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  • Writer's picturejoyforministry

Redefining Success

Updated: Mar 1, 2020

As I sit in my bed at 7pm with my cup full of Ben and Jerry's low fat ice cream I am reflecting on my day.

My brain is foggy. I forget my "why".

I didn't see my kids much this week. I forgot to do a payroll transfer at my work. First time in 6 years. I am sitting here and I am trying to remember my "why". My back hurts. My eyes can’t focus. What is my “why”??

This is when that little voice inside tells me I need to redefine what success is. I can't shake it. I hear it over and over. What does success look like? My heart is in ministry. I love outreach. But am I successful at it? All of this work and striving. Is it worth it?

After a weekend full of outreach, I asked myself if I am doing this for the people we are serving. Am I doing this to grow our church? Am I doing this to help my husband? What is my "why" today? Again, I feel that inner voice tell me "redefine success".

Is success a pat on the back and a "job well done"? Is success filling all the seats? Is success being a church that grows leaps and bounds and makes headlines? Is success someone acknowledging the hard work and dedication you have?

Today was hard. My whole body hurts. Physically it was exhausting. Mentally it was draining. Emotionally it was tiring. I snapped at my kids. I was short with a volunteer. I got a lot wrong. The event went without a hitch though. So was today a success?

Why am I doing this? I love the Lord. I want to be obedient to Him at all costs. Sometimes that means my family will lose out. Sometimes it means I will be exhausted from working hard. Sometimes it means hard work with little visible return. But I need to know that. And I need my "why" to always be before me.


Philippians 2:12-17

"Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me"

God will work it out. He calls us to obey. Even if I am being poured out like a drink offering I will rejoice. That is my "why". That is my success. God will work things out to fulfill His good purpose.

Am I working to feed over 1,000 kids? Am I working to share God's love so people will hear about our church and want to be a part of it? Am I helping my husband? Yes. Yes to all. But my "why" is just that I want to obey. God will do the rest.

I am sorry to my kids who I made serve and work hard today. I am sorry I snapped at you. I am sorry to the volunteer that I was not so friendly to. I am sorry to my husband who I broke down to today. But mainly I am sorry to myself for losing my vision there for a while. My husband and I are not perfect. We may not be able to do the things that others deem as success. We may not always get it right. We may not always get a pat on the back. But you better believe we are going to obey the call God has on us. The rest is up to Him.

1 comment

1 коментар

Alexandra Woody
Alexandra Woody
22 лют. 2020 р.

I love you, Joy Pettibone! Thank you for being so real. There are days, weeks like this...and then He sends a sign of His goodness and I can go on another day. By His grace. Sending love and hugs!

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