Wednesday, April 5, 2017

When You Have to Let Go of What You Love to Do What's Next


The team from Global Outreach arrived in Jordan more than a week after my own arrival. Someone who had read my daily emails made a surprising statement. "The girls in my Sunday School class say you aren't coming home."

I laughed, but there was a little truth in their words. A piece of my heart remained in Ajloun.

I loved Jordan. I loved the people I met. 

I want to go back, and, if God provides, I am. If I do, however, even for a few weeks twice a year, some things will have to change. 

In absolute honesty, some things need to change anyway.

Working as many hours as I've worked these last six months isn't sustainable for the long haul. It's taking a toll. 

Some life-changing decisions are overdue.

If you've known me for long, you know that I've had to clear my overloaded "plate" before. I'm doing that again, looking at every activity to decide which God wants me to keep and which I can let go or modify to make it easier.

I've had to let go of some things I love doing in order to do what God has next for me. It's a process, and it's hard. 

The small group that's met at my house for years has outgrown me now, and we'll be moving to a larger venue.

Being an alderwoman has taken considerable time these past twelve years. Last night, I withdrew from the race for a fourth term. There were a lot of tears. 

The mayor and board and I have been through quite a bit together. It's hard to step away, but I'm praying that the ones who come behind me will have as much love and respect for the process as I have had... 

That they'll invest as much of themselves and their own resources as I have... 

That they'll study to know the law and the opportunities for tiny towns like ours...

I'm including the text of the letter I wrote to the election commissioners. I'd rather you read it from me than to hear it from someone who doesn't know what I said. 
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Dear Joyce, Jerry, and Mike,

My twelve years as an Alderman for Blue Springs have been marked by steady and progressive change. Our population has nearly tripled in size and we have changed in status from a village to a township. 

We now have a 25- year comprehensive plan, zoning, building codes and a building inspector, a police department, and a lovely park. We were the first in the area to celebrate Pi Day and to offer Friday Night Jam, a “jam session” with area musicians in the park.

I love Blue Springs and have enjoyed serving our citizens. It is with mixed emotions, therefore, that I write to inform you of a change in my status as a candidate for the position of Alderman. 

Because of recent changes in my ministry that have resulted in the need for an increase in international travel, as well as ever-lengthening work days, I have decided to withdraw from the race. I am writing to request that my name be removed from the ballot. Thank you in advance for your assistance.


Sincerely,

Leanna Hollis
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With all that said, I guess you're wondering what my future looks like. I am, too. I'll still live in Blue Springs and I'll still love my little town. I'll still do volunteer work in my town, just like always. 

I'll still look after Sam, my neighbor.

I'll still do the work of intercession and outreach at Global Outreach, but I'll need more volunteer coordinators to help me.

I hope I get to help make plans for a project in Jordan that we turn over to someone who can take it for the long haul. I anticipate finding lots of prayer partners to pray for people of influence in Jordan.

But... I realize that I love Jordan, in part, because I love almost everywhere in this big world. If I'd been in Uganda, I'd have loved Uganda and her people in this same way.

What I hope to do, down the road, is fall in love with many countries in the same way I've fallen in love with Jordan. 

I hope to identify one project I can do to make a difference in those countries, understanding that sometimes that "project" will be to pray in new ways and find more prayer partners.

I hope to capture the stories and tell them in a way that draws visitors to those countries to help the missionaries and to love the people.

Time will tell, but, for now, I'm letting go of some things I love to prepare for what's next. It may be hard, but it's a small sacrifice to make for the One who gave up heaven in preparation to suffer and die and rise again for us. 

"Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age."  Matthew 28:19-20 nlt
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If you missed yesterday's post, here's the link: The Greater Work that Looks Like Less

If you feel led to partner with this ministry (US, Jordan, the digital world), here's the link   to give your tax-deductible donations: Global Outreach Acct 4841 or you can mail your check or money order to:
Global Outreach/ PO Box 1, Tupelo MS 38802. Be sure to put Account 4841 in the "for" line.

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