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to the ministry girls

It’s spring break here! I’m not on the beach…it’s the same old same old actually. Brett’s working from the cloffice and we are pressing on with school! We figured the beach was overrated anyway…right?! Okay, I did not choose to stay home, and I would love to be on the beach, but not this year! Next best thing, we can still make some pink lemonade or I can put the tea kettle on for you and we can enjoy the extraordinary loud birds in the backyard and soak in a little sun on the patio.

I mentioned my Grandmother last week. I continue to remember good memories and laugh about funny sayings! As a ministry wife, I was able to relate to her in many ways. I should have asked her for more wisdom when I had the chance, but I still took bits of wisdom away. From her experience and my life experience, I have learned a few things and I would love to share them with you. I have met some of the kindest, most Godly people in ministry, and I have seen the other side of people and heard evil be spoken against me and my family. I would share many stories if we had hours! Even if you are not a ministry family, each of you have a ministry simply because you follow Jesus and may experience struggles. For those ladies in church ministry, the mission field, non-profits, and on the other side of the world, take heart, look up, and know Jesus is with you and you are not alone.

Love people. People are imperfect and make mistakes. Sadly, some people will never like me and that just has to be alright. I represent Jesus more than me, so it feels a little less personal in that sense. It could be super easy to keep a chip on the shoulder and just be angry with people or avoid church altogether. Do NOT allow people to let you become bitter and angry. At a new church we went to serve, the students met in the gym before worship on Wednesday nights. A group of women, mostly moms of teenagers, decided to go hang out in the kitchen area of the gym. In attempt to get to know them, I followed behind and the door was closed in my face. I am stubborn so I found something else to do. I began hanging out with the teenage girls before the Wednesday night worship started and had the most meaningful conversations during that time that I grew to look forward to each week. It hurt significantly to be ignored so obviously and I have always wondered why they chose not to get to know me, but the conversations with the girls for Jesus’s sake were significant and I saw God change their lives. It would be easy to transfer my anger toward them to other people in other churches BUT other people did not treat me badly so it would be unfair to hold them accountable for what others did. They deserve a fair chance to be trusted until the prove themselves untrustworthy. Let people in and love them.

Give grace. Some people are mean and that is how it is. At the second church we served, a lady called me to say “some people” thought I should wear a button-up shirt and slacks to church, as it would be more appropriate. As a twenty-four year old, I later realized this was actually her opinion because she was not a fan of sleeveless dresses. I never wore the uniform she suggested, but we were always kind to her when we saw her at church and around town. We never had another conversation about it, but I still laugh when I think of it.

Let your children make mistakes. Whew! Children represent us in a way, but they also are learning and will most definitely make mistakes. They will be the tear-filled, screaming kid who kicks the teacher and runs down the hall, away from their classroom every Sunday. Yes, this has been me. I felt the need to have the perfect kid, I mean, after all, she is being raised in a house filled with the knowledge of Jesus, right?! You know, she is allowed to be taught and not expected to have it all together. Once at a student ministry Chick-fil-A fundraiser, my two-year-old found the tail of the cow that had come out to greet visitors and she pulled on it in attempt to get the costume-wearer’s attention. She was scolded by someone who told her she “knew better.” Well, she is still a child and has to be taught like everyone else.

One verse that has meant much to me is 1 Corinthians 15:58, which says, “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. It may seem like struggling to love people, serve God, and choose God’s way is too difficult, and it might seem pointless. God sees and He knows your efforts. Even when it seems silly or worthless, keep serving God and it will be worth it.

I can name many girls who have been hurt before and let me just let you know I get it. It may not be the same, but I have been hurt, angry, and tempted to hold it against everyone. Hold on, my friend, and let God take care of you. You are loved. Let Him give you the JOY He has for you!


Love,

Charis




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