When you grow up in a pastor’s home, you get used to attending church services and events and counting who’s there, who’s not there, and why wasn’t “such and such” there? You have to guard your heart as you hear all sorts of grumbles and complaints and accusations (which are mostly false) against your parents and against the pastors. You hear every excuse in the book, and you have days where you just get tired. You get tired of setting up and cleaning up every event. You get tired of promoting the events. You get tired of trying to encourage people to go to things that are good for them, even necessary for their spiritual growth. You learn to guard your heart, because if you don’t, you end up like many pastors’ kids – disappointed, burned out, bitter, and resentful.

Today, we held a ladies’ tea at the church. We baked, made coffee, brought tea, etc. and tried to make it a special two hour event for the ladies. Most importantly, we encouraged everyone to come as Bishop Natasha always speaks a good word. Or I should say that the Lord always speaks a good word through her. Today was no exception. She spoke a very good word. She spoke things that God has been trying to teach me this year. She spoke things that I’ve been meditating and contemplating. She spoke beautifully, and the sincerity, intimacy, and passion that she has in her walk with the Lord was clearly evident. I was blessed, and I think that every lady who came was blessed.

Sadly though, many missed out. And as I got in the car with my mom, she stated something that she and I have been talking about a lot this year. It doesn’t matter who shows up at these things. It doesn’t matter who is faithful to church and who just goes depending on how much time they have or how they feel. What matters is what God has called us to. He has called us to sacrifice our time in order to grow in Him and to grow in relationship/fellowship with others. And so we obey that call by baking, by setting up, by cleaning up, by attending all the events that we can. And oh you say, yeah, but you’re the pastor’s family, you have to be there. I dare to say that you’re wrong. You’re called to do the same. The pastor’s family does what they have to in order to honor God, but you’re also called to honor God. You’re called to be in relationship with Him and other believers. You’re called to serve the Body. The calling doesn’t apply to some and not to others. We’re all called to hunger and thirst after Him, and that takes time and dedication. Nothing worth anything comes easy in this life. If we are desperate for something, then we will do whatever it takes to get that thing. If we are desperate for God, then we will be there any chance we can in order to encounter Him.

There’s a certain freedom now in knowing that it doesn’t matter what others do. It just matters that we do what God has asked us. Over the past few months, I’ve stopped making note of who’s there and who’s not there. I’ve stopped saying oh, you missed a great service yesterday. Instead, I’m just so thankful that I went and that I got something from the Lord that is drawing me closer to Him. I’m so thankful to just be able to have two hours to invest in my spiritual life rather than do something that probably won’t have any eternal fruit. I needed to hear what Natasha spoke today as it cemented within me the things that God has been teaching me this year. So I’m thankful that He sent her from Russia to share her heart with us. How blessed we are.

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