Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday's Answer: There is Always Hope!

It's too late; I'm already burned out!!! Is there still hope? ;)

It grieves our hearts to hear the desperation in the voice of a homeschool group leader who is feeling used up and burned out. And we hear it a lot. To be honest, we've been there ourselves.

The truth is -- with Christ, there is ALWAYS hope!

The first step on the road to refreshing is to evaluate why you became a homeschool group leader in the first place.

Did you feel called by God to this position? Were you pressured by others? Did you jump in without thinking it completely through? Would no one else step up to the plate? Are you a natural leader? Do you secretly like the spotlight?

No matter what motivated us to become a leader, burnout is a real possibility for each of us.

The second step on the road to refreshing is to evaluate why you are burned out.

Are you trying to do it all yourself? Do you feel out of your element, like you have no clue what you are supposed to be doing? Have you been serving for a long time? Are you neglecting other areas of your life just to get the job done? Have you had to deal with conflict? Do you feel as if people aren't following your leadership? Have your life circumstances changed?

These very real reasons for burning out can leave us feeling exhausted, lost, done, and ready to hit-the-road-Jack. But a fire can always be relit when there is hope.

Where is the HOPE?

* There is hope in the fact that we don't have to be everything to every person--we CAN'T be; only Christ can be all things to all men.

* There is hope in the fact that God enables us to do the very thing He asks us to do.

* There is hope in the fact that Christ is OUR leader. The Holy Spirit prompts us in what is important. Let the rest go. Veteran leader, Denise G. of Arkansas, says to look to the heart, not the programs. Let others initiate and run the programs. It doesn't have to be all you.

* There is hope in the fact that the success of your group lies in Christ's hands, not yours. Being a second-born people-pleaser, I often worried whether or not people thought I was a great leader. This added a lot of stress to my life. The times that I asked myself whether God was pleased with my leadership left me much happier.

* There is hope in serving as a couple or as a family. Time and testimonies have shown that leaders who are not "pulled away" from their spouses or families lead longer and stronger. So, lead together with your spouse or family for maximum joy and mileage.

* There is hope in that Satan wants us to burn out. Ok, that's a strange one. Remember that homeschooling is a powerful and unique tool in God's arsenal that He is using to shape a new generation, ushering in a fresh and hopeful future focused on Him. Like a remnant of sorts. Satan COULDN'T want that plan to succeed. The hope comes in knowing that you're on the right track and that God wants you to succeed.

If you are feeling used up and burned out, pray for fresh vision and renewed vigor that can come only from our Source of strength. If you've been leaning too much on your own talents and abilities, repent. And then rest. He doesn't NEED us to get this job done; He CHOOSES to use us to get this job done. And what is that "job?"

Whether you are leading a support group or are coordinating a co-op, the "job" is the same ultimately--to know the hearts of the families you are serving and leading them in the direction that the Lord is leading YOU.
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