This post had been planned for last week before all our crazy hit! I had it rolling around in my mind but never got it out on the screen to publish. I think that may have been God, though, because this past weekend really spoke to my heart about my role in ministry and John and I felt on the same page about many things.
As a mother of two small children with unique needs and extra medical attention required it can be tough to have any part at all in the ministry. BUT my husband is a full time pastor which means that I do need to have some part in his ministry so that we can share in each others lives. I also strongly believe that God has a ministry for each of his children and we just need to seek him and figure out where we fit in this puzzle.
My role has changed times over the years. When we lived in Lexington and ministered to college students we did everything together. We walked into chapel holding hands and left holding hands. At Friday morning discipleship breakfasts I sat just a couple tables down teaching the girls while John taught his table of young men. For the summer softball out reach John pitched and I screamed a little too loud from my blanket while stuffing a hot dog in my mouth. When there were fellowship events for the summer students we wore matching outfits to the luau. Often our home was filled with VMI cadets while we talked, watched movies, ate, and did Bible Studies. We did every inch of ministry together.
Things didn’t change too much when we moved south and into ministry to 7th-12th graders. I was there every Wednesday night to hear John preach – smiling in the back row. I sat next to him as he taught weekly Sunday School. I was at every Youth Group function and every Bible Study. With a fantastic team of leaders I put together girls-only events while John did things with the guys. Once again I was fully immersed in our ministry and enjoyed the team work with my husband.
(VBS – don’t ask!)
Everything changed when Mareto came home. I expected it would for a short time, but I couldn’t have foreseen that he wouldn’t develop like typical children. I couldn’t have known that he would have autism. I couldn’t have had any idea that our lives would look so drastically different from other families. So now I find myself in a different place, but still fully invested in the ministries that God has called me to.
I stay home often. John takes Mareto out during Sunday morning so that I can sit in the main service with Arsema, but I stay home with both kids so that John can attend the Sunday evening service. I don’t attend Wednesday evenings anymore because Mareto can’t handle the crowds and Arsema goes to bed when church starts. I don’t go to youth group functions as much because of my responsibilities as a mother of special needs children. But I do still try to be a part of the girls Bible Studies and any events we put together just for them.
(loving and raising my children has been the most rewarding ministry of my life)
God has taken my ministry and my heart in a new direction. My first ministry is to my family – my husband and my children. God has shown me that my greatest service to the church is often just caring for my kids and loving my husband in a way that frees him up to be effective in his ministry. I have come to a place of peace with spending 90% of my time serving my husband and children. It’s a great calling – not one to take lightly. But the other 10% has been drawn in the direction of ministering through this blog, through teaching classes, and through occasionally traveling to share my story.
John and I don’t always do our ministries hand in hand anymore, but we’re still a team. I run my thoughts and ideas by him and get valuable insight and tips. He shares his excitement and the heart behind his ministry with me. We support and cheer each other on in each of our gifts. I believe that is what makes our marriage work so well. We don’t do all the same things – but we do share it all with each other… we value the others input and we need the others support. It’s what keeps this all moving forward.
(my best friend and biggest support)
This is what has worked well for me. I recognize my limits. I see where God has placed me. I’ve found my areas of gifting. I’ve asked God to show me how to use my gifts to bless others. I have a incredible teammate. I recognize my most valuable ministry is my family… and I find deep joy in all that I do.
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