Just a few years ago, if you’d had told me there was true joy to be found in ministry life, I would have nodded, smiled politely, and chimed in with some quaint Bible verse affirming your words, “Yes! There is joy in the Lord!”
BUT INSIDE I 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 even graduated from college, I’d lived all my years to that point “in ministry.” It was hard to see past the ministry lens to catch a glimpse of life apart from ministry as my full identity. 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 a Master Gardner, my heart began to change. New 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! I wasn’t even sure what it was at first!
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 better serve those I support, I have completed the following certifications and have been featured in:
- Trauma Healing Institute, Apprentice Facilitator
- Masters Mental Health Coaching, AACC
- Biblical Life Coaching, Life Breakthrough Academy
- Member and mentor coach in the More to Be Coach Network
- The Small Church Summits Conferences