In 1985, my husband’s ordination board told me that I was not suitable as a minister’s wife because I was too protective of my family. Years later, my husband was not allowed to candidate for churches in a particular district because I could not play the piano. Years later, 3 different women in our neighborhood made it crystal clear that I was a failure as a mother by appearing in my yard and shaking their fingers in my face to tell me. Wow. I’m really special, eh?
Clive, the boys and I have always loved the Rambo movies. In Rambo: First Blood part 2, the script goes something like this:
Co Bao: Why did they pick you? Because you like to fight?
Rambo: I’m expendable.
Co Bao: What mean expendable?
Rambo: It’s like someone invites you to a party and you don’t show up. It doesn’t really matter.
Co Bao: You not expendable.
Clive and I have used the, “You not expendable,” phrase to each other throughout our marriage and ministry life.
Ex·pend·a·ble: Not worth salvaging or reusing; not strictly necessary; dispensable.
All of those things said about me were very painful to hear, especially since they were mostly unjustly said. No, I don’t play the piano, but that shouldn’t keep my husband from a job. Actually, I was a very good mother, although there were things that I would probably change if I had a do-over. As for being too protective of my family, well, if you lived in a “glass house” your entire life, you’d be protective of them, too. When we lived in Florida, we quickly picked up their, “Don’t mess with Mama,” phrase! It suited well!!! I will always guard and protect my family. And, after almost 30 years of ministry, we are still ministering! I will never be a typical pastors wife and I am the first one to say that I am far from perfect, but Jesus chose all kind of messed up, ordinary people to entrust to His ministry, and He has done the same with me.
So many people are hurting, and feel worthless, never rising above what others think of them. Well, you know what? I can say to each of you, “You not expendable!” God loves you and He thinks you are worth dying for. Don’t let what others think of you keep you knocked down – focus on God’s love and go out there and be fabulous just by being who you are!
13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.
1 Corinthians 9:22-23
22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.