So much life has happened in ten years. I can hardly wrap my head and heart around it.
This morning an Internet friend (Tracy) posted a link to a Beth Moore article and as I read it, I suddenly knew what the writers block was. Me.
"The most basic one-word synonym for “disciple” is “learner.” Maybe you need to know today what I’ve needed to know so many days: learning, for a follower of Christ, is still a mark of discipleship even if you learned some lessons the hard way.
Or the excruciating way.
Or the embarrassing way.
Or the exasperating way.
Or the explosive, expensive or excessively long way.
If it attached you to the Teacher, if it marked you with Him and caused you at all to imitate Him, that’s the beating heart of discipleship."
I am overwhelmed with what God has done in me, this past decade. Not through me, or because of me, but in me.
And here's what God made me realize this morning: "Learning, for a follower of Christ, is still a mark of discipleship even if you learned some lessons the hard way."
Early on in ministry, I would have defined "success" for myself as not failing. I mean, I wouldn't have said that out-loud, but in my head, that would have at least been part of the definition. In order to succeed, I needed to get most things right in most situations. I'm the pastor's wife after all. It only makes logical sense. And I am, after all, l o g i c a l. And I operated under this unspoken expectation of mine for many years.
But God is different. He works inside and outside of the logical.
He took my "most things right in most situations" mentality and flipped it on me. And I wondered why God would go and make a mess of things that I had WORKED SO HARD AT NOT MAKING A MESS OF?!? And then the mess settled, and it became clear. Sometimes a mess is required to make room for better.
And I learned something that I should have known logically, but didn't know practically. God is glorified in the mess. And He changes me in the mess. In my mess. I don't have to get it right all the time. And it's in my failures that I grow in Him. And that's all He really desires from me. To grow closer to Him. Everything else is an overflow from that. I knew this to be true of other people, but my expectation for myself in my position had been different. *God is not limited by me not getting it right all the time.*
Can I tell you something? If you have a pastors wife in you life...let her mess up. Allow her to disappoint you. It's for your good, and your church's good. When she doesn't say the thing you need to hear. When she's not the friend you want or need...love her for that. Because she's as messed up as you are. And when you can see her that way, you give her freedom to grow into who God wants her to be. And it's likely not what you want her to be...or what she wants to be (ha!) but it is most definitely what God wants. I am thankful for people that have loved me in my messy.
Here's what I've learned. Successful ministry is not about the church always getting it right. Or the pastor and his wife being the right people. It's about disappointing each other and living and loving through it! When a church can do that, God is glorified...and the impossible becomes possible through the unleashing of His power.
I am so thankful for the people in our tiny church that have loved us through our learning/failing/loving process and who continue to walk this journey of faith with us. I'm sure there are times when they've wondered if better options were out there. I've wondered that for them. But that's the beauty in it. The coming and working together that would otherwise be impossible if not for God.
It is a blessing to have been loved well these past ten years. My prayer is that He continues to help me to love Him, and love others. It's that simple. All the good....that's Him.