As a women’s ministry leader, I have navigated the years of ministry long enough to have dealt with numerous difficult seasons. At times I’ve had ministry to help me keep my focus. It has also provided a positive diversion during sometimes long seasons of pain and frustration in other facets of my life.
Not long after my husband and I surrendered to ministry (thinking it was for him and not me!), we began to face one problem after another. First of all things broke. We’d been married about 15 years so it was time for all appliances, furniture and even cars to fall apart and they did! Next came job loss.
At first we wondered if we had not heard correctly from the Lord and began to question our call to full time ministry. So, we prayed again and asked for clarification. He confirmed for us that we’d heard right and we must continue to follow if we were to obey Him.
I was serving already in a part time staff position leading women’s ministry and missions education at my former church, Green Acres Baptist in Tyler, TX. We continued moving forward, facing the issues and often the enemy head on, serving and seeking direction daily. Then a difficult season with a daughter began. My first thoughts at that time were that I must resign ministry positions since my family was having such personal difficulties. But God did not allow that. I realized that perfect people leading ministry weren’t very relevant to those they were seeking to minister to. My life was real with real problems and God had called me to lead women from my present experiences during this season.
There were many hard days but as I continued to follow God’s direction personally and ministerally, He showered me with His peace and used me in the midst of the struggle and often, the pain. Life continued and then I faced a time of switching roles with my mom as she developed dementia and became fully dependent on me to take care of her needs. She lived in an assisted living facility for three years prior to her death this past January. You can read the story Becoming Your Mom’s Mom
As responsibilities grew with her, I often became exhausted and even saddened at the loss of my mom as I knew her. It became difficult leaving town as I had to travel often with my work at LifeWay. Worry about her and her health were always on my mind. Again, as I spent time with the Lord and asked His direction, He never failed to give me the strength I needed.
We cannot quit serving because we face difficulties in life. God knows each one, and has allowed each one for a purpose. We may not always know the purpose, but we can trust the One Who does! We must have real women leading women. Women who understand what it’s like to struggle as a woman, to deal with real life issues, and yet who seeks heavens perspective of each experience. Recently I completed T. W. and Melana Hunt’s study, From Heaven’s View. I highly recommend you do the Bible study. When we see from God’s viewpoint, it changes how we live and how we lead.
What do you do when you face a difficult season of life while serving in ministry?
Another great resources is Raising Moms by Rhonda Kelley