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  • Writer's pictureMarnie Hammar

Am I Doing This For God or With God?

I was camped out in the ER with a teenage boy who did not belong to me. During a flag football game gone wrong at the senior high retreat, this kid was all in, even though he was no match for the boy who stood strong against his now broken femur. As a volunteer youth leader who had a car that weekend, I was both transportation to and emotional support in the ER until his parents arrived. ⁠

While praying for his pain medicine to please take effect, I wondered, “How did I get here? Ah, yes—it was me. I volunteered for this.” ⁠

In those days, I raised my hand for a lot of things, even when I didn’t feel them in my bones. I kept building a faith resume to show God how much I loved Him. “See, God? Do You see what I’m doing? Surely these things show my love for You?”⁠

But moments spent in ER’s bring clarity, don’t they? While some people might feel a confirmation of their calling in a moment like that, I came away with the certainty that youth ministry was not where God wanted me. ⁠

More impactful, though, was the far deeper revelation that I still carry with me: When I gave myself to those (perfectly good) things without asking God first, I took steps away from God. As I chased all the things and took all the credit, trying to earn His favor, I missed the gift of HIM. I missed communion with and guidance from God as I made decisions. I missed collaborating with Him in the work, which means I also missed the blessing of seeing Him at work.⁠

My striving for Him had separated me from Him.⁠

Sometimes I can still ask, “How did I get here?” But I’ve learned to listen and wait to feel His “yes” deep in my bones.

Read the rest at The Joyful Life Magazine.


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