There comes a point in life where you just know, to move forward, you have to forgive. When forgiveness happens, the test comes, sometimes several tests. You wonder have I failed, have I succeeded?
Just one phone call can change everything! For 10 years I had led a thriving ministry, however almost two years ago, following several months of struggles I received a phone call that brought my role to an abrupt end.
I was left feeling unfairly treated, struggling to accept the situation, fighting my own inadequacies and failures, finding it hard to forgive myself and those who had hurt me, uncertain about my future and greatly concerned for fellow team members. It took me more than a year to recover.
It had been my calling, my investment into the Kingdom of God, nothing excited me more, I was living my dream, what else could there be for me now?
God revealed Himself once again as the one who provides, who forgives, who journeys alongside and He has led me into pastures new.
I had no idea how this would look but I took steps forward, sometimes some backwards, God’s grace sustained and carried me. I recognised that although my position was taken from me, my calling was not in question.
I recognised that although my position was taken from me, my calling was not in question.
The pain that came with the leadership was great but I promised God and myself that I would neither give in nor give up!
In the meantime, new people were appointed to take over my role and develop the work further. These were painful moments again. There were many questions in my heart, but no answers provided. Eighteen months later it became clear that the project was not sustainable, bankruptcy loomed and the main project had to be cancelled.
This brought tremendous challenge to my own convictions, faith and forgiveness. Would I experience a malicious joy, a feeling that those involved had been paid back?
Would I mock them in my mind?
Would it be confirmed that without me it was just not possible for the project to continue?
Actually, my initial reaction was complete shock, a real sense of loss, mourning, pain.
As messages poured in, my mentor sent me a lovely warning: “Guard your heart and mouth today!” A timely word, not least an encouragement to keep walking in the steps of forgiveness, continuing to let go and not allowing bitterness to creep into my heart.
It took me over a week to really digest that what I had invested in as a project had now come to an end.
It quickly became clear that not only was the project cancelled but a huge amount of money was needed to pay for an event which would no longer take place. This was so difficult.
As I talked with God about this, I felt challenged to donate money, money which this month I did not have! I believed God was saying “If you so loved this project and believed in the impact it had, had on thousands of young people across Europe, should love not be followed by action?”
It felt slightly weird but I also then realised, this was another test of forgiveness, another opportunity to esteem others as higher than myself.
A good start to 2018! Through it all I remain so grateful for God´s prompting, leading and above all his forgiveness for me as a sinner. A lesson in leading with a limp!
Mail to Evi Rodemann