“You can lead a ministry, you can have babies, and you can take them to work. You can run an organization and still be a good wife and mother.”
No one had ever really told me that before. I mean, I think I’ve always believed it, but there honestly just aren’t that many women out there demonstrating that it’s possible. As my mentor, in her 50’s, shared this with me, my heart immediately responded, resting in the reassurance and confirmation that my desires are not misplaced and may actually be plausible.
For me, these desires include pursuing wifehood and motherhood while serving in roles of leadership of a church or non-profit. Also entangled in that is a desire and calling to be an ordained pastor, a role still only open to woman evangelicals in a small number of churches.
In the back of my mind, I always assumed that once I start having babies, I’d need to step down away from pursuing leadership. In my deep longings, I’d always hoped that being a mommy and a leader in a ministry was possible, but because of the influence of evangelical culture, I figured it’d be too hard or unhealthy. There’d be rejection and too many battles, and maybe I wouldn’t want to fight that hard. Maybe my kids would resent me.
My mentor was speaking to me from her experience, however, and so her words carried weight. She had been there, and she had taken her baby son to work while leading a successful ministry. The Lord had blessed it, and through it, she grew into a place of deep intimacy with Him. And she has a great relationship with her son. God made a way, and her influence grew, and she managed and led adult male leaders in a compassionate and humble way while raising a family.
She told me I could do it too, and she could see it for me…it wouldn’t be easy, but God could certainly make a way for me too.
So, delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart (Ps 37:4). Wifehood. Motherhood. Ministry. A Wife and Mommy leading the church? A Wife and Mommy shepherding leaders with a pack-and-play in her office? Is that something the evangelical church of America is ready for? Is that something I’m ready for?