Refusing the Cookie Cutter Life

I grew up just a couple miles from both sets of my grandparents. I would frequently have after-school dates with my grandmothers where we would get ice cream and play card games.

Around Christmastime, my grandmother Mary Ruth would bake sugar cookies with me. I loved putting on one of her aprons, sitting up on the countertop, and baking with her. She had a massive collection of cookie cutters, probably curated over the generations of grandmothers before her.We would roll out the dough and make perfect, identical shapes of Christmas trees, stockings, and snowflakes. When they were hot from the oven, we would ice them and taste our creations.

Maybe you have similar experiences with cookie cutters. They take the guess work out of cookie creations. The shapes are predictive, perfect, and identical.

In life, it’s tempting to look for predictive, perfect, and identical. It’s tempting to compare your family, your body, your clothes, your hair, your ministry, your marriage with others and long to be like them. It’s tempting to think that being similar is better, that a cookie cutter life is a goal to shoot for- especially as a ministry wife.

Friend, you are not meant to have a cookie cutter life – forced and pressed to be like someone else. There is NO RIGHT TEMPLATE to be a ministry wife. We don’t look the same, act the same, or serve in the same ways. Our personalities and giftedness are not the same. They are unique and special and God-given. You have space to be you.

But how many times have I, you, we COMPARED ourselves to others and then HEAPED SHAME on top of that thinking we should be anything different from how God has created us?

Stop it.

Stop comparing. Stop trying to please everyone. Stop trying to be who you think others want you to be. Stop hiding behind the martyrdom of serving the Lord.

Have some honest conversations with your husband about how you are feeling. Spend some time talking with the Lord and really looking at what you are passionate about, what brings you joy in serving him, where you are gifted. Be okay to say no. Let go of trying to be someone you are not. Stand into the very unique and gifted woman that God has created YOU to be.

God has called you to walk with your husband, in your church, at this very time in history. He has PLACED YOU THERE to love and serve him in the VERY WAY that he has created you to love and serve.

I pray you find freedom and release in that. You are not alone.