Friday, March 13

Misinterpretation Of Motives

I have a disease. This disease isn't written in the medical books, it isn't recognized by anyone with a degree, and it isn't even a matter of physical health. This is a mental and spiritual disease. Since it isn't recognized professionally, I think I will give it a name. I dub thee: Woody Confusion. W.C. can be characterized by saying and doing things that are constantly misunderstood by the people you are saying and doing them for. It's symptoms include: passion, drive, dedication, and a lack of training. It is most noticeable in "do gooders", the people who are trying to make a difference in their communities. I find that in my work as an advocate for Young Adults, I am constantly encountering people who make me feel like I am dying of this disease. I think this is probably because of my own baggage, but it is also because of people's inability to see a larger picture.

I am not the kind of person that comes to the table with ulterior motives. I truly want to help young adults find a voice in the church. I want people to start realizing that we can't do this alone. We need the type of community that Jesus taught us about. We need to work together. Young and old, ordained and lay, Diocese and Parish, Diocese to Diocese, Province to Province, denomination to denomination, we all have to look to each other for guidance. We are all working for the same goal, to bring people into a closer relationship with God.

Maybe I am not trained in the things I am attempting to do, maybe I am not the best at hiding my feelings, maybe I am a human, but I just want to be of use. I don't do it to be praised, I don't do it to think I am better than people, I just know how hard it has been for me. I don't want it to be hard for everyone else.

I have been given the gifts of passion, drive, and the ability to speak for those who can't speak for themselves. It is not a gift I asked for, but I am trying to find a way to use my gift to glorify God. It comes with a price. I find that in my search to make this church more open to change, I often feel alone. I am often looked at as a person who is crazy. I won't back down and I won't allow people to tell me that the thing that I am working for is not important. It is important!

I have spent my whole life gaining the skills and the language to be this advocate. God has helped me get here. I am a human being who is full of flaws and who is just trying to figure things out like the rest of you. When I make a decision, it is because I know that my years of life experience, the knowledge I have gained over the last three years about this ministry, and the Holy Spirit are helping me. I don't always benefit from the outcome. In fact most of the time it just causes me to be less connected to the people around me, but I need to do it. It is what is right for the ministry. Please just trust in me the way I trust in you. We are all in the dark here, I am trying to help move us into the light.


  1. Lauren, you truly have a lot of things to offer through your passions and energies.

    Do not let all these nay-sayers discourage you, but instead use it as encouragement through evidence that your work is necessary to close a communications gap between generations and even within generations through seeking to learn and understand others.

    Your work is being noticed, it is being appreciated, be still and confident in the knowledge that The Spirit is working in and through you.

  2. You are not alone... I will say I have "Woody Confusion", too. I feel we are similar in a lot of ways, albeit we are like 2000 miles away or something.

    1. When I see something that needs to be changed and I have the power/capabilities to make the change, I will!

    2. I believe the philosophy of "Once you are a leader, always a leader." Sure, being a leader is not in my blood, but my involvement in various ministries in the Episcopal Church suggests that I am. So, here I am.

    3. I also believe that some people don't see the bigger picture, too. Sadly, in church settings, I learned the hard way that if you see something that needs to be changed that others don't see, you better lead the charge or shut up!

    4. Heck... when I was first called to be a young adult leader in church, I had no clue what I was doing. I was definitely learning by osmosis.

    5. Like you, I don't do stuff to be praised. But if people don't appreciate what I am doing, especially if they are doing something behind my back, I am going to let them have it. After all, I consider what they do are rude unless I get some explanation. But if the explanation is bad, I will continue to state my case until I am heard!

    Of course... I have an additional definition for Woody Confusion... it's complications from an extreme case of being Castaway Christians, if gone untreated! Also, as I said many times, you are one of the role models I looked upon for doing ministry work.

    P.S. Be careful of the "W.C." acronym... cuz "W.C." is also known as toilet (at least from what I know for some Hong Kong people)... as we definitely won't be heading to our churches' restrooms doing this... lol!

  3. Pains me to read of this frustration, Lauren. Sounds like it's really getting at you. Let's talk sometime soon...Peace!