There are days in ministry where I feel like I’m a circus performer that is struggling to keep all the plates spinning. Can you relate?
I wanted to share my story and a glimpse of my day-to-day life with you to break down the stigma of women and mothers in ministry. It can be easy for me to look at a woman’s beautiful or graceful outside and think she must live on the mountaintop, but in reality we all live in BOTH mountains and valleys. A big part of Christian social media culture has also trained us to view life this way; that everyone else’s lives are more exciting or come with less struggles. This is a tainted perspective! Don’t let the enemy rob you of your calling just because it isn’t instagram perfect or it looks different than someone else. I want to encourage you today to face it all with COURAGE!
One of the challenges I first faced in ministry was simply being a female. My father has been a pastor for almost 40 years now. Growing up in the church, I rarely saw women who were treated or looked at as equals in leadership. My grandma was one of my biggest supporters when I started to recognize the call of God on my life; I’m forever grateful for her helping give me the courage that I didn’t think I had. When I got married, my husband and I had a unique situation where I was full time at the church but he was still bi-vocational. Thus, I felt like even though we were both the youth pastors, a lot of times I was doing most of the lay work by myself. I had to keep reminding myself of Galatians 6:9, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
I’m so thankful that the Church as a whole is shifting to include more women in ministry!
The next challenge that my husband and I faced in ministry was parenthood! When the time came that we felt like we wanted to start trying to have kids, it was very exciting! I was so focused on the joy of having a baby, that honestly I had not thought much about how it was going to change everything, especially our lives in ministry. When our daughter came, of course I knew being a mother would be difficult but I realized I had greatly underestimated this new assignment before me! We both continued to work full-time and my husband also started a new business working for himself, which was another blessing that came with lots of unexpected difficulties.
Thankfully my mom is close by and volunteered to watch our daughter most afternoons so I could work in the office, but finding that work/life balance and not feeling “mom guilt” was very hard for me. Most of my mom friends are stay at home moms and it took a lot of courage for me to decide that I needed to keep working at the church. I KNEW that God had called me to ministry, so I wasn’t ready to walk away from it. Thus, we had to make it work! Being a mom in ministry has made me realize the importance of flexibility. And now with another baby here, I know that will continue to be crucial for us! Babysitter sick? Kids are restless or bored? Trying to counsel or pray with a student while a child is throwing a tantrum? You learn to roll with it and let your students see you in real life roles as parents. Many of our students may or may not have godly parents at home; they are watching you in your role to see a right example!
With that being said, I definitely don’t feel like I have it all figured out but I’ve come to realize that I never will and that’s exactly where I’m supposed to be! If I would have had it all figured out, then why would I then have to rely upon the Holy Spirit? Every day I ask Him for strength to face the day ahead and I trust that He’ll make it all work out for His glory! You can too and He’ll provide just what you need when you need it! Don’t shy away from your calling and don’t shy away from motherhood because of the potential challenges that lay ahead. For every great difficulty that comes, there is also great reward and joy in the midst of it all! There is nothing like doing ministry together as a family and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Ephesians 3:20-21, Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.