By Heidi Goehmann

Freedom is a common struggle that I hear from many and various people in ministry life — workers, spouses, and even children of church workers.

Without us even realizing it, life sometimes turns into a big ball of expectations, roles and to-dos.

We step back, look at our life, our family, and our church, and we wonder how we got to a place of service that doesn’t quite feel like we thought it would.

We might go through a season of serving where we feel exhausted, unappreciated, or misunderstood.

We might even find ourselves serving with a tiny side of resentment, asking ourselves, “Does anyone really know who I am or just what I do in this role?”

Galatians 5:1 speaks truth to our hearts and minds:

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

God created each of us as unique and gifted individuals. He formed us with His own two hands and knit us in the womb.

He has big plans for us. He calls us worthy and loved. He also calls us free by the death and resurrection of His Son.

He doesn’t just call our spouse free, our children free, or our parishioners free — He calls each of us free.

We are free to choose, free to do, and free to be ourselves. We don’t need to fulfill any church member’s expectations (real or imagined) of what a pastor’s wife, ministry spouse, pastor, teacher, or other church worker should look like.

We don’t even need to fulfill our own expectation of what to look like. We only need to focus on God, the One who calls us free in the grace of Christ.

Ministers of all kinds, ministry spouses, and ministry children come from a wide variety of backgrounds, from all corners of the earth, with various types of education, different passions, different skills, and different weaknesses.

Galatians 5:1 reminds us we are free to live the testimony that God is writing in our lives.

Our lives will look less than perfect, and our relationships will look less than perfect. But we are free to ask for forgiveness when we upset someone, and we are free to live in the forgiveness of Christ regardless of their response.

We rejoice in our Lord, who made us, even when that doesn’t look quite like someone expected.

Think about posting Galatians 5:1 to your refrigerator, your bathroom mirror, your desk, or your calendar — somewhere you look every day.

Most of us need the daily reminder to live with what He has already given us, which is renewed every morning.

Live free! Be you.

Let Him perfect you and throw off the image someone else thinks you need to be. May God complete this good work that He has already started.

Onward in freedom!