There have only been two times when God has audibly spoken to me. Well, audibly in my head. I was alone both times but am pretty sure no one would have heard Him but me anyway.

Once was when He met me in our basement to tell me it was time to go back into ministry. That moment with the Lord was one I don’t ever want to forget. It’s there I saw just how patient and gentle He really is. Knowing me like He does, I have no doubt He wanted to make sure I didn’t miss the message or interpret it wrong. He knew I’d be scared and that I’d spent months feeling bitter and angry, but He sat it out with me in the basement that day. He pointed out the boxes of Brian’s books and other office items that had been packed away in the furthest corner of the room, and it was that moment that broke me.

What’s the big deal about boxes of books? Well, it’s what they represented… a life of ministry unfairly put on hold, ready to be opened back up. Ready to be redeemed.

Yes, God can use boxes of books to break through the hardest parts of our heart.

What followed was a peace I hadn’t had in two years and have carried with me ever since. The anger and bitterness began to fade over the next few weeks, but the fear still surfaces from time to time.

We’re all a work in progress, aren’t we?

The other time God spoke to me actually happened earlier. It was about four months before Brian was asked to resign. I was struggling with how to be the best minister’s wife I could be, was frustrated with the self-righteousness of some other ministers’ wives, and had convinced myself I’d never measure up. And honestly, I didn’t want to be like any of them anyway.

Driving in the car to run and errand, the Lord told me quite clearly that hard days were ahead but it was going to be okay, He’d be with us through all of it. He made it clear that I was going to have a story to tell… one that needed to be heard. He even gave me a new name (or maybe just an extra one, lol) – misfit minister’s wife.

Don’t be offended by the “misfit” part – God uses misfits all the time to accomplish His purpose and plan.

And He knows how much I love alliteration. : )

Besides, living the Christian life here on earth most definitely makes us misfits.

About a year ago I was challenged by our pastor to start writing that book, which is titled “Confessions of a Misfit Minister’s Wife.” One whole year ago. Granted, a lot happened in that year and most of my energy went to acclimating to having one of our boys in college seven hours away while simultaneously ensuring that our other two boys were plugging in here in our new town, learning a brand new job and making new friends and settling into our home and pouring into our new church so…. well, I guess it makes sense that I have only written one page.

Now we know the practical reasons why I’ve been putting this off, but there’s more to it than that.

The truth is, I’m scared.

Scared of being too honest.

Scared of offending church people.

Scared to expose my most vulnerable self.

So there you have it.

Guys, things are not good out there. I can’t remember another time when it felt this bleak, and I’m starting to wonder if it will get better. That’s super negative and not like me at all, but it’s true. Are we really in the end times? Not sure. Does it feel like we are? Yep.

The thing is, this world is a hot mess all the time. So many people, lost, broken, searching for anything that might bring happiness, and not finding it. Maybe they’ve never heard of Jesus. Or maybe they have, but the people talking about him don’t seem any different than anyone else.

This is where I get stuck.

With nearly 20 years of ministry experience, I’ve seen a lot of things. And I’d say 80% of the things have been wonderful. We’ve ministered alongside incredible people, coming together to feed the hungry, mentoring others, sharing the love of Jesus with them. We’ve seen lives changed forever, and there is nothing more incredible.

The other 20% is spent dealing with normal human people problems. Christians, yes, but still broken and flawed and normal. We are all those things, friends. Normal. Human. Broken. Flawed.

{And then, when you’re in ministry, there’s that added component of your church home also being your husband’s workplace. That brings another big layer of interesting to the Christian life. I’ll talk more about this later.}

The trouble comes when we give in to where we fall short, start numbering sins from worst to most worst, and judging non-believers. All of this goes back to Biblical days… they weren’t any different back then than we are now.

The church (and by church, I mean the WHOLE church – the children of God – not any one church in particular) is constantly dealing with people gossiping behind backs, making up complete nonsense, and believing the worst about each other without seeking clarity.

Guys, there’s not one sin better (read: less sinful) than any other sin. Not one. I’m not sure how and when these things listed above became acceptable sins. They aren’t.

As believers, we are called to a higher purpose. To be of one mind, one heart, all on the same mission, which is to go and make disciples. We waste so much time griping about insignificant church things like the color of the walls, how someone changed details of an event from “how it’s always been,” mad about how church staff handled a decision, complaining that the pastor preaches on sin too much, or he doesn’t preach on it enough, or that your church isn’t meeting your needs. Etc. Etc. Etc.

And now with this Covid nightmare we’re dealing with, let’s add in the fury over wearing a mask vs. not wearing a mask, returning to in-house church services too soon or not soon enough, and everybody becoming overnight experts on racism, social injustice, and civil liberties.

Satan is having a blast with all of this, friends. Why are we making it so easy on him?

Again, we as Christians are normal, broken, flawed people. But we are also redeemed people, bought with the blood of Christ. And when we know better we have to do better.

We’ve got to do better.

to be continued….