“Let Christ be your confidence” is what the older ministry wife told me three decades ago when I was scrounging around for some peace in my heart. I knew the silent voice of God already. He had directed me many, many times.
The situation within myself started when I got married. I was a nineteen-year-old, very, very independent, young lady marrying a young man who grew up with ministers in his family. I did not. Therefore, after two years of marriage we entered full-time ministry and I was counted as one needing help. From everybody. The Living Bible had just been published and some people showed favor and others denounced it. Christian book stores were not found on every corner. Resources were non-existent. There were no blogs or e-magazines. Ministry wives did not speak of their feelings or trials. Nada.
A year later a darling baby girl was born and introduced another hat to wear, 24/7. I loved being a mother but I developed post-pregnancy depression. I was in shock of being responsible for this new little life. Many had advice about how I should mother this baby, as well. I became more insecure of everything I did.
In the coming years I changed hats from youth pastor wife, pastor wife, administration wife, mother of another darling child, and serving in many leadership roles. I went from a very independent, confident woman who knew when the Lord spoke to her to a restless and unfulfilled woman in just ten years.
Let God be your confidence.
The mature ministry wife said “let God be your confidence.” It simply made no sense. But when I added up some significant trials I had experienced, I came to this conclusion.
Your confidence is your relationship, intimate relationship, with Jesus. You see, He is closer to me than anyone! He knows how I feel and why, which is more than I know. He is my husband, even though I have been married for almost 45 years. When I arise in the morning and say 'good morning' to the Lord, it makes me smile because of a deep love for Him. He is my best Friend. I take everything to Him. I mean everything. Always have. Why make a mistake if I can avoid it?
I focus on “being” rather than “doing.” Forget the hats! I have not fit the model from the beginning. Back then, a ministry wife was supposed to sing, play the piano, lead a choir, and teach a class. I can talk. I am great at giggling. That is it. But I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt a call was on my life. God evidently knew He better make the life of ministry official for me!
I let Jesus direct, teach, and speak to me through the Word and guiding me. I became confident in my conversations with Him about everything. I asked to think like Him and feel in my heart like Him. I am not there completely but I'm closer than I was yesterday. It is peaceful, you know?
I struggled a bit until I found my confidence in Him.
I love God. I love the ministry. I love the Scripture. I love people. I am constantly learning from all these loves. I lost my independent, confident self I started marriage, ministry, and motherhood with. I won’t go so far as to say that the way it happened was God’s way of handling it! But I struggled a bit until I found my confidence in Him. The things He asked me to do and what I wanted to do for Him did end up being two different things. Being given certain gifting does not equate Him using you in those giftings.
Releasing, growing, and changing is not exactly fun. But it is rich as it begins to happen. Something between you and Him.
Christ, My Confidence is Entry THREE for our blog series on Transition in Ministry featuring the mentors of our Let's Come Alongside mentoring opportunity, now available. Join us next week for more insight from an LCA mentor right here at Sanctuary.
Pam Greene and her husband Tom have been married for 45 years and have been in full-time ministry for 43 years, encountering countless seasons of life. For 34 years Pam has "held down the fort" as her husband traveled in various capacities of ministry. "I claim two children for the Lord as we released their daddy to do the Lord's work."
Pam's ministry philosophy is to be genuine to herself, to others, and to God. "The One to please is Jesus!" In her free time she enjoys reading and doting on her dog, Louie. But her absolute passion is spoiling her husband, her dad, kids, and grandkids--especially the grandkids. Pam's heart is to help ministry wives acknowledge the changing of seasons in life and ministry and help them accept them with grace. Pam also happens to be the mother of Sanctuary's founder, Bridgette Tomlin.