When you think of a lady in the ministry, what comes to your mind? Often in my mind I think of a woman a lot like my mother. One who has a sweet disposition, who comes off as quiet and mild-mannered, and full of grace. A lady who has manners, knows how to carry herself, is put-together. She is empathetic, good with people, caring, compassionate, and loving to all who cross her path. Her home is spotless, her children well-behaved, and her husband always happy. Basically, she is the quintessential pastor’s wife - a real lady!
And yet, here I am. I don’t check off very many boxes that are in my mind of a lady in the ministry. My disposition doesn’t sweeten up until I have had a cup of coffee and been up at least two hours, and even then that’s no guarantee! I have never been described as quiet or mild. I have manners, I just forget to use them sometimes. I have stuck my foot into my mouth more times that I can count! My home has never been spotless, my family is not perfect, and I don’t show compassion to others as much as I should. The list could go on and on. To say the least, I am far from the ideal that I have conjured up in my mind of what a ministry wife should be! Yet, somehow, I am in my 22nd year of being just that! God called me almost 30 years ago to full-time Christian service. Ministry has been my whole life. I grew up in a pastor’s home, then married a preacher, who just happens to also be the director of Master Ministries these past couple of years.
There have been many days when I questioned the wisdom of God when it came to calling me to ministry. I have had dark periods in my life when I could barely pull myself out of bed to face the day, let alone be a blessing to those around me, to minister to the needs of my family and the needs of others. I have felt like a failure often when it comes to being the kind of wife and mother I know God desires for me to be, and yet, God still uses me. I do believe that in my moments of being overwhelmed and failing, I realize that if God allows me to be a blessing, an encouragement, or a help-meet to my husband, it is only because of Him.
I have had dark periods in my life when I could barely pull myself out of bed to face the day…
Being a lady in the ministry can be lonely. Friends are hard to come by; relationships hard to cultivate and maintain; fellowship seldom enjoyed. You and your family are different. Your children aren’t allowed to do what most are. You don’t go to many of the same places. You are different. Few understand, and even fewer want to understand. Oftentimes, the only time you are sought out is when others come to you in their times of distress and discouragement. You are expected to be their listening ear and counselor. You are their shoulder to cry on and the arms needed to give a comforting hug.
You may question, “Where can you go to find peace and comfort; to be listened to and understood?” You know the answer, and yet how often do you truly turn to God? God created you so that He could have a relationship with YOU. When loneliness, discontentment, discouragement, even depression start to settle into the crevices of your mind and heart, turn your eyes upon Jesus! Let Him be the friend you cannot find here on earth. Let His Word counsel you in His truths. Allow the Holy Spirit to control your words. Practice what you preach! Listen to the advice that you give others. A friend shared Psalm 73:26 with me several years ago, and God has used it greatly in my life. “My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.” We are going to fail, physically and spiritually, but in those moments of failure, God can prove Himself faithful in our lives! He will be our strength.
God knew what He was getting when He called you into your respective field of service. He has equipped you with the talents necessary to accomplish His work. He never wanted us to be drones or carbon copies of each other! I will never be able to attain the quintessential ministry-wife image I have in my mind. I will never be able to fill the shoes of the great women of God that have been put in my life. I can only fill the shoes that God has given ME to fill. I may stumble, trip, and fall. I may need to grow for that shoe to fit properly, but I can rest in the fact that God loves me, God called me, and God will equip me. He has done the same for you! May you never forget how much you are loved and accepted by your Lord and Savior, may you spend time cultivating your relationship with Him today, and may your light shine to those whom God has called you to minister!