Please allow me to introduce Deaconess Heidi Goehmann, who is assisting the LCMS Office of National Mission with worker wellness initiatives, especially in support of worker families.
Deaconess Goehmann is a licensed independent social worker and mental health care provider, a writer, speaker, wife, mom, and a forgiven and loved child of God.
Goehmann completed her deaconess certification, as well as her bachelor’s degree in theology and psychology, from Concordia University Chicago. She also earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Toledo with an emphasis on children, families, and social justice.
I know you will find Heidi’s articles engaging and helpful for our church workers and their families. Watch for more of her resources to be shared here and on lcms.org/wellness.
Rev. Joel Hempel
By Heidi Goehmann
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20)
I am relatively new to the cell phone world. It’s not that I’m a hermit and never knew about them; it’s just that I didn’t own one for years.
I semi-shared with my husband because of the cost factor of an extra phone. Recently, as a tiny bit of extra income came in, we made the jump to being a two cell phone family.
Yesterday, I realized I put people in my contacts by who they are to me, not necessarily by their proper name.
My sister is listed in my phone contacts according to her childhood nickname that stuck — “Ney-Ney.” My friend, Jen, who teaches kindergarten, is under “Jen Kinder” to distinguish her from other Jens that may call. Another friend is entered as “Jaime College.”
Obviously these aren’t the only dimensions I see of these people, but they are the primary goggles I clearly identify people with without thinking about it.
A few weeks ago, when I went to put my friend Emily’s number in my cell phone, I found myself contemplating what to enter. Her husband is a pastor and we met through a circuit picnic, so it was really tempting to put her in as “Emily, Pastor’s Wife.”
But would I want someone to identify me like that?
No. I wouldn’t. Somewhere deep down, while I love being the “Pastor’s Wife,” I desperately want people to see me as something else, something more specific to me.
Being a pastor’s wife is deeply fulfilling. It’s wonderful, scary, frustrating, and special.
But it’s not who I am.
It’s a role I serve, a vocation. I love being a pastor’s wife. I love being your pastor’s wife.
But please see me for all of me. See me as a mom, a deaconess, a social worker, a great conversationalist, a person rarely on time to anything, a lead foot even, a person with passion and exuberance.
But where is my real identity? It’s not actually in any of that. I pray that when you see me, you see Christ.
Because that’s the real and Biblical truth — I am a forgiven and redeemed child of God. I am a temple of His Holy Spirit living in me. That is me.
What do you wish people saw in you, or what do you wish they saw if they looked beyond one title or vocation?
I’m positive one thing they see in you is Christ. He lives in you and shines in you, and you are a little less you every day and a little more Him, which is a good thing.
All that said, when you go to enter your pastor’s wife number in your phone, put her in as “Sue, She Who Can Seriously Bake,” or “Mary, She’s Super Thoughtful,” or even better “Elizabeth, My Friend.”
And if you want, you can put the next Christian brother or sister in your phone as “So-and-So, Crucified with Christ.”
Nothing could be closer to the truth.