Can I be transparent? Forgiving someone is one thing but having to love them is an entirely different creature. Today’s reading on Christ’s love has deeply convicted me. During my job-like trial over the past 7 1/2 years I have found myself quite the angry woman. And while I’ve sought to spend time almost daily with the Lord it didn’t stop the wounds from forming.
I have been ostracized by the body of believers that I was called to serve alongside in ministry. Not for sexual misconduct or an unwillingness to give in any form. Quite often women were put off by my lifestyle. Being a single woman in ministry is quite the challenge. They presume to have nothing in common with me. Negating the fact that we are WOMEN before anything else. There in lay the similarities, not the differences.
During the age of the #METOO movement the fear of being accused of sexual misconduct has permeated the church and its ability to minister. Men are uncomfortable serving alongside an unmarried woman and their wives aren’t too happy about it either. Who can blame them…?
The perplexity for me is that the Lord did not wait for me to become a wife prior to calling me to preach the gospel. So why have I been forced to face so many obstacles? The only time my presence felt welcomed was if there was a financial need for their child. Or a ministry project held a timeslot that only I could fill.
My willingness to forgive came much easier because I no longer see them. I no longer serve God in a ministerial capacity yet seek to please him in my daily life as always. I desire for it to be sincere and not mere lip service. On more than one occasion I’ve had to utter the words out loud “I forgive them” and mean it.
Today it feels like the next step is being required. I mean after all, how can I write a book which will hopefully be a blessing to the body of Christ if I don’t demonstrate love? I can’t. I am thankful that the Holy Spirit is the “spirit of truth” (John 16:13) because I need it. I need truth in my life to see my own shortcomings. I love God, but with his people it takes time. Time to forgive, time to heal and time to move forward. But I am willing because after all Christ forgave. Who am I not to?
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