After working in the Church for almost 20 years, I felt like a hot mess.
But, If you’d had told me joy was possible, I would have nodded, smiled politely, and chimed in with some quaint Bible verse affirming your words, “Yes! There is joy in the Lord!”
However, inside, a piece of me would have died a little more…
I often rehearsed a conversation with God that went something like this:
Lord, don’t you see all I’m sacrificing for you? Don’t you remember all I’ve done for You? I’ve served You so faithfully and never even asked for much…but do you even see me? Do you even hear me?
Growing up as a pastor’s kid and marrying a pastor before I’d even graduated from college, I’d lived all my years up until then “in ministry.” It was hard to see past the ministry lens to catch a glimpse of life apart from church life. But after almost 20 years working for the Church, I felt like a hot mess. In the deepest places of my heart, I knew there had to be more to this life and this relationship with Jesus than what I was living.
As the Lord seems to have a way of doing, He suddenly stripped me and my entire family of this all-pervading identity of “pastor’s family.”
Overnight, we found ourselves out of ministry and 6 weeks later living in my parent’s basement. It was in this dark and humbling season that the Lord began His gentle, but painful, work of pruning.
As He slowly, patiently, and masterfully worked on the soil of my heart as only a Master Gardner can do, my heart began to thaw. Seedlings of hope sprung forth and took me by surprise. The greatest surprise of all was this new feeling I began to experience.
Though my circumstances were not any easier (they seemed infinitely more difficult in some ways), I began to feel what I only could imagine was…joy! It took a while to name it properly because I truly hadn’t experienced it in years!
The Lord is kind and gracious, and in the place of a bitter and resentful heart, He gave me joy!
If He can do it for me. He can do it for you.
Come along, dear Friend, because hope, healing, and joy are possible!
To best serve those I support, I am:
- A Certified Biblical Life and Mental Health Coach
- A Brainspotting Practitioner
- A Member of the American Association of Christian Counselors
- A Member of the Association of Christians in Health and Human Services
- A national Christian woman and ministry conference speaker