This is a fictional story…loosely based upon my experiences as a young woman training for a life of ministry. – Jana
I walked to my car, listening to voice mails as I unlocked the door and slid into the 100 degree heat trapped inside. Texas summers were brutal and the smothering humidity made it even worse..especially if you had no AC.
My brand new wedding ring sparkled in the sunlight as I pulled my hair back into a pony tail. One job down…one more to go. Although the 5 o’clock rush hour signaled the end of the workday for many…for me it meant a much-needed breather before I arrived at “their house”.
The voice mail said they needed as much help as possible. All wives and female staff members were being summened…and although never stated, it was implied that “No” was not an option. There was one time where I was brave enough to use the two letter word in their presence and I regretted it as soon as it rolled off my tongue. Sure, I was told it was okay, only to find out later that my heart to serve unconditionally had been called into question. I cried into my husbands arms when he told me what had been said about my character…it seemed like such an unfair assumption. I knew we needed boundaries, we were newlyweds and we longed for a life where we could freely say ‘No” when called upon at the last-minute. Sadly, my attempt at asserting those boundaries only made things worse.
Wiping the sweat from my forehead, I rested my head against the steering wheel. The stop light before me was red and I knew I had at least a minute to catch my breath before I arrived to small children clamoring at my feet, laundry to be folded and dishes to be washed. The list changed from time to time…but it always remained predictable. I had grown to love and adore the family, despite the fact that “they” represented time away from my husband and weeknights spent attending to their needs instead of my own families.
In my heart I wanted to count it all joy, I wanted to relish in the honor of giving my time and energy to them. I knew they needed assistance in order to maintain their demanding ministry lifestyle. But their need for constant help in the home was proving to be harder and harder as the months went by. I was growing weary and my husband and I were growing distant…something had to give.
Fast-forward a couple of months and replay the first paragraph again…walking to my car…listening to voice mails. But this one was different, this one stated that I was to arrive at the church for a meeting.
I was late, but I made it within minutes of the opening statement. As I walked into the small classroom, I heard murmurs and witnessed the look of pain on the faces of those in attendance. I could tell by the way things were going we were in for a rebuke…and I had no idea why.