Friday, February 27, 2009

I am a fighter, not just a lover

Next week our church will announce new budget cuts and layoffs. We will lay off highly capable and valued staff. For me this has been a very emotional reality to come to terms with and I am trying very hard to let God form and transform me as I process through feelings of frustration, loss and helplessness.

There are the things one would expect.
A great feeling of loss because I know our team, our work family will be affected.
There is fear for my own job since Michael is not working and also knowing each person on our team so well, some level of understanding for how they will be affected if they are chosen for the lay off.

There’s wondering how to manage more with less-
There was a great history of this expression on NPR yesterday- the audio is here
Am I up to the task?
Will I have the chance to be up to the task?
Is it better to go or to stay?

If I stay, can I stay healthy and balanced in the midst of increased workload and pastoral/leadership needs. The reality is that when crises happens more listening is required and being a task oriented person, my instinct is to put my head down, figure out how to maneuver a challenge and put my own emotions and others aside. How can I love well those who are leaving and those who are left?
Even this week, seeing how differently we all deal with the stress has left me worried about how I will handle the announcements as part of a whole, and not just as an individual.

And, there is dusting off what I know to be true… that God is in the midst of these decisions, and it’s part of how he renews and grows his church, through dispersing us. But I find myself not having the heart to authentically summon up those convictions- maybe tomorrow.

Today, the piece that I am struggling the most with is this feeling that I am removed from the decisions. This is not about the process or the people- I know that the difficult decisions will be carefully and prayerfully made, but it is driving me NUTS not to be able to get in the room with the decision makers and let them know what I know, what I think, to be heard. It’s a feeling of utter helplessness. I am a fighter, not just a lover, and I want to fight for the things and people I believe in.
I feel helpless.
Is this my leadership gifting at work? the mother bear in me?
these seem good on the surface…
This is where God and I have been doing a lot of talking the past couple of days.

I am beginning to realize that this feeling, this wanting to be in a driver seat, to be heard, that if I could get in there and fight… there’s a lot of pride in it.

So, I am working on approaching all of this with a genuine humility and submission as a part of a team that will be hurting next week, to love them through it, to respect everyone involved from the decision makers to the most deeply affected, to not be an individual, but to be in it and with those around me.


Joyce R. said...

I'll be praying through the weekend for all you've mentioned.

Melinda said...

It is, indeed, rough, watching so many wondering, "Is it me? Is it her?" Mother bear or not, it is our instinct to protect those that we care about and know.

What is a comfort to me, is knowing that the people who are making these very tough decisions are people we know about and care about. It is not a position they are wanting to have. They are choosing to do what they are expected to do: be wise, loving and good stewards. I do not envy anyone on the team. I am, however, deeply thankful for them and prayerful of their decision making.

Heather Witherow said...

Hi Janet,
I want to say something "profound" or "encouraging" to you; but to be honest my spirit is just as topsy-turvy. John and I ache in reading about our friends in such a difficult, but defining moment. I know you want to be in "the room" where the discourse is happening....but be in "the room" with your Father and advocate to Him with all the feeling you've got. We'll be advocating too for every one of you; even if it means that we take a cut too. The Lord's will be done. We love you!

Anonymous said...

heather's right, j-girl. take the helplessness to throne room and fight there. cry, scream, advocate, whatever. He's big enough to handle it all. Then you could ask if you can meet with the decision "board" and give them your input, telling them you know that even YOUR position can be affected. that's humility at work; that's Jesus' meekness (power under control) at work. If they say "no" you've already gone over their heads. ;)

Christina Groth said...

I'm hurting with you!! I was praying through your blog post. I can't imagine what it must be like for you and the others right now!