Throughout December of 2017 I was fairly quiet on social media, even on my own blog site, because that’s usually what my heart needs to process big things. During those weeks, major things had happened--good things and some heavy things, too. Isn’t that how life works? You can have God-sized dreams happening and still hold onto them like they could slip through your fingers like sand. Sometimes answered prayers are just as scary as delayed ones. Both require a change within if we are brave enough to face the fears that hold us back.
There are two sides of me, the awkward-introvert side of me that spills things and feels anxiety in large crowds. And then there’s the gutsy side of me that says, “So, hey, I need time with you to ask you a million questions because I trust your advice. I trust you.”
It’s kind of crazy, right, to reach out to others? It’s pretty gutsy and bold.
But, throw in a history with people-pleasing that goes way back, and you'll tend to give people easy outs due to lingering trust issues because you were disappointed in adults who lacked follow-through. In this case, what you have to work with is a recipe for keeping things easier to just handle on your own because it’s less chaotic and doesn’t make you emotional. Mix in a history of dealing with verbal abuse and a tiny dose of physical abuse, as well, and you have a girl who isn’t really great at asking for help.
You are independent because you had to be.
You play it safe. But, safe isn’t very fun.
Playing it safe out of fear is the most isolating thing you can do.
If you ask me when real spiritual and personal growth happened in my life, I will tell you it was when I let others mentor me and even mother me a little. They invested in me first, I looked at their character and their life, and then I said, “Okay, I’ll let you in. But, you have to let me in, too.”
My ministry took on different shapes when I met a broken girl like me who was also in the spotlight of public ministry. Over Mexican food and a three-hour lunch, we spilled every broken detail in our life and skipped the safe, normal get-to-know-you questions. We both began to heal together. Healing sisterhood is real and it’s powerful.
Real growth was when I realized that, even after all these years, I was whole but had pushed the wrong people away--like my college friend who has loved me for twenty years, because I was afraid I would only disappoint her and that was too much for me to handle. What if I was an adult who couldn’t follow-through? Scared the livin' daylights out of me, so…I invited the hateful, controlling people to have more influence in my life and tried to please them. And then they became all gossipy when I didn’t jump through their hoops.
Because that’s way better. Nope. That’s MESSED ALL THE WAY UP!
But, their voices were louder and I let them drown out the right voices.
In the past, asking for help meant weakness. But, because of the wholeness I have found in Christ, I now remind myself He is my source so He alone supplies all my needs. Whole people let others in. Yeah, that only took me a few decades to learn. I still stink at it but I’m growing.
Whole people let others in.
If we want greatness in our lives, we have to surround ourselves with women and men who are doing life well and who are smarter and wiser than us. I experienced a REAL breakthrough after years of being personally stuck and stifled, but now I am living beyond the breakthrough. Beyond the breaking. I am walking in wholeness and that’s what I want for you more than anything. If I can do this, anyone can do this because God loves you just as much as He loves me.
Reaching out and being still enough to allow others to speak into my life has been solid gold. Who actually makes the time to talk on the phone with someone they don’t know very well when they sound a little panicky? Women who invest in other women, that’s who.
And, what kind of man says, “I don’t know why I am telling you all this, but I know that it’s the Holy Spirit.” And, then tells you to make a list of what fuels you and drains you and gives you the best advice ever. Like, who says you have the be good at everything? Good men, lovingly referred to as Pops and pillars in the church, that’s who.
Sanctuary is a safe place for you, ministry wife. Jesus will be your source and we can be a tribe of women who help others heal instead of wounding them. I’m so glad you’re here.
Much love to you,
Jennifer Watson is a self-professed girly-girl who is convinced that coloring your hair is addictive. With an undying affection for refined sugar and red lipstick, she is a mother of two miracle babies and an out-of-the-box minister’s wife. "Sometimes I’m a total wreck and over-share, but I’ve learned how to unpack my emotional baggage in the spotlight of leadership." Her ministry to broken girls took on a different shape when, in a place of leadership, Jennifer stopped hiding her own brokenness and decided to be brave and see what God wanted to do with it. Jennifer and her husband, Jonathan, pastor in Bella Vista, AR. Follow her at www.jenniferreneewatson.com