Girls the last time we chatted, we discussed living wholeheartedly for Christ. Now we are working on living whole minded. The definition of whole minded is giving ones’s whole mind to something.
As believers, we need to intentionally give our mind to Christ so that we can walk in the freedom of a Spirit led mind. There are many things that can cloud our mind and keep us from walking in His freedom. One of the most dangerous things that can consume our minds is hurt.
Hurt can cause physical pain, but the hurt I am talking about is the kind that can cause emotional pain or anguish.
We have all experienced this kind of hurt. When I think back over my 42 years, there are many experiences that come to mind that caused me hurt. I remember being in 4th grade with a really bad haircut and being called Mophead in front of my whole class. That hurt! I remember being dumped senior year right before Homecoming, and my ex-boyfriend taking a freshman instead. That hurt! I can remember not getting a bid from the sorority I wanted to pledge. That hurt! I remember applying for a job that I didn’t get. That hurt!
I was able to move past these hurts, but sometimes there has been hurt in my life that has not been so easy to get over. This kind of hurt for women can be debilitating to our spiritual walk. This kind of hurt can linger and then turn to bitterness which then leads to anger. Each small step takes you farther away from Jesus than you ever want to be.
During our first pastorate, I was young and naive. I thought that all people would respect the office of pastor, and that ministry life would be peaceful. I learned the hard way that being a pastor and pastor’s wife is not the easiest job in the world. During those years, I made friends and did not protect myself from the hurt that would come. My best friend in the church, led a campaign to get rid of my husband as pastor. There was a secret Saturday night meeting held to talk about all the things the pastor had done wrong. When we found out about the meeting, we were shocked. I will spare you the gory details, but I was devastated and not equipped to handle it. Not only was I a first time pastor’s wife, I was a mom of a three month old baby living four hours away from my family. I could not understand how anyone could treat my husband and family this way, much less my best friend. I cried. I got mad. I vowed to get on with my life. I prayed. I cried more. I went through the motions, and all the while a seed of bitterness began to grow.
A few months later, Matt was called to another church three and a half hours away. Which was perfect, right? I loved being a pastor’s wife so it was easy to jump right in. I got to know the congregation. I prayed for everyone. I helped with Children’s Church. I looked like a perfect pastor’s wife. All the while, the seed of bitterness continued to grow and grow and grow. The bitterness turned to anger, and my walk with Jesus suffered. Of course at the time, I could not see it. Around 2:30 a.m. one night, I woke up wide awake, and I could not figure out what woke me up. I began to pray, and girls I heard the Lord speak so clearly to me. He told me that I had to forgive the person that had betrayed me. He told me that I was choosing anger over him. I was choosing to not forgive her even though Jesus had died on the cross to forgive me. That night, with God’s help I forgave her.
Ephesians 4:31-32 “Let all bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander be removed from you, along with all malice. And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another just as God also forgave you in Christ.”
After that night, I experienced personal revival like never before! My prayer life became more intentional. I wrote a Backyard Bible Study for our community, and best of all I grew closer to my Savior.
Fast forward fourteen years and a few months, I still battle the tendency of hanging on to hurt. When I do this, I loose all control of my mind. I fixate on conversations that have already happened, and I imagine my next conversation with the person. All the while the person that hurt me has moved on and probably does not even think about the hurt they have caused.
According to 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober-minded, be alert, Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.”
Since I know this is a struggle for me, how do I prepare for this? 2 Corinthians 10:4- 5 “since the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but are powerful through God for demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every proud thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ.”
A few months back, someone that I love dearly ended our relationship over Facebook likes. When this happened, I found myself being shocked, devastated, perplexed, and hurt all over again. My flesh wanted to fixate on the hurt, let it turn into bitterness, and anger. But this time, I was prepared. I put on the armor of God, I took my mind captive, and I obeyed Christ by forgiving her right away. When I think of her, I pray for her, and I will be here waiting on the day she realizes that I am more important than Facebook likes. That day may never come, but I am not willing to sacrifice closeness with Jesus so that I can harbor hurt in my mind. This time I choose Jesus.
My prayer for us is that our walk with our Savior will be more important than any hurt that comes our way. With His grace and a little grit, we can let go of hurt and choose Jesus daily!
My name is Brandy. I married my high school sweetheart, and we have been married for 21 years! We have three children Jackson (14), Elli (9), and Wilson (9). God saved me when I was 9 years old, and called us into the ministry in 2001. Since excepting the call, I have had the privilege to watch all three of my children give their lives to Christ, support my husband in his calling, and be a Pastor’s Wife. I am the Special Education Lead Teacher at an inner city school. I am a marathon runner, avid reader, and lover of broken people. My prayer this year for my life is to dig deeper in the Word than ever before which leads me to a stronger relationship with my Father and makes an impact for His glory while finding joy in the journey!