Sunday, May 10, 2015

Women in Ministry and Mothers Day Issues:
It's Complicated!


The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

Emotionally, the pull is intense to stay home, reflect and practice self-care.

She is sad because she tried to become a mom, and still isn't one.

She's grieving over the child she lost.

Or the mother she lost. 

Or the mother who abandoned or abused her, making this day such a painful reminder of all she never had.  

Or she has a toxic mom and responded by drawing healthy boundaries that led to them hardly speaking, or maybe never speaking again.  

Whatever the case, the spirit wins out when it comes to this lady.

No matter how daunting the situation, she doesn’t give in to the overwhelming urge to hide out until Monday. 

She wakes up. She shows up. She makes a difference.

Who is she?

She's a woman in ministry for whom Mother's Day brings painful reminders or complications.

Regardless of her own circumstance, she reaches out in genuine love to minister to God’s people. Notwithstanding her personal obstacles, she is a spiritual mother to many. And that means on Mother's Day, like other Sundays, she is on the scene at the church. She may release emotions that build up during the day after service at home, or phone a trusted friend who has provided a shoulder to lean on through the years. But when she is with the church family, it will be about reaching out to others.

Thousands of women who have a complicated relationship with Mother’s Day will not only go to church today – they will lead the church.

I know, because I’m one of them.

Today I will stand up in front of our church and celebrate mothers, as I’ve done for all of our 28 years in full time ministry. I'll be in the pulpit, undeterred by the battle in my mind that tries to convince me to stay home underneath my fluffy down comforter, drinking dark roast coffee and watching movies. Being mindful of the struggle many women face on this day, I usually make note of that in some way in the service and offer up a prayer for those affected who may or may not be present.

Scores of women in ministry who face painful realities will be with their congregations today. They are called and dedicated to ministry and as such, are accustomed to pressing beyond hardships to fulfill the call of God on their lives. Putting one foot in front of the other, they keep showing up and changing lives, even on their most difficult days.




The purpose of this post isn’t to fix the emotional tug of war that goes on inside a woman leader who faces these challenges, for that's not possible in a blog post. What I can offer to any woman reading this who relates is the assurance that you don't walk alone. I find comfort in knowing, we do not walk this journey by ourselves.

What a blessing to be part of a sisterhood of women all around the world who serve faithfully despite trials, arising to take our place in house of God and in His divine plan. To stand and deliver today is not a denial of our problems, – it’s called LEADERSHIP.   
       

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