Wednesday, February 4, 2015
7 Confessions of this Stranger
This post has been bouncing around in my head for a while now. Before I begin, a disclaimer, I'm not writing this so that you'll feel sorry for me or for you to see what a terribly hard life I live. I am blessed to live where I do, among the people that I do, and to have the ministry that I do. But, I know that here, and at home, I am often misunderstood. I also know, and have seen multiple times over the years other women, like me in foreign lands...return back...because of these same reasons..and maybe..if they or someone else had been willing to be open about their struggles...they would have realized they are not alone...and just because something is hard...it doesn't mean we shouldn't be doing it!
Confession #1 I am not perfect. No surprise to those of you that know me! So, why am I saying this? There are some who expect perfection, or close to it, from someone in my position. (Yes, they do!) There is a great pressure to be all or do it all. Perfect wife, perfect mother, perfect homemaker, perfect pastor's wife, perfect counselor, perfect white person who lives on my street..... The type of person who would never be discontent when the electricity and water are off for hours, the kind of person who can homeschool, entertain visitors, prepare a Bible Study, keep a perfect house, cook from scratch in 100 degree temps, while singing "I've been blessed." I've heard the comments and listened to the questions. "Of course, it is easy for YOU to trust God" "What is your wife's role in the ministry?" "You would never get angry" "You always have everything together" "Your marriage must be" "Your children are just" I know those that make these statements aren't (usually) expecting perfection (maybe). But, there's a tremendous pressure. I feel it, constantly, from close by, from afar, from others, and from myself. But, I know, I know, the One who made me, knows me, loves me, in the midst of my feeble attempts at perfection.
Confession #2 I get weary. Yup...even in well doing..maybe even especially in my well doing. There are days when someone looks at me for answers, and I wonder....what answer can I give. There are days when I wake up in the morning and think.."Wouldn't it be a nice day to break out the Pop tarts and Cheerios for breakfast"..but there are no Pop Tarts...or Cheerios There are days when I get tired of being stared at and commented on every time I go out the door...every. single. time.!
Confession #3 I want to quit. Yes, you read that right. That doesn't mean I want to quit...today. But there are times, and there have been many times, through the years, that I've wanted to quit. A few months ago I faced a low valley, very low. Words were spoken that cut so deep, I literally felt like all I had ever done here was in vain. I was ready to throw in every towel that I could find! But, we didn't come this far to turn back now.
Confession #4 I wonder why God sent me. One statement I've heard so many times over the years..one statement that I dread hearing, because I have no good response to it. I've heard it in many churches in various states. "I'm so glad the Lord knew what He was doing when He sent you to the mission field, because I could never do it". I usually just smile and nod. Of course, God knew what He was doing, but after we were called to India, I struggled...for months. I used to sit in church and look at the other women and think.."Why me, God, that person would do so much better, don't you think?" I guess He didn't think so, because He still sent me!
Confession #5 I'm not very good at this. I think this goes along with #4. Sometimes I open my mouth when I should stay silent, or more often I'm silent when I should open my mouth. My to-do list gets left undone. I roll my eyes and sigh, when I should smile and be sweet. I've made late payements, forgotten to make visits and failed to make phone calls. I speak the language, but still use bad grammar.
Confession #6 I feel like a failure. Especially when I see people that we've worked with, prayed for, poured ourselves into...walk away...especially then...
Confession #7 Even though I'm not perfect, I get weary and want to quit, I wonder why He sent me because I know I'm not good at this and I feel like a failure...I will keep going forward, because its the work I've been given, and I have seen miracles, and I have seen change...especially in myself..and I know that is one of the reasons God has for it all....to change me.....
"Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it." I Thess. 5:24 "...and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"Esther 4:14 "...but our sufficiency is of God." 2Cor. 3:5