What does it mean to be free? What does it mean to simply be?
When I am asked to describe myself, I often reply that I am PWLawyerMom - I am a pastor's wife ("PW"), lawyer, and mom of three amazing kids. PWLawyerMom is an accurate description of my roles in society, but this is not who I am. I've been so consumed with "doing", that I have forgotten what it means to "be". This blog explores my journey as I find the freedom to simply be.
Still, God, you are our Father. We’re the clay and you’re our potter: All of us are what you made us. Isaiah 64:8 (MSG)
Chameleons are magnificent creatures. When a chameleon senses danger, a chameleon can change its skin color to blend in with its surroundings. For example, when a chameleon is surrounded by green leaves, it turns a green color that perfectly blends with the surroundings. This camouflage is necessary to protect them and keep them safe.
For years, I was a chameleon. In my heart, I sensed a constant danger – I feared that if anyone knew the real me, the me that no one else knew, they would not love me. I feared that people only loved me for who I was to them at the time - my friends loved me for my laughter and outgoing personality, my teachers loved me for my discipline and intellectual curiosity, my family loved me because I was eager to please and compliant.
For me, the greatest danger I faced was the danger of rejection. To avoid this danger, I camouflaged myself by adapting to the situation that I was in. At work, I was disciplined and hardworking. With friends, I was fun loving and entertaining. With people that were hurting, I was compassionate.
I was not intentionally deceiving others. Like a chameleon, the many colors that I changed between were a part of who I was. However, I was constantly changing colors to blend in so that I would be safe, accepted, valued and loved. Because I was so busy changing colors, I failed to be the color that God created me to be. I failed to be me.
God created me to be me. God created you to be you. When we embrace that God loves us as we are, we no longer have to live in fear – we are free to be. Isaiah 68:4 says that we are the clay and God is our potter. We are what God made us. Jeremiah 1:5a (MSG) says, “Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you.“
If I am so busy becoming who everyone else wants me to be, I fail to be the person God created me to be. God has holy plans for you, and God has holy plans for me. However, in order to fulfill those plans, I need to be the person God created me to be.
We are God’s workmanship – uniquely and beautifully made. You do not need to live in fear because you are loved, just as you are. You are free to be you and I am free to be me – we are free to be the beautiful creations that God desires for us to be.
Jesus, When I feel the need to blend in and be accepted, remind me that You love me just as I am. Remind me that I have a purpose, and that I am beautifully and wonderfully made. Thank You for molding me into the person that You want me to be. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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I recently started a new Bible study. To get things started, we had ice breaker questions. Each woman was asked to tell us one thing they are struggling with. As I read the replies, my heart ached. I kept thinking, "Me too!" Each mom wrote about their struggle with perfection. One mom was struggling with being the perfect pastor's wife and mom. Another woman was struggling with being the perfect employee at a demanding job. Another mom was struggling with balance - she wanted to be an amazing mom, an amazing employee, and an amazing wife, but something was always suffering. As I read, I could almost see theunbearable weightof: I am striving for perfection, but I always fall short Even my best is never good enough I am trying so hard to be good enough I am doing everything I can for everyone, but my everything is never enough Beneath the drive for perfection and the desire to please is an even deeper need. …
July 3, 2017by Beth Mabe Gianopulos Category: Devotion “For I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:19-21 (NIV) Pain is something I would prefer to avoid. It doesn’t matter if the pain is physical, emotional, or spiritual – I do not want to feel pain. Despite my best efforts to avoid pain and to flee from it, I have endured a lifetime of pain in the past two years. When the pain is most intense, the feelings overwhelm me. I do not know what I want and I cannot think of anything that will ease the intensity of the emotions. My chest constricts and a heavy weight is on my heart. I want to curl into a ball and be alone, yet I want to be held and …
Being in ministry is tough. I think many people know that it is hard, but few know how hard it can be. Fortunately, my husband and I are currently at an amazing church. We are loved and supported and we are incredibly blessed.
Even though we have an amazing church family now, there have been many experiences that have not been as positive over our 20 years in ministry together. Because of the incredible stress on pastors and their families, more and more ministers are leaving the ministry. There are a number of reasons that ministry is so stressful. Below I've listed some of the stressors and how you can help support your pastor and their family.
1. Pastor's have strengths and weaknesses just like every other human on the planet. Churches often expect their pastors to be gifted speakers, counselors, grief experts, spiritual leaders, administrative managers, finance experts, intellectual Bible scholars, and great with people. As long as churches expect the pastor to b…