My name is Tyler Lindsey and I am in the internship program, and call Frontline South home. I was introduced to the internship program almost on accident. As a student-athlete in South Dakota, I was looking at sermons on Frontline’s website and eventually stumbled upon the staff directory where I reached out to the internship director about the program. It was one of the best accidents I’ve ever made. This program has been quite the journey, and with only two months remaining, I am left with a lot of reflection over the past eight months and excitement for what is ahead.
Being a former student-athlete, life is fast paced, scheduled out, and generally the work you put in is the work you’ll get out. I brought a lot of my angst and desire to be used for the work of ministry into this internship. Throughout this internship I’ve seen a lot of fruit through the discipleship and journey the Lord has me on, but that is not without the painful stretching and challenging situations I’ve had to sit in. I came into this thing with a list of wounds, but I think the one that loomed the most early on was the broken dreams I carried. I’ve always felt that what I do created who I am. The idea that I reap what I sow, so if I just work hard enough I’ll get what I want. This proved not to be the case in my story, as I now stand with six different surgically repaired injuries and no longer able to do what I invested twelve years to. No matter how hard I worked to get healthy, something else went wrong. This lead to me stepping away from football and pursuing a call I felt on my life as a senior in high school: pastoral ministry. I stepped into this thing with, unfortunately, the same mindset; that if I just work hard enough, I’ll matter, or if I just do enough things I’ll somehow feel like I’m important again.
This process is like quicksand. The harder you struggle, the more quickly suffocation sets in. Throughout this internship, and the biblical counseling I am getting, Jesus has brought healing from different things in my past that have shaped my outlook on life, relationships, and God. I’m learning a lot about the difficulties I have just being human. I always attach my worth to what I did in the past week with thoughts like, “Was I productive,” “Did I reach any of my goals,” or “Did I do anything that mattered?” Often I feel like this answer is "no," and it is usually a direct reflection on the joy and contentment I experience in the Lord. So I am in this process of unlearning a lot of the positions and thoughts, and praying through the false beliefs I’ve carried around for years; beliefs that God’s posture changes based on what I do or don’t do, or that I have to separate my feelings and hurts when Ipray for His will to be done. Because If I’m honest, what He’s doing with my life sometimes feels like an all out threat on my joy. That's where my heart can go and I’ve learned He wants me to bring that Tyler to Him even when it is gross and idolatrous. This process has brought healing and a deep awareness of my indwelling sin. I still need His grace and everyday I look for His mercy to keep me.
I say all that to hopefully show you fruit of what Jesus is doing in my heart through this season of life through the internship. I feel like He’s teaching me to abide and delight in Him. I’m learning that to know Jesus is enough for my life, and that I don’t need a position, a ministry job, or an invitation to do what Jesus has commanded me to do, which is to love God with all my heart, soul, and strength, to love my neighbor as myself, and to make disciples.
This is so simple, yet I complicate that so much in trying to think of programs or initiatives, or that I have to attain an amount of knowledge before I can do any of that. For me it’s simply starting, being present with the people that are around me, loving them recklessly, and believing that in God’s sovereignty He’s placed me where I am to bring a taste of His kingdom to those in my life.
I believe the same invitation Jesus is giving me, He’s giving you. Don’t look horizontally at what Christ has redeemed vertically for you. You have a true identity (Genesis 1:27) and your identity is one that can’t be taken.
We are never what we do, we bear the image of the Creator, there’s a price tag on you, and it’s of infinite value.