I consistently get this question in my line of work and quite frankly never give the same answer each time.
Let me just preface by saying I simply love that about my job. I am a chameleon: molding and adapting to various titles as I go. It doesn’t just keep me on my toes, it allows me to run. I run to my rock and redeemer, DAILY, I run to my fiancé for support and encouragement, I run to my lovely boss for wisdom, and I run after children and four legged thousand pound bundles of joy!
It’s humorous that even Ang and I couldn’t quite decide on a satisfactory job title to put on my new business cards as we sat in her office chatting. We talked about my random skill sets and all that was required of me here at One Body In Christ Ministries. After a while we typed a few letters to spell “Barn Manager” into VistaPrint and my cards were sent on their merry way.
So that is what I am: a Barn Manager. Not to be mistaken with the BAR Manager that many sweet Lynchburg dwellers often mistakenly hear when I introduce myself. I only recently discovered what the quizzical looks meant. Most of them just smile a sweet smile and move on. Although I have been obviously judged many times, at least they still loved on me.
Anyway, my primary task is to care for eight gorgeously head strong and extremelyintelligent horses. Our small herd is the very best I have ever had the privilege of teaming up with. Together we move mountains for children and God never ceases to amaze me in the work he brings through his horses. These guys need a lot of things which I schedule and oversee. Feeding, grooming, training, veterinary care, etc. For the most part they are very well behaved and fairly low maintenance. A lot of prayer and a few visits from the Holy Spirit assist in this of course!
My other duties include keeping up with all of the stable finances, training and placing any new volunteers, organizing current volunteers, scheduling events, answering all emails and calls, updating the Facebook page and website, working birthday parties, church events, trail rides, and riding lessons, scheduling and running our summer camps, working horses who are misbehaving, pouring into the hearts that so easily pour out their own for us, and anything in between.
Can I just say, playing chameleon sure has taught me a lot. I have learned more in this job of almost two years than a textbook or classroom has shown me in a four year degree. It is simply amazing. And would you like to know the best part? God picks right up where I fall short and is faithful in even the smallest things.
Many people, including myself, would call me a busy woman. And for years that has been a part of my identity. However, I share my job with you today to bring freedom to those of you who struggle with the same sins I always have. You see, growing up in my home meant working hard and getting what you deserve. My mom wanted everything in this world to be at the grasp of my fingers and she knew I had to work hard for such an opportunity. She taught me the importance of doing things the right way the first time, never being lazy and expecting any gain, and that good people are given good things in return. But somewhere along the way I acquired an unhealthy drive. I left these good rules to live by in my past and basically created a monster.
Our society today tells us, no SCREAMS TO US, that life is all about our success, our success is all about our value, and our value comes from our careers, house, car, and perfect family of four all squeezed into nice Polo shirts and khakis. I wanted each of those things and I wanted them all before the age of forty. This was my goal in life, my identity.
The outcome: well the first time something in my life didn’t turn out picture perfect…I crumbled right along with my dream. As a Junior in high school I was exhausted, and this wasn’t a stay up all night to cram for an exam tired but a worn out on life with no longer having hope tired. Now I may have never been suicidal but I also never had a true grasp on any real meaning of life beyond myself.
What’s worse: I was a CHRISTIAN. Mmhmm I said it. I went to church every sunday, said my prayers before meals, and lived my life by the ten commandments like it was my job. I served in my youth group, shared Christ with my high school friends, and read my Bible. But why wasn’t life panning out like I always dreamed of, desired, lusted after even? And why in the world was I burnt out at the ripe age of 18?
Simply put: I listened to the Prince of this world and I believed him. I let the enemy persuade me into thinking I was all on my own and my life was going to be exactly what I made it. I agreed that my identity lied within my success and my success rode upon my weak and burdened shoulders. I could make it or break it depending on my work ethic and decisions. That AP English exam was worth my weight in gold because it decided if I got into the best Veterinary College in the country. Without it I was doomed. Needless to say, I put myself under a lot of pressure.
Then Jesus reminded me of something. Genesis 1:27 says I am made in the likeness and the image of God. Well right there I have a little more value than I had given myself credit.
To make a long story short I discovered Titus chapter 3 which says this:
verse 3 “For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.”
(Me in a nutshell. Don’t believe me? Okay, let’s make these words practical. Foolish: idiot girl thinking I could work my way into Heaven and Salvation for that matter. Disobedient: God I don’t care what you have planned for my life because whatever it is can’t possibly make enough money for me to be comfortable. Led Astray: Yeah Satan, my worth is completely encompassed in my High School GPA. Slave: I want to honor God, but I just can’t resist my boyfriend, its too hard to be pure. Malice and Envy: I wish I had their money, her hair, his teeth, that car, a horse of my own, etc. etc. etc. Hated and Hating: I cannot believe she is wearing such an ugly off brand pair of shoes. OR Kaitlyn is so two-faced in Cheerleading practice that no one knows who she really is.) Practical enough for ya? Okay.
verse 4 “But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, verse 5 He saved us. NOT BECAUSE OF WORKS DONE BY US IN RIGHTEOUSNESS, BUT ACCORDING TO HIS OWN MERCY, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, verse 6 whom he poured out on us RICHLY through JESUS CHRIST our Savior, verse 7 so that being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
So….wait a minute. I cannot earn my Salvation even though I am doing a really god job looking like the perfect Christian? NO
I can’t make God love me more? NO
or less? NO
I can’t get some type of honor’s award or something for being most righteous? NO
My works mean nothing in terms of my Salvation and eternal life in Heaven with Jesus? YES
You see, a busy woman only condemns and brings death. I sought to be the very best I could be at everything I could possibly try only to shut others down and be on top. I grew weary very fast. Keeping up with the Jones’s never brought a smile to my lips or a glimmer to my eye. Instead of bringing life and encouragement to those around me I shut them down for my own gain. Even in the church women like this set themselves up as an example. Why do we all have to be doing something terrific or serving or giving of every last drop we have?
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is over. The fight has already been won. And guess what, we are VICTORIOUS! Our precious Jesus has set our feet upon solid ground. We bear His image and that brings more value to our life than all the precious stones that glitter the face of our earth. We receive nothing because of our works but everything because of His love.
Because of this, and this only, I can be a chameleon. I can work a job that is quick and demanding and always changing. His joy is my strength. His yoke is easy and his burden is light. It’s not about me anymore, its all about Jesus. Now that life and success no longer ride on my own hands and feet, I AM FREE. Free to be me, exactly as I am, and no one else. Who cares what everyone thinks, says, feels, or judges? I am who I am and where I am because that is the precise position my sweet Papa has me in during that moment. Not a thing else matters.
It is quite the adventurous life now. There is never a dull moment and I work harder than I ever have before. But there is hope and life abundant! I enjoy the finer things in life. I stop and smell the roses…or horse hair. I laugh with the kids I meet each week. I speak life and love into the people around me. And all because I broke the lies I had believed from the enemy.
So what do I do?
Haha! Well, I never give the same answer each time.
Posted by Kaitlyn Quesinberry