Today’s email is a message written by another pastor’s wife about her journey and I pray it will bless you.
When I was a child, Halloween was a chance to dress up and be anything I wanted to be! This year, I bet a lot of little girls are going to be a certain superhero whose movie came out this past summer. Wonder Woman! And why not? She has an amazing outfit, and some impressive accessories like the golden lasso, the defensive bracelets, a tiara, and an invisible plane!
But let’s get honest for a minute – I think a lot of women would like to be Wonder Woman, too. I don’t mean just for Halloween – but for real!
Being a Wonder Woman is today’s battle cry for women to be warriors in their every day lives. And frankly, that appeals to me. My tom-boy spirit within wants to rise up sometimes with both fists clenched and I want to cross my bracelets and go lasso somebody! Am I the only one? Probably not. I think a lot of us as women want to know we can “beast it” in our lives.
We want to rock it in the home,
Rock it at church and at school.
Rock with our friends, be pretty smart and cool.
Women want to be strong, exciting and inspiring.
Just a princess doesn’t cut it. Don’t let them see you crying or not pulled together. Have to be hardcore.
Knocked over by a feather? Never! I am woman, hear me roar!
But then IT happens. And the day comes when we go to put on our Wonder Woman outfit and it won’t zip up all the way. Our bracelets won’t stay clasped. Our lasso is tangled in knots and we can’t find our invisible plane anywhere! The wonder in our woman has disappeared and all we are left with is just-a-woman.
Where’s the wonder in that?
Christians have grabbed onto this “do more, be more” mentality. Women authors write about it and when we read their books, instead of feeling encouraged we feel worse about ourselves. Why? Because the ultimate Christian woman is expected to be Wonder Woman! We put unreal expectations on ourselves and let others put their expectations on us. Expectations like, be a strong woman –do, do, do more! Yet sometimes we can’t keep it – or ourselves – going. Or be a strong wife – yet sometimes we have marriage difficulties. Or be a strong mom – and our kids embarrass us in public. Or we embarrass ourselves by reacting wrongly to their actions! And on and on it goes. And instead of kicking butt, we find ourselves in a terrible rut!
Several years ago, I found myself in a terrible rut. I was at the end of my golden lasso. I was – in my own way- trying to be Wonder Woman. And I had failed.
I had put unreal expectations on myself and let others impose their expectations on me. When I couldn’t reach those expectations, what should’ve been a little disappointment transformed into a heavy weight I couldn’t lift. That kind of disappointment holds hands with self-condemnation. Somewhere down this dismal road, I had let self-condemnation slip in. It became a voice I not only heard, but also listened to. Condemning myself for not doing more, for not being enough, and for not being better at the things I can do. I listened to the condemning voices of others that said, “You don’t look like a pastor’s wife to me,” and “Why aren’t you more outgoing?” and “So, what are you doing in the church now, anyways?”
My wonder was fast disappearing, taking my strength along with it. I was like that old lady in the commercial; I had fallen and couldn’t get up on my own.
I was at such a low point, I simply didn’t want to live feeling like this anymore.
I thank God I found and called Care for Pastors! With help from Ron and Rodetta Cook, I am continuing to work through and have victory over the lies that had – and still try to – deceive me about the Wonder Woman ideal.
One thing Ron kept saying to me was, “But you are God’s girl!” Funny how you can know something but the disconnect between your head and your heart keeps you from applying it.
Another tool Ron gave out was a card that has “My Identity in Christ” written on it. It says:
Because of Christ’s redemption,
I am a new creation of great worth.
I am deeply loved, completely forgiven, fully pleasing, totally accepted by God and absolutely complete in Christ.
Because of this, I am claiming a new mantra for myself. “To be satisfied with the work God is doing in me.”
- As opposed to not being satisfied until I meet someone’s expectations for me.
- As opposed to my own Wonder Woman expectations of myself.
After all, Wonder Woman is a myth! She’s a cool myth, but still a myth. We are not the Super Hero of our own story. We are the ones that need rescuing.
God is the Super Hero of His Story for our lives.
Being God’s girl is a real thing. Trying to become Wonder Woman is trying to become a myth.
Have you been trying to measure up to the Wonder Woman ideal and her unreal expectations? Or can you rest in and be satisfied with the work that God is doing in you?
– Robin Houston
I appreciate Robin’s open honesty in sharing her heart with us today and I dare say there are many pastors’ wives reading this that can relate. I want to encourage you to stop trying to be “Wonder Woman” and stop “doing” and just “be.”
We are here to walk with you on your journey; please let us know how we can help.