I just got an amazing compliment today. A person visited my office – a copier salesperson whom I have met with before. He is connected with the churches in the Indiana Conference, and is typically at conference gatherings like Annual Conference, Our Life Together, etc. At one of these events, he was speaking to one of the pastors in my district, and that pastor told him that I had been having some bad health issues. He didn’t go into detail (stroke? four miscarriages? pick one…), but this person had been praying for me ever since. He happened to be in the area today, so he stopped by the office.
“How have you been feeling? You’ve had some health issues, right?” I confirmed that I had, indeed, had some bad health issues, and I informed him that I’m doing well and thanked him for asking. He told me how he came to hear that I had been having issues, and told me that he had been remembering me in prayer. “I almost didn’t believe it when I saw you today. You look fine! Your spirit seems so great – I would never guess that you were having trouble.” He then referenced the proverb below, and told me that I have great light in my eyes.
“The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and good news refreshest the bones.” -Proverbs 15:30
I was struck, then, by the strength that God has given me to handle this life of mine. I know that the past few years have been really tough for me. The past three years have been full of grief and pain and heartache. BUT the past three years have also been filled with peace and love and hope and mercy and grace.
I listened to a fantastic podcast this week. The JV Club is hosted by Janet Varney, and I just adore this show! I’ve been listening for most of this year, and have enjoyed every episode. Last week’s show with Yvette Nicole Brown (Shirley on Community) touched me so much. Yvette really shared her faith on that podcast, and it was so refreshing to hear the way she talked about our Lord. At one point in the show, Janet commented that she wished she had the peace and joy in her life as Yvette does in hers. Yvette gently said to her, “It’s available to you too…” She went on to explain that God is a gentleman. He doesn’t push himself onto anyone. I loved that. You really need to listen to it: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-jv-club-with-janet-varney/id507523105#
And so with Yvette’s podcast, and the copier salesperson’s comment in mind, may I be so bold as to say something to you about God? He is available to you too…
I’ve heard so many comments about my trials: “How do you do it?” “I couldn’t handle this if I were you.” “I don’t know how you get out of bed in the morning.” “Don’t you just want to give up?” To all of those comments, and many more that will surely come, I say, “He is available to you too…”
I know. You’ve tried church. It’s just not for you. You hate getting up early. It’s a hassle to get the kids ready and get anywhere on time. People judge. Churches are full of hypocrites. Christians are so fake. Christians are so hateful.
To that I say this: I know. Christians suck.
Shocking, right? To hear a Christian – a pastor’s wife even – say that Christians suck…that’s just insane! It’s true though. We suck. Because we’re people. And people? We mostly suck.
But God doesn’t suck. I am on this journey because I love Him – I strive for my heart to beat with His, and because of this I like to think that I suck a little less every day. For 16 years I have been on this journey of faith, and I have gotten lost many times. The Lord continues to call me back though, and guides me along the path of not sucking so much.
I know that my life is different than it was before. I am different. And I know that others can see it too. My brother, in the midst of an argument, admitted as much. That little fight I had with my brother is one of the best moments of my life, because I knew then that someone had taken notice for sure.
So even though I suck, you may notice something in me – a light in my eyes perhaps. And you may even say to yourself, “I don’t know how she gets up every day. I don’t know how she doesn’t just give up.” I want you to hear me today when I say, “It’s available to you too…” Find someone of faith you can talk to. Find a church. I know churches are full of hypocrites, but you know what? So is the mall. And you probably go there all the time! There is LIFE to be had in this short life of ours. It’s available to you. It’s available to all of us…
Thank you Jesus for this strength and peace you give me to handle it all and suck a little less every day. Your good news definitely does refresh my bones, and I hope the light in my eyes rejoices your heart.
I absolutely LOVE that you are a pastor’s wife after my own heart! I also vote for Katie Swisher to be the Clergy Spouse Retreat Speaker for 2014! (I’m totally serious about this!)