Note: I wrote this post after an interview that particularly impacted me in terms of its raw emotion. I submitted this to my interviewee to see if she thought it would be helpful. She did, and so I submit it to you today. It testifies to the emotional toll taken by answering God’s call to ministry.
We all are charged with the following words from our Savior: “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me” (Matthew 10:38, NAS).
These are difficult words to hear, especially when the temptation is to do the opposite when ministry gets hard. I’ve been meditating on this verse of late in terms of how I’m tempted to let my cross slip.
I know my cross well. It is my ministry, or should I say, ministries. After all, we all have more than one that God has entrusted to us.
When I first began this book project profiling women in ministry, I had no idea of the magnitude of it for me. I’ve written books before; I realized the cost of time and effort in writing one. But I didn’t realize that my soul would go into this. Would agonize over its birthing. Would sorrow over the experiences of the women I interview.
My writing, then, has become ministry in this most fundamental way: I continually rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. Many times they are one and the same. As I pick up my cross, this ministry, I pick up the crosses of those I simultaneously write for, those I write about.
This is a part of what it means to be a woman in ministry—to have our souls ripped apart by the agony of the pain we must witness in others’ lives. In this, too, we follow in our Savior’s footsteps and find our cross.
This load compels me to the foot of Christ’s cross yet again. I cannot bear this load, I tell him. I cling to His bloodied feet, pierced for me. And by looking up at the Savior who was broken for me, I find my strength to go on.
He, too, stumbled with His cross. Yet, He is now victorious over death and weakness and disappointment and hurt. All these things that plague me are considered “finished” in Him.
Christ invites me to rest in Him. And He increasingly teaches me that it is He who called me to this task. He will work through my humility more than my abilities. As the Lord states through the prophet Hosea, “Your fruit comes from Me” (14:8).
Dearest friend in ministry, your rest in Him is sometimes more important than your activity. He will give you strength and comfort as you take time to be alone with Him. I’ve found that this works best by blocking out a specific time on my calendar each week to focus on rest and meditation. May I ask you to consider this as well?
Blessings in your ministry, today–