Amidst all of the joys and victories of your calling, your job is one of the most difficult jobs in the world. You persevere through self-doubts, God-doubts, and humanity-doubts. You are constantly wrestling with how to convey liberative truth to a diverse congregation where everyone might be in different spaces and places. You struggle with balancing your desire to be congruent as a beautifully wounded human being who is on journey alongside the internalized and externalized pressure to maintain an uber-competent and confident attitude that inspires faith. You continually pray for patience and love in dealing with difficult members of the church who never seem content and constantly criticize your every word. You are afraid to reveal your darkest secrets, struggles, and stubborn sinful thoughts, attitudes, and actions to others, and therefore, are lonely because you are seldom known deeply and intimately. Many of you have to worry about budgets, buildings, and bulletins, when you would much rather be deeply present with hurting and broken people.
There are countless other things that you do and go through. I want to let you know you are loved and appreciated. May you find continual strength and solace in the arms of a God who loves you as you are. May you find one or two wit(h)nesses with whom you can be fully yourself and find grace, empathy, and compassion. May you continue to minister and serve through the power of the creative and life-giving/empowering Spirit! You got this!!