Believe it or not, my life is filled with many battles, most of which, will never be seen or heard by most people.
Unless you follow me on twitter... Twitter usually gets my most random, off the wall thoughts. I digress... My point is that most people will only see the parts you share, which from the outside can look pretty one dimensional. But if we really shared our daily or even hourly struggles, we might look at each other a lot differently. We might actually see that were not as alone as we think we are.
We live our true lives outside of the newsfeeds. After the funny post has been made, or the cute selfie has been posted, we go back to the real world. The world that has bill collectors, and rent due. The world that deals with depression, and insecurities. The world that you wont openly share, but we all know, secretly exist.
Let's face it. These days, everyone looks "happy & successful". Being a single woman in ministry adds an extra level of discomfort. You're held to a higher standard than most, and it sometimes feels isolating to be a woman of high integrity, in a world that rewards low standards. You battle daily with the desire to fit in, and the call to be set apart. Usually we don't openly share these emotions, most people suffer in silence, left to believe they are the only person struggling.
Suffering in silence, usually breeds unaddressed commonalities. We often assume that we are struggling alone because we are naturally selfish individuals. If we took more time to listen to other peoples problems, we might actually learn that our struggles aren't that unique. Come on... I know I'm not the only person who cringes when I get mail and open the envelope, only to find another envelope... I usually save myself the trouble and slide it in the drawer along with all of the other "will pay later" envelopes. ( this is where all of my red light violations go..lol)
The fact remains that even though you might feel like you are the only person sitting at home alone on the weekend, its likely that you're not. It's also likely that you are missing out on your peace because of your misinformed assumptions. Don't feel bad, the only reason I know this is true, is because I have lived with those same assumptions.
Here are some solutions that don't require you sharing your problems with the world, but might help you see past them:
1. Think about someone other than yourself. Instead of dwelling on your own problems, call a friend and offer them support. And, don't try to twist every issue into something you are dealing with. We often unintentionally listen to others, only to redirect the subject back to ourselves. Listen and speak only as it relates to them. Don't tell your similar story. LISTEN.
2. Read a newspaper or watch the news. Sometimes seeing problems outside of our own will remind us that what we think is a big deal, really isn't.
3. Find others like you! Being around other people, who are also in need, is a therapeutic experience. When you take the time to meet others who are just as purpose driven as you. You will see things a lot differently.
Ministry is hard, but the main thing you should always be mindful of is that YOU'RE NOT ALONE in this.
You can connect with Jacqueline and learn more about her absolutely amazing ministry on her website Jackie The Educator
Note from your Apostolic Fly Girl-
Too many times as a journey through ministry I am left feeling alone, insecure, and lonely. Many other times I feel like I am MORE than a conqueror and that I TRULY can do ALL things through Christ because he is my strength. I don't know about you but I am truly ENCOURAGED after reading Jackie's submission. As Christian women, sometimes we need to be reminded that no matter where we are in life that WE ARE NOT ALONE.
Be strong and courage, do fear or be afraid of them (even if that them is you!); for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will NOT leave you or forsake you.