Sometimes I look at my life now and can scarcely believe how things have changed in the past 18 months. In late 2011 and early 2012 I was passionate about meeting up with the elderly in the local nursing home and had started to think about how to better support those involved in overseas mission. I was asking God those daring, hard questions about how He would have Duncan and I serve Him. I operated the church powerpoint most weeks. I loved doing the mission convenor role.
But this year, I've hardly given any of the above a fleeting thought. I surrendered the mission convenor role when Rory was four weeks old as it was plainly obvious I was sinking fast. I haven't done the powerpoint all year as I'm usually feeding in the cry room. Often the only time I'm thinking about older people is when I'm seething about how an outspoken old lady has said something judgemental or just plain dumb about parenting.
My main goal this year is to get well, keep my family alive and just get through the day.
A few months ago, I tried to join the Bible study group that meets before church, the main reason being that it consists mostly of older people and I wanted to meet with and encourage them. But it just didn't happen - trying to get to church earlier was stressful, it created a dilemma of how Duncan was going to entertain Rory at church for an hour while the group met...it was just too hard! I was terribly disappointed. Not long after that, I had my relapse.
Some people say that God closes doors and others say you need to kick down those doors. I tried to kick it down, but I honestly feel that God DID close that door, at least for now.
In the last few weeks some of that old passion has come back; a small spark has been ignited. Duncan and I talked and came to the agreement that now is the right time to become mission convenors again and we will start again at the beginning of next year. I've started to think of small things I can do to support mission such as praying whenever missionaries enter my thoughts (thanks Meredith for the brilliant post Why Didn't I Pray?), making things to sell at our church stall etc.
It's not the right season for the nursing home and powerpoint, but I'm hopeful that one day it will be.
I've learnt that it's not about what I do. Any pride I had in my church involvement has been stripped away. God's love for me is not based on how many rosters I go on. There are a million ways to serve that are unofficial - a kind, encouraging word, bringing a packet of biscuits for morning tea, sharing with other mums in the cry room. God has given me a son to raise in this season of life.
So where is that Sarah? She's still there somewhere. Maybe this is just a hope deferred and one day I'll see her again. If not, I know God loves me and there is always work for us to do - even if it's the work we didn't expect at the time.