Women Of Reverence welcomes Justine Wimble as a guest blogger.
I live in a home full of testosterone, I love it, mostly! I have been married to the man of my dreams for the past 14years and we have three gorgeous sons! I have been serving Jesus for the past 22 years and have been in full time ministry for 14 years now.
Five years ago we came down to Durban to plant a church! Together with my husband we also serve in the NCMI Global Team.
In June 2017, Mark and I had been married for 11 years; our three boys were aged 9,7 and 6. We had moved to Durban 2 years prior to plant a church and we were living our dream! My life was the perfect package.
On the 2nd of June 2017, out of the blue, Mark was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Within 5 days, he had an operation to remove the tumor and was set for recovery, until further scans revealed 11 more tumors all over his body. Needless to say, the “perfect package” life I was living seemed to be changing daily into a wild, dark, scary and unyielding storm… It felt like my dreams and future were slipping through my fingers. No matter how desperately I tried to fix, hold onto and grasp at things of meaning and purpose, I realised I was losing control…. Mark did eventually get into a clinical trial and, within 6 months, was given a clean bill of health (so many miracles in this journey, to share another time).
By nature, I am a positive, go-getter kind of gal! I love people, I love having them in my home and I love being involved in meetings, large and small. However, come September 2018, I hit an all-time low. I was completely exhausted. I didn't want to appear weak or let people down, but the thought of people and meetings had me in tears. I had so much to be thankful for - a healed husband, gorgeous boys, a church community that was growing - but I was struggling, and it was hard for me to admit that my perfect package was not so perfect after all.
I began a journey of healing. I realised it’s ok to be weak, to struggle, to have no capacity. There is so much I have learnt along this journey of keeping myself mentally and emotionally healthy, and I know there is still so much that God wants me to learn. If I can encourage us with anything, may it be this scripture, Heb 6:19: “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure!” Ladies, we have this hope and His name is JESUS! He is the one we can cling to when the battle in our mind rages; He is the one we can hide in when it feels the enemy is crouching at our door, when our emotions are spent and we have nothing left to give. It's Jesus who can restore and replenish us! He is our answer and our hope.
Along this journey I have learnt a few things:
To be HONEST with yourself - about where you find yourself, mentally and emotionally.
For so long, I was in denial about the true state of my mental and emotional health. My denial was rooted in pride. I didn't want people to think less of me; I didn't want to appear weak. In John 4, Jesus takes rest by Jacob’s well, where a lady from Samaria comes to draw water. Jesus acknowledges her, she receives living water from Him and her life is forever changed! She received when she was honest with Jesus about what was going on in her life. Be honest with yourself and be honest with Jesus. Allow Him to bring Living Water into the deep place of your mind and soul. He is not looking for the perfect package, He just wants you as you are!
Being comfortable with OBSCURITY - as women we love to know the plan, all the details and, most importantly, what our role in the plan is. In my healing process, I found it was as if God took me and put me in the cleft of the rock, away from people and the hum-drum of life. For a while, it just seemed still, silent, like nothing was happening. In the quiet, I started to hear His voice and it started to wash over me. Is 40:31: “Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.” Be comfortable in the unknown, the quiet, the cleft of the rock, as your Maker makes Himself known to you again.
PERSEVERE - ladies, God is calling us to be women that persevere, that keep our eyes on the prize. Ps 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” God's word is there to guide and show us the way. He gives us everything we need to keep moving. It may not be in leaps and bounds, but His word lights our footpath and allows us to take one step and then another. His word is light to our feet and life to our souls.
EXALT - the psalmist writes in Ps 42:5, “Why are you downcast, O my soul, why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.” Exalting God in the midst of our pain and fatigue may not be our natural response, but we need to be women that train ourselves to exalt His name, no matter the circumstance! When we exalt Him, we welcome Him in, our eyes are taken off the troubles that surround us and redirected onto our loving and perfect Jesus. Exalting the Lord restores our souls and gives us perspective.
God's desire is that we as women live in a place of health and wholeness in our entire being. We live in a broken world and we will fall short along the way, but can I encourage us to hold onto the hope that we have in Jesus! He has things planned for our lives that go far beyond our wildest dreams. We may not be the perfect package, this was never going to be attainable! May we be found in HIM; it's His perfection that covers over all our imperfections and brings life and beauty! We have this hope; His name is Jesus!