I Write For You

November 10, 2014

Today dawns brightly. Monday.

A new day, a new week once more. The day after Sunday.

Sunday: the day church planters and home missionaries live and breathe for, yet for many, also the day they dread.

Today I write for two people: the home missionary’s wife and the home missionary’s daughter. If you are not or never have been in that position, you are welcome to continue reading; however, know that this one is for them.

I come from a ministry-minded family. My grandpa was a pastor and church planter, my mother was a Sunday School teacher for many years before I was ever born, my dad has evangelized, founded two churches and pastored in three different locations. It has been a good life, albeit one that many women my age do not understand. But because of my experiences, I know what you face on daily basis. It is often a lonely road, working, planning, trying to make a vision become a reality. I know how infrequently encouraging words are given to women in your position. But today I write not about me or my experiences, I write to encourage you.

Today I write to you, if nothing else but let you know that if anyone understands your pain, your burden, your passion, I do. I am writing to let you know that all of your efforts are not in vain – that what you work tirelessly to bring about really does matter. Today I want to let you know that while you struggled to make it through yesterday’s church services, you do have the fortitude within you to go on.

Home missionary’s wife, home missionary’s daughter: be encouraged.

If my life is broken when given to Jesus, it is because the pieces will feed a multitude, while a loaf will satisfy only a little lad. {Ruth Stull, Missionary to Peru}

I know that those worship services you endure multiple times a week feel more like torture sessions than a time of thanksgiving and rejoicing. I know that the offerings that have come in over the last two months aren’t even enough to pay for the church electric bill, let alone the rent, gas, and heating bills that are stacking up. I know that despite how desperately you want to have a revival with an evangelist to reach the lost in your community, the funds are simply not available to make that happen. I know that when even two or three people find another place to worship it feels more like two or three hundred.

Please, be encouraged.

I know that every time you hear of another church having crazy, blow-out revival services you cry, but not of jealousy or envy, but of such a deep desire to have the same thing happen in your own congregation. I know that when you saw pictures of your friends’ pastor’s appreciate services last month, it nearly broke your heart because there are not even any saints in your store-front building to appreciate all that you and your family are trying to do. I know that when you post pictures on social media and praise God for what is taking in place in your small congregation, it is meant to encourage you and your family as much as it is news for others.

But please, be encouraged.

My darling, I know the smile on your face is real, but I also know that underneath that smile are a thousand tears you shed on your pillow last night. I know that when you got out of bed early this morning to start your day, you hadn’t really slept at all because of the heavy burden that was on your heart. I know that when you receive fifty text messages for prayer from various people throughout the day, all you really want is someone to send a simple message that says they’re praying for you. I know that when acquaintances post pictures of the latest conference-fun, you wish for just a moment that your life could be different.

But please: be encouraged.

Be encouraged because the calling God has placed on your life is one of the highest of all. Hold your head high, even when the pastor/father/husband is working a full-time job in addition to pastoring in order to provide for your family. Continue in what you know to do, even when it no longer feels like the right thing to do. Keep preparing for every service like it is the revival service you hope to have, plan for Sunday School even though there is a possibility that no one will show up. Because I also know that no matter how hard life gets, you whole-heartedly love what you are doing.

Don’t lose faith, don’t lose hope, don’t lose sight of your vision, passion and mission. Keep it alive. Please, do whatever you have to do to keep it alive.

Without women like you, we would not have established, revival churches. Without ladies like you, we would not have mentors to look up to. Without people like you, generations of girls would have lost out on the opportunity to know truly great women of God.

Please know that despite the hardships you go through on a continual basis as a church planter and home missionary, what you do is so beautiful.

Thank you for being who you are, for being an example to me. Thank you for your burden to fulfill the Great Commission, thank you for showing young women like me what it is to live wholly for Jesus. Thank you for not giving up and for being strong, even when you really weren’t strong at all.

Remember that God used Deborah to bring victory to the Israelites when others were too intimidated and afraid to fight in a battle against the Canaanites, who had been their oppressors for twenty years. Esther was chosen out of thousands of beautiful women in an entire kingdom as King Xerxes’ queen, but it was really a plan directed by God so that she could save the Jews from complete annihilation. Do you remember that Sarah trusted God and His promise for ninety years before her son Isaac was born as she followed her husband Abraham around from tents in a land that was not yet their own? The Holy Ghost overshadowed a young virgin girl in order to bring Salvation to the world, yet it was unconventional, horrifying and completely abnormal. God used these women for specific instances in history. He called them, they in turn accepted the calling, He used them, they became world-changers.

You, too, have been called for a distinct purpose, for such a time as this, to shine the light of Christ into the world. Please know that despite the hardships you go through on a continual basis as a church planter and home missionary, what you do is so beautiful. The women God used in Biblical days had no idea the impact their sacrifices would make on future generations; they did not know their fortitude would be an example thousands of years later for other women intent on pursuing the will of God.

Be strong, be of good courage. Your purpose has not left you, your will to fight is still within you, and you are making a difference in your church, in your community, in your world.

Be encouraged, and live with more intentionality this week than you have in a long time:

go fulfill your purpose.