I'm sure you've seen this quote floating around Pinterest...
or heard someone say it...
It's kind of inspiring, right?
Don't get me wrong, I love the strength that God gives women and we seem to live in a culture (even within the church) that lives this belief out. Its a "boot straps" mentality.
I recently heard someone challenge this quote with another...a better...a more accurate one.
"She believed she couldn't, so God did!"
Several months ago during a time when my husband and I were being questioned regarding our call to pastor and plant a church, I was asked, "So do you think you're ready to be a pastor's wife?" This question with it's tone came as a shock to me. A fellow Christ-follower was the one asking...and asking with a hint of "I don't think you're ready" inflection. What shocked me wasn't the question it self or the tone with which it was asked. What shocked me the belief system behind that question. The belief that I could actually "be ready" for something that huge.
If I had answered yes, I would have proved that I indeed was not ready. I would simply have proved arrogance.
How arrogant would it be for me to say, "I'm absolutely ready! I've got this under control" because that's basically saying, "I don't need God for any of this...it's all me. I got it"
"No. I'm not ready. And I'll never be ready. That's why I need Jesus! It isn't faith if I don't need Jesus...if I can do it all myself."
Do I believe I'm ready for the challenges ahead?
Do I think I've got it under control?
But that's the beauty of the kingdom of God.
We can't. He can.
His power is made perfect in our weakness.
It's His work...not mine. I'm only called to obey His call and He will fulfill the rest.
I've thought many times about answering that same question again.
If I'm ever asked again, I'll say the same thing and maybe add a little.
"If you're asking me if I'm ready to plaster a smile on my face each Sunday, make sure my children's hair is perfectly combed and they behave in an acceptable manner, respond 'I'm fine' when asked how I'm doing, live in fear of what other's expect or think of me as a 'pastor's wife' then NO...I'll never be ready. BUT, if you're asking me if I'm ready to stand beside my husband, walk alongside fellow believers who are hurting, empathize with the lonely, walk out my own life without fear of man, show my weakness because its how others come to see the power of the gospel in my life, imperfectly yet intentionally seek to raise babies who grow to adults who love Jesus, and give my heart to those I serve as we walk imperfectly together, sin against one another, and worship at the foot of the cross...then my answer is YES!"
I'm not "ready" because I can perform. I'm not "ready" because I can say the right things or do the acceptable thing. I'm not "ready" because I've mastered the art of life in a fish bowl.
I'm only "ready" when I can recognize my brokenness and take it to Jesus. I'm only "ready" when I see that out of my deepest pain can come my greatest joy. I'm only "ready" when I'm walking with Holy Spirit toward the freedom and healing He is leading me toward...surrendered to Him.
You may not be called to a man who is in ministry. You may be called to be a mother. To be a friend. To be a writer. To be a teacher. To be a nurse. To be a loving neighbor. To be a barista. To be an encouragement to someone. To be a light of the gospel in your workplace. Whatever it is you are called to, you aren't ready. You aren't capable. But if you're a Jesus follower, you know the one who is. His power lives in you. Rest there. Rest in your inability and His ability. When you know you can't you are in exactly the right place for seeing Holy Spirit take over and move in ways you've never dreamed.
Ladies of the church, may we not buy into the "boot straps, believe in yourself and you can conquer anything" mentality of the world...but may we embrace the truth that we are broken, weak, and in desperate need of Jesus daily.
Let's stop standing on the stage of performance
Let's lay at the foot of the cross...
because only then will we have power...
only then will we be "ready" for what God has called us to.
*This post was birthed after listening to The God Centered Mom Podcast with Lara Casey. The quote was hers and it settled deep in my heart and caused all of these thoughts to spill out. I want to be sure to give credit where it is due, so please take a moment to listen to this episode if you resonate with these thoughts."