It’s all part of the territory, and it’s not the first time I’ve felt “sized up” or even scrutinized. Even though my husband’s the one on staff, pastors’ wives are often expected to have everything together and look meticulously gorgeous while running around doing everything that needs to be done.
Thankfully, our church is full of people who are full of grace. I don’t feel like I need to perform or look perfect in order to be accepted. We’re a family.
However, regardless of whether you’re in the ministry or not, there’s always people looking.
One of the biggest ways Satan attacks Christian women is by tempting us to hide our baggage and our flaws. Hiding our baggage completely shuts down our ministry, and here’s why:
No one takes us seriously
Honestly, as a high school girl, I had a really hard time approaching one of my youth leaders about the hardcore issues and struggles I was dealing with. As a former beauty queen, she always seemed to have everything together, and I thought she’d never be able to relate to what I was dealing with. When someone who’s never dealt with tough issues (as far as I know) tells me that I’ll get through this, and that God will make a way, sometimes it just seems like they’re saying that because they’ve been told it’s the right thing to say. But when someone who’s been open about her story and her mistakes takes me under her wing and tells me that they’ve been there and I WILL get through this, it’s like finding water in the desert. So refreshing, so uplifting, so powerful.
We get arrogant
When we pretend we have no backstory and that our lives are perfect, we quickly lose sight of the fact that we are wretched, worthless sinners. Think that’s way too extreme to post? Well, if you don’t think you’re wretched, and instead think, “yeah maybe I’m a little sinful,” then you have completely missed the power of what Christ has done for us. There’s no such thing as a little messed up or a little sinful- we have ALL fallen short of God’s glory. We all deserve death. But if we’ve surrendered to Jesus, we all have been scrubbed clean of our wretchedness. So yes, it’s true: By ourselves, we’re terrible people. And if we don’t remind ourselves of this daily, we will start acting more and more like the world- after all, if we don’t deeply appreciate what God has done for us through Jesus’ brutal death on the cross, then we don’t have a strong reason to live for Him. Don’t ever forget the garbage that Jesus snatched you out of.
There’s a chain-reaction
When I’m constantly surrounded by people who have it all together, not only do I start feeling terrible about myself, but I quickly close up and try my best to hide any flaws. Naturally, we don’t want to be seen as the only one who doesn’t have things together. And what happens? We don’t allow the Gospel to shine in our lives through our mistakes and our baggage- because we’re pretending we don’t have any! Paul so candidly wrote that even as one of the highest esteemed leaders of the New Testament church, he too had his “thorn in the flesh,” his struggle that he constantly fought with (2 Corinthians 12:7). Talk about baggage! And yet he went on to say that he literally delighted in weaknesses and difficulties, because that’s when Christ was strongest through him (2 Corinthians 12:10)! Without sharing our struggles, we cannot share our victories!
Let’s fight against this trend of insecurity, comparison, and chasing perfection. And let’s fight FOR brokenness over our sin, for pursuing righteousness and integrity, and for talking about the hard things.
Let’s not wake up when we’re 80 regretting that we didn’t make Jesus our EVERYTHING. Jesus says that He has given us boldness and power, and there’s nothing better to live for than to use that power to proclaim His holiness and majesty to a world that’s hungry for simply something real.
I challenge you, but even more strongly, I URGE you to be real this week. The more that we share our burdens and struggles with each other, the easier it will be for our other brothers and sisters to open up. Let’s start a new chain-reaction- of freedom that can only be found through Jesus Christ.
note: I’m back! I missed y’all during these last few months, but God has shown me so much and I feel like Ryan & I have been completely transformed. So excited to share our journey and all the lessons God has been teaching us! Instagram and Twitter to keep up with everything, including my exciting upcoming trip to Nepal!