Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Just Like Her

I walked into her home with my two preschoolers expecting her house to be ‘perfect’.  When I left my house that morning there were toys laying all around, dishes in the sink, laundry piled up screaming to be folded and put away, but for some reason I thought her home would be ‘perfect’.  That’s because I watched her at church.  She had that sweet, genuine smile that drew others to her.  She always knew the right things to say.  She was forever doing the right things.  Her husband was successful in the ministry.  From a distance…she seemed to have it all together. She seemed like the ‘perfect’ ministry wife. She would never have left her house in the condition I had just left mine.  And I wanted to be just like her.  I wanted her life.

What joy filled my heart as I entered her home and saw very familiar surroundings!!  Things were ‘perfect’ alright!!!  Perfectly imperfect!!  Messes.  Lunch that was not fancy nor a table that was all fixed up.  I still remember the Sunday that she brought her children to church in their pajamas!!  Dirty pajamas at that!  It thrilled my soul!!  She was becoming mature in Christ...not perfect.  Again, I wanted to be just like her.  I wanted her life.

That was in San Antonio, Texas.  Fast forward more years than I can count and several other churches and we both find ourselves in Indianapolis, Indiana.  God has renewed friendships and memories and I am grateful.  And, yet, I begin to watch her once again.  Yep!  She is still saying and doing all of the right things.  She still has that beautiful, genuine smile that warms the hearts of all who see it.  She serves right alongside her husband faithfully and joyfully and, in my eyes, perfectly!!  And I want to be just like her.  I want her life.

Then I hear her story.  One of those sons had walked away from the Lord and the heartache that followed for many years was devastating.  I don't want her life.
And it occurs to me….I am doing it again!!  I am looking at another ministry wife, watching from a distance and making assumptions that may or may not be true!!  What in the world!!  I really, really dislike it when others do that to me….and yet, here I am doing the same thing!!!  In fact...I even do it with you!  Yes, you!  I hear the amazing things you are doing serving with your husband and how you are ministering in so many ways in your church and I begin to want to be just like you.  I start to want your life.  Yikes!  Terrible!  Stop it Dana!

Something very meaningful happened in my heart that day as I stepped into that home many years ago that I must never forget…stop comparing.  Stop assuming.  Stop wanting to be just like her!  Stop wanting her life.  Even though my life is super far from being 'perfect'.  Even though there are a lot of things about my life I would like to change and even though I am a huge mess and it is exhausting being me...I want my life.The truth is...I have one life to live...I must live it with my eyes on Him and not anyone else. 

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