I have a confession; I never thought I was cut out to be a Pastor’s wife. A few people I used to call friends heard my husband had become a Pastor. They said, (you a pastor’s wife?) just the idea of that made them laugh. It wasn’t because I was an ax murderer; or the town drunk. These people knew me when I hadn’t the time or love for God. To say I didn’t feel any love for God was an understatement because I only had feelings of animosity for Him. When I grew tired of being upset, I moved on to avoidance.
Never once did I think that He didn’t exist, we were just not on speaking terms.
You see, I was born with a congenital disability, Spina bifida. Babies born with this have a portion of the neural tube that fails to develop or close properly, causing defects in the spinal cord and the bones of the backbone. For me, it has meant multiple surgeries starting at six months and ending with a torn rotary cuff a few years ago. Currently, I spend most of my time using a wheelchair, but most of my life I walked with crutches and leg braces. All of this has added assorted challenges to my life, along with quite a bit of anger at a God who decides the makeup of our lives. How can you be a loving God and give working legs to some and not to others? Born last in a family of five, my brothers and sisters did their best to make my life good. I could never be mad at them because God gave them legs that they could use to run and dance. Likewise I couldn’t be upset with my parents it wasn’t their fault, they didn’t do drugs or drink. So that left God. I always wanted to know why me? I wanted no part of a God that would choose to do this. It was easier to believe that it was happens chance than to be the one singled out.
That’s when the avoidance chapter began;
I went on with my life without a care about God. I did what I wanted, became an independent woman who wanted no one’s pity or special accommodations. Funny, but that was God’s plan all along. What good could have become if I had been a self-absorbed cry baby? I wouldn’t have the experiences or the courage to write to all of you. I learned that God watched over me every step of the way. Looking back twenty years at who I used to be and how I used to feel about God; I have to agree with my old friends and admit that there are days that I still wonder what God was thinking when he put me here. But I am glad that he did. I have found myself and my purpose and great joy in my condition. I am a mother, wife; I have been in business,
Now I get to work for God as a PW (Pastor’s Wife).
I have discovered that you can consider each trial joy, you can rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory even when you feel like you are face-first in the mud puddle.
You can endure whatever surgery, and face seemingly insurmountable obstacles, if you have been saved through faith in Jesus Christ—you have all you need to be happy. My life has been difficult, but it hasn’t stopped me, and I now know that my life has purpose just the way it is. I am a living, wheeling testimony to the fact that God loves us and being with Him for eternity is all that matters. Not legs, not how much money you make or any of the other things that people think will make them happy. You may have mountains of medical bills, be facing bankruptcy, foreclosure, and have circumstances that are making you quake in your boots; but have faith, have hope in a Lord that is there right in the middle of it all. Setting things up for your big grand wonderful life, but you have to get out of His way.
Have faith in His sovereign ability to know what is best for you even if it is not what you would have chosen for yourself.
Think of it this way if on some cosmic fictional story line as a baby I get an audience with God to set up the situation of my birth. He sets down in front of me two choices; one where I have perfect legs and a mediocre life, or one with weak legs and a great life. Do you think I would pick a life where I was born with a birth defect or do you think I would pick perfect legs and try use them to make a great life? It would be a no-brainer right? I would pick legs. Who would select the other option? But, the real lesson is about trust, trusting God at His word. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Having legs doesn’t make the life, attitude is what does that. And you can’t have a good attitude if you are living outside of God’s love. I had a good life when God and I weren’t speaking, but boy Oh boy, the life I have had since I let Him in has been fantastic! Sure there have been mountains to climb and valleys that were dark, but He never left my side. If you are having problems, if you are in a dark place, now is the time to go to God. Tell Him you’re ready to stop playing the anger and avoidance game, and get to the action plan. The one He has in store for you. Like me you may have a few doubters of your faith and nay-sayers that you will see a difference. But, remember it’s your life and God knows just what you need.
In this blog I will share many confessions with you, you may even identify with a few of them. I recognize that growing up with a disability along with being a PW has played a significant role in the things that make up who I am. Not many of you were born with a disability or are Pastor’s wife. But we are women, mothers and wives, with pain and worries about our lives, so we may have more in common than you think.
I will leave you with a quote from my childhood idol, Helen Keller “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” Wise words from a wise woman, who had more than her share of trials and achievements. Come back in a few days and I will confess a few more things to you.