In my Christian ministry, I see similar patterns of success and setbacks. I search out the facts from The Expert and, then, try to apply them to my life. Usually, in this blog, I share that understanding with you. But, certain circumstances in my life are still a puzzle.
This posting deviates from my normal formula of ministry advice because it explores some areas of my life where I have no grand resolution. #RealTalk, which indicates transparency, seems to describe what I am attempting here.
#RealTalk. Certain bad habit patterns follow me through life. At my age, I should be more disciplined. I should be able to write that a daily time of prayer and Bible study is part of my regular routine. Instead, it is a struggle. In addition, I would love to tell you that it is so natural for me to be mindful of my eating, but I have a long way to go. Lord, help me.#RealTalk. I take some comments and actions personally. People can get really mad at the church and/or my husband. I don't understand. Maybe they are convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit and feel like killing His messenger. Maybe they have horrible dads and can't relate to a trustworthy heavenly Father. Because they are upset, some members shun those in ministry or leave the church. It is not about me, but I do take it that way at times. Lord, give me grace to love.
#RealTalk. Sometimes, unspoken expectations are heavy on me. At work, I am the only Christian most people know. At church, I am the calm, somewhat invisible, pastor's wife. When I have an opinion on a difficult problem, do people think it is coming directly from the pastor? When I admit that I have personal struggles, are people undone by the thought? Do people expect me to know all the concerns of the congregation? I need wisdom, Lord.#RealTalk. I feel stingy compared to other's generosity. Once, when we were ministry novices and raising our own support, a woman we didn't know gave us all her farm profits for the year, which corresponded directly to the deficit in our account. It was very humbling. More recently, I have received things like prayer support, gift cards, the use of vacation homes, free pet sitting and tickets for sporting events. These gifts are not based on my own merit but on God's work in other people's lives. Thank you, Lord.
It is your turn, dear readers. Share some "real talk" about where God has taken you and where you seem to be stuck. Please avoid the How-Horrible-The-Ministry-Really-Is-If-You-Only-Knew-The-Truth comments, but feel free to give some biblical advice on puzzling situations you navigated successfully.