I had the opportunity to preach at Church on the Rock this past weekend and as always I absolutely loved every minute of it. I just love getting to study Scripture, receive revelation from the Lord and then pass it along to people who are seeking for His truth and grace. This weekend was no different – I spoke on Freedom from Guilt and saw many people respond and take steps towards greater freedom!
Since most of my readers are ladies, I have to share with you a part of preaching as a woman that most people aren’t ever aware of. I read the book “Gifted to Lead” by Nancy Beach last year and so appreciated her candor about a few of the obstacles women have to face when they are preaching. Not only are we trying to honor the Lord and share the truth that He has revealed to us…and not only are we also thinking in the back of our minds that it is an opportunity to change stereotypes and prove that just because we are on stage does not mean we are feminists or starved for power…but there are a multitude of other things that we have to subconsciously think about…
you know, important things like – am I wearing enough lipstick…does this outfit make me look professional and nice (we know how ladies think & know that they are looking us over either wondering where they can get a blouse like we are wearing or wishing they could nominate us for “What Not to Where”)…plus there are microphone issues - where exactly is the most appropriate place to put a lapel mic…not to mention the issues with my long hair getting tangled in the countryman microphone…and don’t get me started on the importance of comfortable shoes, dangling earrings, and the like.
So, I typically take great care and caution to think through my wardrobe and typically I think that I do pretty well. That is until this past Sunday in what I will term the bra debacle. Not only do I at this time have to worry about basic clothing issues but at this moment in time I also have the protruding belly of a 6 month pregnant woman & was trying to work with that…plus my body temperature is off whack…so, when I found this amazingly comfortable black shirt that is breathable, comfortable & modest I was sold & decided this would be my preaching shirt.
The bra situation started harmlessly enough since I don’t have as many bra options as I had – oh, say 6 months ago – there are basically two options in my house – a white bra and black one – so I grabbed the white one (which is more comfortable) and was on my way to preach the Word of God! I spent great time in prayer that morning & talked to some people around the church when I quickly ran back up to my office to check the make-up and get ready. As I glanced in a mirror, however, I was horrified to realize that you could in fact see my white bra through the black shirt…and then thought about the fact that I would be standing on a stage with stage lights thus magnifying this reality a hundred fold.
I’m ashamed to tell you that what happened next was not very preacher like of me. I grabbed my cell phone and called my sweet husband who was still at home. I realized that church literally started in 10 minutes and doing the math that it is a 15 minute drive from our house – screamed into the phone as soon as he answered, “Get my black bra & bring it to me NOW!” It took a few seconds of my hysterics to awaken him, and thankfully he was on his way. He texted me the entire drive – letting me know the progress of the black bra & just as the worship was beginning I bolted out of the sanctuary to go meet him in the parking lot for our secret drop-off. I quickly changed…decided I didn’t trust the power of the black bra & also grabbed a sweater cardigan just to be safe.
I did my best to gracefully walk back into the sanctuary…and I did my best to focus on the Lord during worship…thinking this wasn’t exactly the attitude or way I had envisioned beginning this Sunday service. But it was my reality. The service went well – I was told I looked like I had a nervous tick as I continually tugged at my sweater just to ensure that the bra was shining for all to see…AND YET – in spite of my crazy attitude and the bra debacle – God was gracious. He showed up- in spite of me and ministered to a lot of hearts that morning.
During the worship time of the 11am service the Lord & I had a good conversation. I now had a tank top on buffering the shirt from the bra and thus was no longer consumed by the superficial…and in that time of singing He reminded me this was just one more opportunity to learn that this whole opportunity and world of preaching is SO not about me – it’s not about my words…it’s not about my presentation…it’s not about what I’ve learned… and it’s definitely not about performing. Rather, it is a moment in time when I get to join Him in what He is doing…in what He is saying…in how He is moving in hearts. And the more I can remember this truth and get out of the way – the more He is free to work in lives.
Oh, and as I lamented a bit more to Josh after the service – reminding him of yet one more reason there are a few more obstacles stacked against women…he reminded me – men have their own clothing issues at times – it typically comes in the form of fly that is down – so true…so true…