Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Real Woman's Journey Through the Valley Of Fear

I never would have made a good pastors wife. I tried for a few years, but my mouth got me in trouble.  I talked too openly or said too freely what I was thinking - politically correct or not... I once was told by a Pastor that my husband and I needed to "not be so transparent, to retain an air of "mystery" in our ministry to be successful."

Erm.  I am many things, but mysterious is not one of them.  Seriously.

At the time, so hungry for investment into my life and ministry I blindly took that comment and went forth.   What a bungling mess I made, and the end result of it was, trying blindly to hold on to an image of perfection and "mystery", I stopped talking.  I stopped being true and real.  Relatable.  Relevant. Myself.  

In the past years since then, I hunger for realness.  I am drawn to those in ministry who are real, who talk about their experiences through life via their trial and errors.  I like those who speak candidly. Those who find the humor in their life circumstances and can point to God with a smile, even in the middle of a dung pile and laugh about it. I am turned off by speakers who talk in generalities and never really say anything at all, or those who give no personal examples of triumph or failure.  I like it raw.  I like it real and I like it to be practical.  

Don't get me wrong, sometimes those conversations are the ones we shy away from.  It can hurt to be real.  Its vulnerable to be raw and open.  But when we are real and open with others about our struggles, our victory, our pain, our happiness, we can share the true meaning and message of Jesus Christ himself.  Look at the scriptures...  When Jesus walked on the earth, He was so terribly real that He threw the Pharisees into a tizzy... They didn't want Jesus to talk to their people about prayer, a Savior, how to treat their neighbors, how to avoid sin, or list the deplorable acts of sinful behavior of the people and then tell them how to be forgiven...  No, they would rather He stay "mysterious" and "unattainable" much like their version of a Savior - a royal King, sitting on a throne in a far off land, clothed in silks, jewels and finery, and surrounded by body guards... 

Now, I'm DEFINITELY not Jesus.... HA!  But I am taking a cue from Him.  I want to be real.  

I am a real woman.  I argue with my husband sometimes.  I yell at my kids occasionally. I have piles of dirty laundry that I procrastinate in doing. I feel like a failure at times. Sometimes dishes sit in my sink for a while.  Sometimes I only clean the top of the toilet seat when I'm in a hurry.  I wear a hat to cover up the fact that my hair is greasy.  I get pimples.  I cry.  I compare myself to others and struggle with inadequacy.  I desire to pray every day, but sometimes get so bogged down with life (aka laundry and toilets) that I don't have the energy. I get afraid of lots of things. I get lonely.  I really want to know the Lord better and struggle with the enormity of that thought at times. 

Enter "The Real Woman's Guide Through the Valley of Fear" aka my self titled blogging about fear.  

Not gonna lie.  I'm scared to even begin blogging about fear.  Who am I to do this?  What if I mess it up?  What if I take something out of context?  Mrs. __________ could do it a lot better than I.  What if i give up in the middle and you all think I am a loser?  What if? What if?  

 But we should want to openly journey through fear together and hope that somewhere along the way, we stop being afraid of fear.  


  1. I love you!! Never apologize for being who you are! I love your openess, always have and always will!!!!

  2. Janelle - love you! I am learning more and more the importance of being transparent - it is hard - but something that is necessary. Thank you for being willing to share this journey with us!


  3. Your realness & openness are so refreshing! Being real & relevant are so incredibly important. I spent all my life listening to sermons & teaching that had no impact on my life whatsoever including in Bible College! Not relavent to the "Real World" I often wonder now that I'm in my twenties how my life would be if they had been relevant & how much myself & my friends would have grown if they had been. Sad to dwell on the past but now it's so hard for me to sit & visit churches of the past where everything is so surface. When I travel & am in friends weddings & around people in that bubble & back with all the who's who people I feel like I'm always playing "an acting part" & not being me. I dress & act the part when around them for those few days when that's just not me. It's more comfortable to be the way you had "perfected" how to be around them then to be real. Your blogs inspire me to try to be real. That's what I craved all those years & as much as I craved it then I know secretly some of them must crave it as well. Now I'm not sure how to learn to "be real" it's going to be a process. I wish it were an easy process. Long post for: Thank you for your realness it inspires more people than you think.