During my husband’s last year in seminary he was mentored by the pastor of the church we were attending. During one of his meetings with the pastor the comment was made that my husband would never be successful in ministry because he had married me. He was told that I would be a detriment to his ministry.
Now I do not know what the context of these comments were made only that they were. When I found out about this comment I decided that I would do everything in my power to prove him wrong. And so for the next 10 years every ministry that I undertook, every decision that I made about what I would become involved in, Sometimes even what I was going to wear to church or what purse I would carry was based on proving him wrong. I poured myself into being perfect. And I held on tightly to these comments.
In September of 2010 I was challenged to let go of the things of the past that were hindering my growth in ministry. I knew that in order to grow I had to let go of what I had been holding onto. I sent an e-mail to the pastor asking his forgiveness for holding the grudge. And I never expected to hear from him. But my conscious was clear and I felt better for the first time in 10 years.
Two days later I received a reply from him. He said that he had no recollection of ever making those statements. He had reviewed the file he had kept and had not made any notes indicating that he felt that way. He apologized for making them and for me having labored under them for 10 years. And that was it. For a decade of my life I had been working prove my worth to someone who didn’t even remember making the comments.
I tell you this because lately I have been cleaning out. Cleaning out closets, toy boxes, drawers, and cars. And it got me wondering what else in my life I have been holding onto that needs to be cleaning out. Are there grudges that are keeping me bogged down? Are there attitudes that need to be checked? Are there relationships that need to be reevaluated?
The start of a new year brings the chance to look at what I have been holding onto and to ask the question if it is something that I want to take with me into the next year. So I challenge to do the same.
What are you holding onto?