I am living in a new kind of tension. For the first time in my life, I am closer to my dreams than ever before. When I was just dreaming of writing for a living, there was lots of time to make mistakes, to falter, to disappoint those that I love and find forgiveness. As I have found the courage and boldness to venture out with my gifts, there is a quiet fear brewing in my heart. What if I am still too flawed for this platform that I find myself growing?
Just the other day (thanks to the work I’ve done in therapy since May 2019), I recognized immediately when something that was said publicly triggered my feelings of inadequacy. I am healing, but I am still susceptible to some of my old wounds. The old whispers that I am not good enough to be loved, knowledgeable enough to teach others, or worthy enough to be on the forefront still try to silence my giftings as a teacher and a writer and a minister of the Gospel. My emotions still enter the dance when someone questions my relationship with God or my theological standing. I am learning to dissect who I am and what I do – I am not accepted by God because I teach Bible study or pray well in public. I am His and He is mine.
This new tension of living a private life of consecration while also obeying God when He asks me to step out on to deeper waters (by publishing a deeply personal book for example) has me re-examining myself every step of the way. The missteps that would have minimal fallout as one woman living a quiet life have a greater and wider impact now that I am leader and teacher in public ministry, encouraging and helping other women find their own deliverance (www.wivesinwaiting.com). I find myself oftentimes terrified of doing long-term harm. I do not want people to have a misunderstanding of Jesus Himself and the Gospel because of my own failure to handle either the scriptures or the people of God rightly.
My ability to “cancel” someone because I do not like their attitude, their behavior or their beliefs has been severely limited because when I want to turn my back on those who have turned their back on me, the thought “but you are a minister of the Gospel” convicts me immediately. What kind of minister am I if all it takes for me to no longer want any parts of someone’s humanity is a little offense? And why is my heart so inclined to be offended when God is literally calling me to a world that rejects Him daily? Who do I think I am to be offended when Jesus Himself was crucified for the ones He came to save?
This is a new kind of tension. Over the last seven years, the number of times I have thanked God privately and publicly for the luxury to make my mistakes in private is without number. A part of me feels like that season of being able to fail privately and it have no public repercussions is coming to a swift end. And I know already that I am going to miss it.
I thank God for the growth that has allowed me to get to this place of leading publicly. I pray for the grace to grow in private so that whatever I give publicly is coming from the overflow of my inner growth in Christ. I pray for myself (and every minister in public ministry) that I will never lose my fear of offending God by mishandling His people. I pray that I never see a public platform as something that belongs to me by virtue of merit. I pray that I always see the privilege in walking alongside women and sisters who are looking for freedom in Christ and seeking deeper fulfilment in their relationship with our heavenly Father. I pray that this never becomes common to me. I pray for the grace to carry this season well.
The tension for me is in my realization that my season of being behind the scenes may be coming to an end and although I am overjoyed at the opportunity to serve more women than ever before, I will definitely miss the luxury of living a life that did not affect anyone beyond the four walls of my home. I trust that the Jesus I have walked with since September 2009 has pruned me to bear much fruit and He has made me a planting of the Lord that others can eat from. I have no choice but to depend on Him for what comes next.