Fundraising in Ministry: Airing the Dirty Laundry (Pt. I)

ImageI don’t remember, but maybe I was experiencing some type of gluten-induced coma that day.

It went something like this:

“God, the time is here!  We are both getting to do what we love, and I cannot wait to fundraise.  Ok, so maybe we thought it would look a little different…with us going overseas to save orphans and all.  But, you have been preparing us for this for the last several years.  You have come through for us in big ways!  I know I will experience you in ways that I couldn’t in any other way.  And that will trump every difficulty along the way.  I will be so in awe of you, that my afflictions will seem light and momentary!  So, let’s do it!  This is an adventure…and I love adventures!  I know there will be up’s and down’s, but knowing you will make it all worth it!”

Light and momentary.  You can’t fault me for trying to be Biblical.  But honestly, the ‘afflictions’ (3rd world problems) have been more so…’heavy and seemingly endless.’

The funny thing is, I’m not an ‘overly optimistic’ personality.  I think I’ve just been given a courageous personality in a lot of ways…for better or for worse.  A lot of times, when I read the Bible, I’m convinced that this is actually who God is and what He promises (I thought that was normal for everyone, but have since learned that its not).  And I have taken plenty of these type of scary steps before.  Steps into the unknown.  But in a momentary lapse of judgment, it was as if I forgot all the struggle, all the pain, all the fighting with God, all the prayer, all the sleepless nights…that came with the other scary steps.  Confident in my own wisdom, I convinced myself that God would make Himself glorious by stacking the odds against us, and then showing up big time.  I thought we would be some freaky type of modern day George Mueller, praying secretly in the closet for funds to arrive…and they just…would.  I was wrong.

There is a little something in me that has wanted to “hold off” on writing this series until I was in a better (more ‘spiritual’) place with this season.  Everything in me knows that I will probably laugh at some of my heavy burdens once it is all over (like today’s antics leaving me stranded in Plano with nothing but a 1/8 Camel Bak of water and 3-$100 bills, don’t ask).  But, I think what all of us need most is someone to be courageous enough to be honest.  Really honest.

Honesty forges gaps that nothing else can.  There is something so beautiful about raw honesty.  It reminds us that we are not crazy, and we’re not alone.  I wish I would have read some type of testimony (other than George Mueller’s…note to self, don’t read crazy “best case scenario” versions of what you’re about to go through!) of a woman that has walked this road before me.  When I said that to David, he gently reminded me that testimonies were, in fact, part of the assigned reading for our fundraising bootcamp.  Oops.  Something tells me that they’re not putting stories like mine in those books, though.  Because if they did, I doubt anyone would willingly quit their job and choose to “trust GOD!!” (insert cheerleading stunt off of the living room couch here)  So, this is my non-bestselling version of some things you might expect (or may already be experiencing – God have mercy on your soul!).  Stay tuned.  And for the love of God, pass this along to those that are in this season, or will be in this season in the near future (or any future, for that matter).  I’m on a mission to kill the false pretenses about what you’ll face and get to the nitty gritty, the good, bad and the ugly.

Glad you’re along for the ride.

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