Recently I returned to an official ministry role following a sabbatical. After more than 20 years in leadership, I needed time away to become a quiet, private Christian for a while. Beyond rest and rich family time, I received other valuable gifts, each wrapped in a question.

Who am I?

For six months I did not teach, lead, or create anything connected to Sunday services. I wrestled at a deep level with my faith, seeking to disentangle what is most real and basic and true about my relationship with a holy God from the sticky web of professional ministry expectations.

I revisited the simple reasons I love my Lord so much, and the reasons that motivated my early decision to serve God and the church. I saw myself again as a precious daughter of God, and basked in the wonder of what grace means for me.

Assisted by a skilled Christian counselor, I also worked through some wounds of ministry disappointments and explored unhealthy patterns, both in my leadership style and in key relationships. Although ...

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