I would be an old pro at being ready for whatever lies before me in a new ministry.  Not!  While I am apprehensively excited about what God has in store for me, I find myself consumed once again with self-doubt, insecurity, fear of rejection and even sadness at letting go at Cross Roads.  

When I wrote Stand at the Cross Roads I was turned down by a prominent Christian publisher who said the book promoted divorce. That rejection re-ignited my worst fears. I was on the firing line for years, enduring criticism, backbiting, gossipy naysayers, modern Pharisees, and most debilitating of all, rejection by many family and friends who thought I was either a women's libber gone mad, a trouble maker, man-hater, or just plain crazy. So, I’m not too excited about stirring all that up again.

My path led me to the Cross Roads, and for 17 years I have been faithful to, and been healed through this ministry, but I also know you don't say 'no' to God.  Plus, if you're not making waves, you're probably not riding in God's wake! 

When recently asked why I wrote Stand at the Cross Roads, I said, “It’s simple.  There seems to be a common belief that God no longer does anything spectacular in ordinary lives.  My story shatters that misconception and proves that God is still a faithful, prayer answering God.” That is the message God wants me to help Him get out there.  No other.

So, here we go – me and God – round two!

1 comment:

Eric said...

Sister Hilda has long maintained a ministry practice that I find more rewarding than standing behind a pulpit. It involves getting your hands dirty and can even include things like washing dishes and cleaning toilets. I believe that those involved in pulpit ministry can benefit greatly from "getting their hands dirty" and thus become better equipped to lead their congregations to do the same.

One of the greatest blessings I receive each year is at least one pilgrimage to Cross Roads to engage in servanthood ministry – and yes, that has even included cleaning the toilets! I am grateful to God that He placed the vision of Cross Roads on the heart of my sister-in-Christ and then provided Hilda with the resources to bring it to fruition. But then, doesn’t He always? Our God is faithful; it is we who are often found lacking in this regard.

Stand at the Cross Roads is an outstanding account of one woman’s struggle to bring a God-given vision into reality amid a myriad of human struggles. So much of what Sister Hilda chronicled struck a chord in my own heart as those same struggles are the ones I have had to deal with all my life, as well. No doubt you, too, will be able to identify with her story. That’s why I heartily recommend her book as required reading for anyone seeking to grow in faith.