By Valerie Lovelock
Valerie Lovelock has been actively involved in ministry for 20 years. She is married to Linton, and they have three children: Makiah, Samuel and Daniel. Along with her role as a church planter’s wife; she also home schools their children. Ten years ago they lost their eldest child to congenital heart disease at the age of three. She has a very special place in her heart for reaching those with special needs children, and those who have had children die. Valerie is a teacher by calling and has a heart to help women have a closer relationship with God despite their past. The Lovelocks are planting a church in the inner city if St. Louis.
People ask me all the time, “what is it like being a church planter’s wife?” My response: “You know that act at the circus where the clown is spinning plates? Then, once all the plates get going that clown continues to run back and forth to keep them in the air and spinning?” That’s my life. And I love it, I really do, but I won’t say it’s easy.
I met Linton, my loving hubby, fifteen years ago. We married fourteen years ago and we have been completely immersed in various ministry roles ever since. Church planter’s wife is by far, the most adventurous, challenging, exciting and hardest role to date! So many experiences (a lot of history there ladies) and lessons learned over the years have shaped me into the woman I am today, but to spare your eyes a novel I will limit this to one really big lesson learned that set me free in many ways.
One of my biggest struggles has always been comparison. Comparing myself to other women, in ministry or not. It became debilitating. I struggled for years with the fact that I had never learned to play the piano. I was afraid that I wasn’t smart enough to communicate with everyone, so I backed away from teaching anyone over the age of ten. I agonized over appearance and what people would think of me. I wouldn’t let people come to my house because my house isn’t as fancy or as well decorated as other houses (in my own head). Comparing myself to others, all the time. This is an unhealthy and ungodly behavior to engage in because it leads to serious discontentment. Comparison is the root of discontentment. My insecurities had become my shackles. Not only was I insecure, I was also discontent and usually disappointed. This is no way for a church planter’s wife to live! How can you fully minister to someone if you are afraid to speak to him or her while constantly wondering if they will accept you for who you are? I couldn’t. I was disabled; trying to do a job that God has called me to and equipped me for, while tying my own hands.
So a couple of years back I had a serious come to Jesus meeting with myself, and the Lord, in all His infinite mercy worked some things out of me and stamped some new thought patterns into my mind and spirit. Ladies we are talking rewiring years of bad thinking! God was freeing me from the bondage I had created. There is so much peace that comes from knowing you are right where you are supposed to be and so much freedom that comes from knowing just being you is what you are supposed to do! My testimony is unique and needed for such a time as this, just as yours is!
What have I learned? So many things, too many things for one blog post but learning to stop comparing myself is by far the most liberating. The great part about learning this is that I am not the only beneficiary; I am finally able to minister and connect with the people in our field, the souls God has called us to minister too. I can finally say that in this area I can be a help-mate and not a liability. The role of church planter’s wife is fraught with all sorts of trials and adversities, it’s best not to add any extras that you create yourself.
In Category : Uncategorized