honest living 

***originally written for Something Beautiful Ministries on October 16, 2014***
“Grace makes honest living possible.”

This statement has been following a lot of everything that’s come from me lately, be it verbal or written. It’s changing the way I approach everything…including this ministry.
Because if I’m totally honest, I’ve been wrestling to suppress depression for a few months now, and by wrestling I mean turning a blind eye to and pretending it doesn’t exist. But it does; it is a spiritual attack I face almost daily but have only just recently begun to confront. To further the condition, consequences and wounds inflicted on my heart by my own sin and the sins of others have had a whole new layer peeled off of them, revealing a much more involved and complicated depth than I ever imagined existed; and I’ve been playing dodge-and-avoid with this as well.

The most effective way that I’ve found to distract myself from confronting my issues and healing, you ask? Ministry.
Particularly, this ministry.
And once ministry becomes a way to avoid meeting Jesus in your pain, it has officially become an instrument of the enemy rather than an instrument of God. If I’m not living in submission to Christ in that, my ministry isn’t either.
I’ve been keeping myself busy with administrative duties regarding the formation and growth of this ministry, with tons of work and research to do there, and a few weeks ago, the Lord met me with this word spoken by a dear friend (and I paraphrase here):

“If you’re talking about ministry more than you’re actually ministering, you’re not doing it right.”

That very word caused me to search my heart and really evaluate where I was and what was going on inside of me, which led to these self-discoveries of depression and sin. And after much prayer and consideration, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need time.
In order to lead more effectively, I myself must also be led…led into healing, led into wholeness, led into freedom, and led into the presence of my Savior that provides it all.

So as much as this sounds like a goodbye letter, it is not. Like I said, I just need time to face this season and allow Jesus into parts of my heart that I’ve never exposed or explored. He’s confirmed for me that He is beckoning me to depth, but also to simplicity, because the temptation to busy-body myself to death is so great starting up a ministry.
I want to be clear that God definitely uses weak people to lead the strong, because His glory is greater there, but when the weak are weak because they are allowing the enemy and even ministry to distance themselves from Him and where He wants them to be, it is not of Him. So I’m not saying that I doubt God’s ability to work through me, or any of us for that matter. I do not doubt it at all, but I am acting in obedience to what I believe He is asking of me for this particular next-step in my walk with Him.

The vision the Lord gave me for Something Beautiful is a community and it will remain this way. So while some aspects of it will surely fade, others will not. We have a GroupMe App chat that will remain available and I will continue to work there. It’s open for conversation, inspiration, prayer requests, questions, praise reports, etc etc… It’s there for whatever you need it for. Please feel free to join us there. The Facebook page will remain active as I have asked someone to help maintain a stream of positive encouragement there for those who follow and ‘like’ our Facebook page. In addition, I am still planning on hosting an annual event similar to what has formerly been the be.you.ty project, and potentially even a book club or Bible study. Why host anything? Because I know that God wants my life to be ministry, but He doesn’t approve of ministry being my life. He wants to be my life.
I plan to take this time to make Him so. I ask for your prayers in my absence, and know that I will also continue to pray for you. Each of you has stolen my heart by letting me into your lives, letting me photograph you, love you, and share with you. I promise I will keep everyone posted on any and all future that will or may exist for Something Beautiful.
Again, thank you all for your love and support for this ministry and for me. You are all priceless gifts and you’re all such beautiful, sisters. Don’t you ever forget it!

-Samantha

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