I don’t know why necessarily, maybe it’s because of my hardly sensitive way of talking or preaching or evangelizing, but I get called Joyce Meyer a lot. It doesn’t bother me, so don’t misunderstand this post. The woman is wise and anointed and a little bit hilarious from time to time. I don’t take offense to being likened to her.
But it has caused some tension in me, some pulling back and forth, and this post is for those who call me Joyce Meyer, those who discourage or encourage my pursuit of ministry, those who pray I am not the next Joyce Meyer, those who want to be Joyce Meyer, everyone else, and above all that, it’s for myself.
The truth is that though I love and feel called to ministry, even preaching and writing within my women’s ministry, I have to say that I do not want to be Joyce Meyer. (Hopefully, some of my family will give a deep sigh of relief at that).
It’s taken me a while to find the words for everyone who calls me Joyce Meyer or tells me I can’t be Joyce Meyer and be a mom, I just finally figured it out.
I don’t want to be Joyce Meyer. I want to be me.
I was created with a calling and a purpose and everything about me was foreknown by God, called by God, and predestined for those purposes. He’s going to make them happen despite me and my wants. But because God made me and my purposes to go together, it’s designed specifically for me, and it will be so much better than me trying to live out that which was designed for Joyce Meyer.
Last night, my fiancé and I were at pre-marital counseling, which we are loving and will probably pursue even after the wedding; but the topic of ministry came up because there have been some interesting prophesies delivered to us in recently months about where our ministries will go or what they will do. And while that’s all well and good, we have a 3 year old that I am bringing into our marriage that needs love and support and to ultimately, be our first ministry as a couple. (Our marriage is our first ministry, and our family the second, but our first priority as a man and wife, mother and step-father/father is to share the love of God with this child and any that come after her, leading her/them up the way she/them should go). And we, specifically me have received quite a bit of (for lack of a better term) flack for this call to ministry that may uproot our family at some point and cause us to travel. It’s all in God’s hands and I won’t claim anything over my life that He hasn’t ordained, so I’m not saying it’s going to happen, I’m saying we’ve been told it’s going to happen.
And it’s exciting, sure, and it sounds amazing, but there are sacrifices to be made in that lifestyle. Our children wouldn’t know regular living arrangements like we did (well as products of divorced parents, I hope they don’t know our “regular” living arrangements period), we may be apart for periods of time, and it’s all very time consuming and can take away from family. Ministry does have the potential to be like any other business or career if treated like one, but it doesn’t have to be. Ministry done right is a beautiful addition to life – and it’s required for life, actually. We should all be engaged in some sort of ministry, corporate or otherwise (Biblically, Matthew 28:16-20).
And I wrestle, I really do. Nowhere in the Bible does it mention a women’s ministry, I’m told, and yet millions of women’s ministries exist. The Bible says that older or more mature women (which could arguable not even mean age, but women further along in seasons of life) are to teach those younger or less mature how to be Godly women, which includes how to be good wives, working at home, and being good mothers (Titus 2:3-5). God designed the family as the first ministry and I agree and yet Abraham was called from his family when he was still Abram (Genesis 12:1), and Jesus straight up rejected a guy who wanted to wait until his dad died before coming to be a disciple and called a man who wanted to say goodbye to his family “unfit” for service in the kingdom (Luke 9:59-62). Fatherlessness and being widowed are deemed tragedies in the Bible, though. As far as I have read, we actually don’t know whether or not the disciples had families or not, I assume they had to have had some family because Jesus acknowledged their sacrifice and promised reward in heaven for that, but I don’t know If that means they agreed to not marry or literally had wives at home they could not be with because of ministry. Does anyone know if they had wives or children? (< legit question). And then you look at women like Beth Moore, Joyce Meyer, Christine Caine, etc etc and they have HUGE ministries, writing books and bible studies, preaching and teaching all over the world, and yet, each one of them has children. I look at Chris Tomlin, Toby Mac, Third Day, and [insert any Christian worship band here] and they all have families. How was it okay for them to pursue their ministries and build families side by side but ours is somehow… I don’t know… inappropriate it seems as I am and he will be a parent.
Now, I’m not claiming that one side is right and one side is wrong, I’m not here to pick a side at all. All I’m going to say is that my family and I will be following the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, and I look forward to wherever He leads us and trust that whatever it is we wind up doing that He’ll set it up that He alone is glorified. We are going to face persecution for that, and that’s good. The only way fire starts is with friction. But I don’t have to be Joyce Meyer and he doesn’t have to be Chris Tomlin for us to have passionate and culture changing ministries. So long as my life sings His praises, I’ll be content. I will be just as happy at home, loving my husband and raising my children day in and day out if that’s where God keeps me as I would be preaching or writing to the thousands, watching him lead worship around the world.
Any and every bit of advice I have is wrapped up in that last paragraph. It’s about God. If your family is all over the world but isn’t God glorifying within its own camp, it’s not of Him. But if it is, if He’s truly anointed you and set you apart from birth to be that world traveler, He’ll handle everything, down to the last detail, holding your family together like glue. Just follow Him wherever He leads, if it’s to the sink full of dishes or the plains of Africa. Trust Him that His plan for you is beyond better than your dreams. Seek His glory only; not your own… because your works are not about you. They’re about Him.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in Heaven.” – Matthew 5:16