From time to time, over the last 30 or so years I’ve looked at my reflection in the mirror God holds up for me. Looking back at me I see, along with other things, a perfectionistic people pleaser wearing some pride and insecurity. Turns out that’s not a great combination. In fact, it’s been the cause of several tough lessons for me, all of which I think are finally really sinking in.
Allow me to illustrate. My husband is a minister and we have served in three churches, currently pastoring number four, over the last 15 years or so. Pastoral ministry has brought wonderful rewards but being a pastor’s wife always seemed to drain me of all emotional and sometimes spiritual energy. Like burn-out drain, even depression.
I thought for a while that was just how ministry is, but I’ve learned I was actually making it harder by doing something I thought was helping. I would see things I thought my hubby should do or ways he shoud act, because of course I knew best, and would urge him (sometimes almost nag) him to do those things. They were usually people-related because I was trying to avoid conflict and keep everyone happy. I would feel stress if I thought someone didn’t like John or what he was doing, or how he was carrying out ministry. Exhausting! Seriously.
In the year between leaving church #3 and coming here, one thing became crystal clear: John was called to be a pastor, not me. It wasn’t and isn’t my job to try and help him do his job. My hovering behavior was also sending a message to him that I didn’t think he was capable of doing it all without my help. My heart hurt deeply when this first dawned on me. How arrogant I was! God lovingly but firmly told me He was fully able to help John be a pastor and He (God) didn’t need my help either. That was God’s job, and being the pastor was John’s. Not mine.
John is more than capable of being a pastor because God made him for that purpose. God equips and guides him very well without me chiming in. Now that I’ve learned that and accepted God’s reprimand, I feel so free! It has brought me relief and joy to step back, be concerned only with what God wants me to do, and watch my husband effectively, wisely and lovingly carry out pastoral ministry.
My heart is full seeing what God does through him and I’m not trying to carry the heavy weight of responsibility anymore. God never meant for me to carry it.
He doesn’t mean for me to carry any weight other than the light yoke He’s given me to lead and train me. I don’t need to try and help God do his job. I’m not holy spirit jr.
That’s a good thing! It’s a freeing, lovely thing! Living and walking within the edges of the path God’s leading me down brings peace. He’s in charge. Yay! It’s not my job.
Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NLT