When enough is enough.
For young women leaders, the pressure to be all things to all people sometimes feel so intense. There's not a whole lot of us, and at times it feels like we have to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. Because we are few, when we are seen, it can feel like "the pounce". You know when that pastor looks at you, and says -- yes, you!! Come and lead up the entire youth department -- and your heart sinks just a little bit because you were hoping that you could maybe rest a bit and get fed the Word just once in a while, for yourself. But because of that inner voice that can sometimes insistently rant, first softly, then louder and louder that you have been given much so you have to serve much, you relunctantly agree. And continue to perpetuate this notion that you are superhuman
can do it all, tirelessly...Eventually keeping up a perfect persona becomes too much for the best of us, and many of us find ourselves turning to less than healthy coping mechanisms - that may threaten to destroy our very lives, our careers, our relationships and ministries. We live in shame and we don't know how to get out. We live in constant secrecy, the world telling us to go ahead and just do what you feel like, since it's your own life and supposedly doesn't affect other people. The church oft-times creates such an environment that you don't feel like you can share what's going on without having proverbial stones thrown at you. Deep down, you know that Christ in you would not want you to throw all caution to the wind and just live joyfully in the muck like the world would have you think is fine. But you also know you can't keep up with the Joneses, Smiths (who by the way are often living isolated just like you!) -- and enough is enough.
IWMN exists to say you are not alone in your struggles. And just because you struggle does not mean you are disqualified from being a leader. That is because you do not qualify yourself in the first place! God in Christ qualified you, and justified you when He died on the cross for your sins. He calls you to freedom, much like the woman caught in adultery, He does not condemn you yet calls you to leave your life of sin, so that you would live truly free.
Through on-going support, process, re-learned healthy ways of thinking and behaving,
IWMN offers you a solid and caring network through which you can re-gain your health --
or maybe start to be emotionally and spiritually healthy for the first time in your life. And as Jesus told Peter, when you have turned back, strengthen your [sisters]." We are made whole to lead.
Now, one important caveat, which is a big part of what we are about, just because you've been made whole, or experienced God's goodness of emotional healing does not mean you don't need to continue to walk in the freedom and healthy habits of balance between staying well, and helping others to get well. To read more about that, click here.
I pray through reading this brief article, you find encouragement to keep on keeping on.
We'd love to hear from you! Feel free to comment below or make sure to send us your thoughts through our Contact page.
Achlaï Ernest Wallace,
International Women's Ministry Network (IWMN),
“I've been really blessed by the ministry MWMN, not only by receiving advice or teaching by some amazing women but also by having the chance to be a blessing to others by leading worship. I believe that's what MWMN is all about: to receive but also to serve and give back by being a blessing to others. I've been to a conference this last July and it was a great encounter with God. A sweet meeting with my Lord. Thank you MWMN for what you're doing for women everywhere!”
Peggy, Worship Leader, MWMN Healing & Prayer Conference 2013
MWMN gave me the opportunity to meet other women leaders that went through the same challenges I faced in my life and I was not alone. MWMN helped me to believe that as a woman, I can do many things without losing myself and pleasing God first. Through MWMN I learned how to use the resources in the network to become a leader in my career and in my family. Despite my low self-esteem I finally embraced who I am in Christ by loving myself, forgiving others and meaning it and moving forward without hanging on to past hurts.