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Monday, October 24, 2016

On boxes, misconceptions and this glorious messy life...


I have been brooding over writing this post for the longest time.

For many years now my life looked a little like the picture above.  All in neat little boxes with only my "Jesus" box allowed to touch the other boxes.  I tried so hard to keep it like that...because that is the only way I could survive everything that life threw at us.  A few months ago I started posting some things that we deal with in our day to day life at the Mission on Facebook and these posts went pretty much viral.  Suddenly I was flooded with friend requests from people who were interested in what we do and that left me in a very uncomfortable space.  Facebook was no longer a place where I felt I could share the "other" parts of my life and my blog just became a Scrappy blog...no more baring my soul :)

You see...when we signed up for full time ministry we didn't know that people have preconceived ideas and total misconceptions about what it means to be in "full time" ministry.  There is this strange idea out there that if you are in ministry you must have "it all together".  "They" sit in judgement over everything you do and nothing is ever good enough.  I always believe that the day you publicly announce that your mission in life is to help others you pretty much put a huge bulls eye on your back.  People just believe that they have the right to criticise everything you do.  They  believe the following:
  • You should drive an old beat up car and live like a pauper.  (Well sorry to burst that bubble...we drive good cars and live in the same beautiful house that we have lived in for the past 30 years).  Why is it that everybody expects to hear that we LIVE at the Mission?    It isn't scriptural to live like a pauper if you serve the Lord you know?  According to Philippians 4:19: " And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus."  Our God is rich not poor.
  • People believe that your family have it all together too.  I would have liked it...but reality is that it doesn't work that way.  We are family and we don't always agree on everything...in fact in one year my oldest son divorced, my younger son lost his eye sight and my daughter ran away from home.  Why shouldn't it happen to us just because we serve the Lord?  Bad things happen to good people.  We have to make peace with it.
  • People believe that it isn't Christian to struggle with depression and that you shouldn't have low days.  A memory that will always stay with me is an incident that occurred in those first difficult years at the Mission.  I was in such a low place in my life that when a pastor's wife from our local church asked me how I was...I was honest and I told her.  She wouldn't have any of it and told me that I wasn't meant to feel that way.  Never in my life had I felt as ALONE as I did that day.  I was floored and cried all the way home.

You can imagine that if people have these misconceptions it becomes very hard to share the REAL me.  So in order to cope I decided I need MORE boxes.  So on Facebook I made another box and I put all the "Friends of Vistarus" into this box so that I could post with privacy settings.  This past weekend while I was teaching at a scrapbook store I had my AHA moment.  I can't do this anymore!  My boxes don't want to stay put - they want to touch the other boxes....so I have decided to just embrace this glorious messy life of mine.   I don't think that God ever intended for me to have boxes but for a season they helped me cope.  That season is now over I am going to live my life wholeheartedly.  I don't care what people think or say anymore...I am not here to please them anyway.   I hope you will stick around on this journey of my  life.

♥♥

22 comments:

  1. I love you my friend! I know I am not as interactive on your blog as I need to be. It I was truely blessed the day I stumbled upon PS the couple of friends I made there have been so special to me. I sure have loved getting to know you and your family and I enjoy how you let me peek into your amazing world the blessings the struggles the joys and the sorrows. I am glad you had your ahah moment and hopefully you find everyone embraces all of you!

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    1. Thank you Amy...we have come a long way together xx

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  2. Gosh I am sorry that you are feeling so low about this. I haven't seen negativity from others here on your blog and I hope it continues that way. I have been getting increasingly frustrated and disappointed in the online communities as well! It is too easy for many to not think before they post.

    So I pray that a lot of those sitting in judgment might try sitting in church instead. When our Pastor fired up a sermon about how not judging others yesterday, I knew that I was at least as guilty as the Pharisee in his attitude toward the tax collector. We need to be strong enough to not let others distract us from doing what is right, and remember that we can't really know what is motivating their jealousies and need to lash out. I will pray it gets easier for you to ignore those on the outside casting stones and to keep your proper focus. Considered yourself hugged, Lynette.

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    1. Susanne I haven't allowed people to judge me...that was why I needed my boxes it prevented them knowing more about me than absolutely necessary. I accept that hug xxx

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  3. Hugs, love and the most respect for you!!!!!! I grew up in the church, and during my teenage years, I remember getting dressed one day for church in a black sweater and black pants ... and my Dad flipped out! You can't wear ALL black to church, it's disrespectful -- and my thought was, why would God care about what I am wearing, wouldn't he just be happy that I was there? Don't judge is my thought process :)

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    1. Judging does more damage than anything else can...it is just so empty of love.

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  4. Oh, dear Lynette! I've had a busy summer and didn't even realize people were being judgmental towards you. You are doing Gods work to the best of your ability and that's what counts. May He continue His sovereignty in your life, your ministry and your personal endeavors. Big hugs.

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    1. Dear Sandi...I never gave people the opportunity to judge me. My boxes protected me.

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  5. Oh Lynette, I love this post. God wants us to be rich in wealth AND spiritual blessings, and He wants us to bring our whole selves to basically everything.

    SO glad those boxes are smashed up and you're embracing your "glorious messy life"

    xxx

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  6. Ag man... you are so normal in your abnormality :D I think that most people live messy lives in reality. It is so easy to post the nice stuff and portray any image we want to. I think though as we get older we are able to embrace the messiness and not worry about what others think and sometimes it just requires that we re-align our way of thinking.
    I come from a very religious family with huge problems which is why I am not religious at all... HOWEVER... I do have very strong beliefs and I won't allow people to push me to conform with their views. I don't do the same to them. I think that the work you do is just unbelievable and I know for a fact that I could not deal with some of the things that you have had to and I thank God that there are people like you out there who can do it.
    These are some of the things that I have battled with for the last two years and I am still trying to find my place. I have come to accept that the one thing that we are guaranteed in life is that it is constantly changing and if we want to keep sane we have to constantly change with it. I think that you need to do whatever is best for you and don't worry about anything else. <3

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    1. I can't tell you how much this comment means to me. I know that you will find your peace and your place soon. Love you lots xx

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  7. Wheeeeee!!!! So glad you've opened those boxes..... I think that even tho we try to keep it all separated, it really can't work... not unless they're seal proof water right ones! Bits of us slip out all over the show.... far better to open those boxes & see what happens!!! And I really, REALLY like your dot points of the expectations of peeps....& even MORE I love that you've got to the point where you can just let go the way peeps perceived out, & simply 'be'. That's a huge embracement (new word!!).... imagine marrying a man 30 years older who not only a minister in the church.... but we were both divorced!!!! Shock! Horror! That's my journey - know all about Those Sorts of Comments, for sure ;). GOOD on you !!!!

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    1. Ah Lizzy...and just like that I learn a little more about you. A ministers wife to boot!!! No longer you understand me so well. You really get it!! Thank you for your unconditional love always xxxx

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    2. That was meant to be "no wonder"😊

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  8. Good to hear! I aldo believe in being a whole person with all roles/boxes slot into one!
    I love reading about the whole you!

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  9. Oh well firstly Thank you for allowing me into your journey.. I have been richly blessed by your stories, your family, your scrapping, and I hope to hang around until one or both of us are on our way to our room upstairs!! (and I hope we are close by to each other up there!!!!) I love the way you write and share and unfortunately there are those who would like to throw water on our last spark... And I also believe those who put themselves close to the front line in the army of God are the ones who get targeted and wounded by the enemies darts, that doesnt mean they are weak or that something is wrong, it just means they are on the frontline in the battle.. and rather then wonder why these things are happening we should be going to the aid of those who are serving instead of shaking our heads and saying dear me you are not a very good christian are you.. So I think if i were honest I dont have boxes, I have piles of mess... hehe.. just thought of my teenage daughters room at times... and good luck to anyone who can tidy that lot up!! hehe.. my mess.. and her room for that matter!! hehe!! So keep going, I had a saying I used when I went through a trying time.. those that mind dont matter, and those that matter dont mind... so to all those who have minded.. criticized or pointed a finger... I think you have just made this dear lady more strong and determined... Let your light shine!!

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  10. If I get to you post late I usually read all the comments before I make my comment in case I am repeating what they are saying but today I am not doing that!

    I am honoured to be part of your journey (even though until now it has only been through your blog and facebook but soon it will be because I have met you in person) and that you share so openly about the challenges of the ministry and family and depression ... your journey has opened my eyes a lot about the ministry (although I did live within a ministry years ago and saw the difficulties our pastor and his family had with those same misconceptions).

    You are an awesome human being who does God's work and deserves every blessing that comes your way ~ keep them boxes touching as each different area can benefit from the other!!!!

    Love you lots and can't wait for 12 November!!!!

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  11. Thanks for sharing your journey and I admired your faith in Lord, may you and your family be blessed by his grace along the difficult journey and the good times that coming your way.

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  12. Oh, Lynette! Hugs!!! Life is really too short! Open those boxes up and live your life how you want! Not how others think you should!!!
    I always wanted to be a missionary as a kid- didn't venture too far from that being a nurse! Lots of healing out there to be done, especially these days! Hang in there my friend! God works in mysterious ways!

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  13. well put and glad you have decided just to be you.. enjoy your journey... because it is YOURS to Live... hugs BL

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  14. Oh my dear friend how do I love this post. I love how you embrace what comes your way - we all live happy blessed but messy lives because God works in us every day. Lots of love

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