The Journey Team at Christ UMC hosted their 2013 Women’s Conference at Christ UMC on Saturday, Oct 19. The key note speaker was Melissa Bishop, the wife of their Senior Pastor Shane Bishop. There is always this misconception about pastors' wives which puts them in this mold of perfection, born a Christian from the womb and still going strong. I know firsthand this is not the case for many pastors' wives, I am from a line of pastors in our family: my grandmother, my aunt, my mother-in-law, or just read the book “Choose Joy” by Kay Warren, Pastor Rick Warren’s wife.
Life as a pastor’s wife is not a cake walk; Melissa didn’t say a word about what I just described, that was all my interjection, but she did want to make certain we knew up front her life has been full of struggles just like the rest of us women, and by listening to her, possibly more struggles than most. She continues to struggle but she wants to live “intentionally for Jesus Christ.” Here are a few of Melissa’s comments.
- We hear from the Lord in our struggles
- We are called to be ambassadors for Christ
- God pursues me when I should not be pursued, but he does it anyway, please hear that…..God pursues me when I really should not be pursued…that is great news!!
- We need to be a “yes” person to Jesus when he calls us to do something, scared… do it anyway.
- Being broken happens, but staying Broken is a SIN…..ouch…!!
- Please don’t live God’s sacrifice in vain
- You know the past is the past, the past can paralyze us….let it go
- Use the Word of God; it’s the only book we have
- Failure is part of the equation….failure gives us a chance for a do-over
- We learn in the crash of life
- If you keep getting up, God will make us stronger.
- What holds us back is the “condition of our heart”-God knows our heart; he knows everything in our heart - Psalm 139 asks God to search our heart, he wants our heart to be blameless.
- Comparison is prevalent with women, why do we do that, men don’t do this…it would be weird to hear your husband say “oh I wish I was like ….” Oh yes, women do compare themselves with other women. Think about this………
Melissa was absolutely charming, witty, funny, and very intentional. I was moved by her pure honesty from the first words out of her mouth. I had not planned to attend the conference this year because my husband and I were going out of town, ended up not happening, so I decided at the 11th hour to attend, and all I can say is “Praise the Lord” for getting me there. The Holy Spirit was moving mightily, and boy oh boy did I need his presence.
The time is now, just like her coined words say,
Melissa talked about her devotion time, sounded so familiar to me. Get up early to spend time with the Lord, and then you notice that
- the stove has a crumb on it or..
- the water in the dog’s bowl is low or..
- the magazine is not in the right place or..
- the picture is crooked or..
- the floor needs to be vacuumed or..
- you remember you didn’t put anything out to thaw for dinner..
Goes on and on then it's too late to intentionally spend time with the Lord. I also suffer with distraction almost ADHD ish…..it is necessary to fit God time in even if it is all throughout the day or in the car while driving by ourselves. I love to talk out loud to God during my prayer time. I still struggle with the reading of the Bible every day; it will have to be intentional, just not going to magically happen for me or for anyone.
It has been a very long time since I have felt the Lord move so mightily in my life, and when the Holy Spirit wants to get your attention, it can be exhausting but worth every ounce of energy……. I am so grateful to the ladies at CUMC and to Melissa Bishop, BUT first and foremost to Jesus who knew the condition of my heart and knew I needed to hear from him.
By Julie Ford