It's no secret I have been MIA to blogging over the past few months. As many of you know, after five years of full-time ministry, my husband and I took six months to a year of rest April 2014. The first six months were tough to say the least. We began the process of mourning a church we had planted in 2009. My husband (the pastor) and I were also in a state of trying to figure out what this foreign season was to be like without constantly in ministry mode, pouring our all into church planting. It was just a whirlwind. We wanted what was next, rather than embracing with open arms the new season we just stepped into. Something we could look forward to, just to make "doing nothing" seem worth while. But that's not how the next six months to a year unfolds.
2014 was incredibly hard. We sought and sought the next. However, God kept shutting doors and pulling off layers and removing the scales of ministry from our eyes. Stepping away from it all, God revealed His majesty and where we did things right, and where we messed up in so many ways church planting. He showed us how we began to find our identities in being the pastor and pastor's wife. Leaning on our own abilities to keep a church functioning, rather than trusting Him and working together with the body. The further time passed, one thing after another as we looked back over our season in ministry started making sense to us. I now understood what this season was for. It wasnt vacation. It was a season of rest, and with that came growth. One of the toughest seasons we would walk through up to that point as pastor and pastor's wife.
2015 came around. That left four months, until we thought our "next" would come. It felt like go-time for us. We just knew we were on the cusp of greatness coming. But April rolled around, and nothing. Confused, sad, mad, are just a few of the emotions I was feeling during that time. "Why are we still here?" I would ask. "Haven't I learned enough?" "What more could He possibly be teaching us?" One of the greatest lessons we would learn yet, we were in the middle of.
Is Jesus enough? Is He truly enough for us, if we are never in ministry again? Of course He was. But no, it wasn't that simple. I think both of us could say He was. But I think somewhere hidden we still had our identity tuck snug in ministry. This is how God made us. The desires we have to church plant are hardwired in us. We have a passion to be doing more for His kingdom. Confusion sunk in. Are we suppose to give up the passions He gave us, for Him to be enough? But it wasn't that easy, the lesson wasn't giving up anything to get it back. The lesson was, who are you trusting? Ultimately, are you trusting Him enough that He is your sustainer, provider, lover, friend, in order to further His kingdom. Or are you trusting in you?
You see, we can be doing ministry for Jesus, and still not be doing ministry with Jesus. How is that possible? In the beginning of church planting, we relied on Jesus for everything. Our faith was huge the first few years. But as time went on, and the newness of church planting wore off. And, life started hitting us at different angles. We started relying on ourselves to swim out of the storms, rather than looking to Jesus. What can I do, rather than what can Jesus do? We were church planting for Jesus, but somewhere, we stopped doing it with Him.
Before Peter walked on water, Jesus told him "come to me." Little did Peter know, somewhere along the journey out to Jesus, he was going to stop looking at Jesus and start looking at the waves around him. You know what happens next, Peter relies on himself and starts to sink. Pastors' wives, we can't do it ourselves. The waves will come. We can't look away from Jesus for even a second. We were never meant to do life/ministry without Him.
I know you think, it can't be easy to look away from Jesus when all you do is ministry, after all, it's kingdom work. Even Peter looked away from Jesus when Jesus was just a few feet away. We are human. It is incredibly easy to look away when life's distractions are thrown at you. What did Jesus say after He pulled Peter back up? "You have so little faith. Why did you doubt me?" Peter was in a miracle of walking on water, and began to doubt. We have to be intentional in pastoring not to find our identities in being a pastor or pastor's wife. But to do it for Jesus, & with Jesus. We can't to do this life without Him.
Jesus is enough.
"Through it all, through it all, my eyes are on you. And it is well with me. So let go my soul, and trust in Him. The waves and wind still know His name." (Kristene DiMarco "It is Well.")
xo a girl who sleeps with the pastor