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Judy Lair is a licensed counselor and owner of Counselorplace Christian Counseling. She is the author of “From the Other Side of the Couch: A Biblical Counselor’s Guide to Relational Living.” Judy’s personal struggles with fear led her through the valley of hurt and sorrow. She now embraces a joy-filled life grounded in God’s truth and freedom in Christ. Judy uses her professional counseling expertise to tell stories that help people find healing and freedom. Her vulnerable, godly approach helps people find courage to move from Fear to Freedom. For more information or speaking requests, email JudyLair@counselorplace.com or sign up for blog posts at http://judylair.blogspot.com

 “Freedom is attainable. Trust me, I’ve been on the anxiety side, gone through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and now I’m praising God, eating at the banqueting table, and helping others make the same journey. Whether you find yourself stuck in anxiety, disappointment, grief, or confusion, your heart can be set free.” Judy Lair, “From the Other Side of the Couch.”

Monday, August 24, 2015

No Thanks

I’ve been struggling for several weeks to pinpoint my dissatisfaction at church. Driving home from Sunday service, I finally put my finger on the issue.

I don’t want to be thanked for my ministry efforts; I want to be ENJOYED!

Our lead pastor loves the Lord and is genuine and caring about his congregation. The church is passionate about showing love to the surrounding community and international missions. Sunday mornings you’ll find kind folks who are happy to help those in need. I love to walk past our children's ministry rooms and hear the kids singing about Jesus.

I grew up in church. Giving of my time, finances, talents, skills, and abilities is something I’ve always done. But lately I’ve become restless with being seen through the lens of what I do at church rather than who I am as God’s daughter. In no way am I being critical of my church and the wonderful folks who worship there. I’ve just realized I need more than being thanked for my service.

As a counselor, I believe God created each one of us with core longings designed to direct us to his heart. The desire to be enjoyed is one of those core longings. Infants are completely helpless. They can’t actively meet the needs of others. Yet most of us smile and enjoy listening to a newborn coo and chuckle as a toddler learns how to walk. We enjoy the miracle of life. Growing older, we cherish spending time with those we love listening to their stories or consoling them in disappointment. Mourning with them. Laughing with them. Enjoying them.

As much as I appreciate the heartfelt thanks of my church leaders for the volunteer services I offer each week, I’m really missing out on being seen, being enjoyed. My creator is passionately excited about this daughter whom he created. I’m a reflection of his creativity and glory. Yes, I do tasks such as run the sound board, sing and play keyboard on worship team, rock babies, finance summer camp attendees, etc. But on a week when I’m away, those tasks still get done. I find it hard to feel enjoyed if I’m merely thanked for doing a task that can be accomplished by interchangeable people. Rather than receiving thanks, I’m hoping someone shares how my singing blesses their heart or hearing from a parent how they feel watching me tenderly care for their child. Ask me to share my heart, then show genuine enjoyment at hearing my testimony.

Sunday mornings are a time to corporately come together to worship God and celebrate the amazing people he created in his image. Get excited to find out how God’s image is manifested in each individual person. Offer thanks to those who minister, but also spend time getting to know them as a special, unique, enjoyable child of God.

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