Moms in Ministry

Friday, March 15, 2024

You ever look at yourself in the mirror and wonder, where has she gone?

You know her - she was once a firecracker, Jesus-preaching, ministry machine. That bright-eyed, excited, fierce woman that use to have the same face that you now see - where is she?
She is so much, to so many, and often we lose sight of ourselves because we focus on all the other competing priories in our lives.

We are moms, ministers, a spouse, friend, leader, teacher, confidant. Not to mention taxi, chef, coach, janitor, hazmat crew, nurse, seamstress, accountant, and then some. No wonder we feel worn down and maybe, if we are honest with ourselves, just a little lost, a little forgotten, and a whole bunch of tired.

Being a mom in ministry brings with it its own unique set of circumstances. As a mom you must be “on” 24/7. You never know when someone is going to need in the middle of the night or in the middle of the workday, you are always a mom. And in ministry, you are also looked at as someone who is on-call 24/7. So much mom guilt. The feeling of, “If I give my all to the church, I don’t feel as I have much left for my family. If I give my all to my family, I feel as if I come up short for the church.” Life in ministry is hard, life as a mom in ministry exasperates those feelings. Does any of this sound familiar?

As a mom and a minister, myself, I want to let you know that you are not alone. And as cliché as this may sound, I am here to tell you that God sees you. God has never lost sight of who you are! In fact, one of my very favorite descriptive names for God used in the Old Testament is El Roi - The God Who Sees Me. This name for God comes from the story of Hagar in the book of Genesis.

Now, Hagar’s story is not one that we might think of when we think of the story of Abraham. Yet, I love how this story shows the tender mercy of God for his children, even those who feel lost or forgotten. You can read the full story for yourself in Genesis 16 but here is a cliffs-notes version. After Hagar runs away from Sarah, pregnant with Abraham’s child, we see God show up for her! Genesis 16:7 (NLT), “The angel of the Lord found Hagar beside a spring of water in the wilderness, along the road to Shur. The angel said to her, “Hagar, Sarai’s servant, where have you come from, and where are you going? … Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the Lord, who had spoken to her. She said, “You are the God who sees me.” She also said, “Have I truly seen the One who sees me?” So that well was named Beer-lahai-roi (which means “well of the Living One who sees me”). It can still be found between Kadesh and Bered.”

Isn’t that just like God, to seek us out, even amid the dessert. With all the go, go, go, in our lives, God will find us, and he might even ask you, “Where have you come from, and where are you going?”

​How do we focus on finding ourselves in this season of being a mom in ministry? Here is a short list of steps to try in order to find ourselves again. It is not an exhaustive list as I am sure others with more wisdom could add wonderful ideas, nor it is a prescriptive list to be used as a remedy. It is simply a list that has helped me in the past as I contemplated the woman in the mirror.

  • ​Sabbath and Solitude – God commands rest when he says we are to work 6 days and put the seventh aside for a sabbath. Sabbaths are for physical, spiritual, and mental health. A Sabbath is not just about a weekend away, but it is a focused attention on seeking after God with our body, soul and mind. Additionally, with all the voices speaking to us (including the often-negative voice we speak to ourselves), we need to find a place that provides solitude for our souls. Solitude heals and restores. Solitude means a state or situation of being alone. If you cannot find a situation to be in alone, create a state of mind where you are alone. Go into the bathroom, shut the door, and for five minutes, just be quiet. Breathing in the presence of God.
  • ​Surrender the stress – Ugh! Stress! We all have it in one shape or another, but we need to learn to surrender the stress, to find an outlet other than locked away in our bodies and minds. A simple solution is to write out (or type them out, for you techy people) your current stressors. Get them out of you and onto paper. But that is not enough. Remember, He is the God who sees you and He wants to hear from you as well. Take these stressors to God, pray over them, ask God to help you bear this burden, seek His direction, surrendering them all to Him.​
  • Seek out someone to talk to – It’s ok, to not be ok. Find someone to talk with, whether that is a friend or a licensed therapist. Talking with others can be helpful when trying to find the woman in the mirror.
  • Self-Care – Truly, this is a subjective point, meaning, what looks like self-care to me may look completely different for you. Here is a list of self-care actions you can start with: paint, write poetry, sing, get a pedicure with a friend, sit outside, go to a park, workout, color in a coloring book, teach yourself something new, or anything else that feels like it is life-giving to you.
  • Stay the course! – This season of being a mom in ministry will morph just as the situations in your family and ministry shift and change. And by the grace of God, you will change and grow in the process. You will always be a mom, but the intensity of which your family needs you will work in ebbs and flows. This is a season of great movement but, stay the course!

So, where are you coming from, where are you going? The truth is, you are not the woman that you use to see in the mirror. Yes, you still have passions and ideas, but the reality is that was the old you. The you that you are today, is not the same you as you were back then. And praise the Lord, the you that you will be tomorrow, will not be the same you that you are today. Your God is continuing to shape you into His image. She is the past you, you are a new you and HE is your El Roi, the God who sees YOU!

Meet Kati Davis, with almost 20 years of experience as a pastor she is known for her infectious smile and love for stylish earrings. As a proud mother of three boys, she brings boundless energy and passion to both her professional and personal life, inspiring those around her with her vibrant spirit.

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