Wife. Mommy (1657 times a day). Daughter of the King. Sister. Friend. Leader. Pastor’s wife. Advisor. Truth teller. Transparent. High Capacity. Some days all of these expectations are far more than one woman can bear. I know that to be true, because this is my story.
I was appointed as the Chief Advancement Officer for Biblica in November 2016. I stood before the staff early in my tenure as likely one of the youngest female leaders that a Bible Society has seen in a long time. In my first meeting with the staff in Colorado Springs, I shared, “Hi, I’m Tracy Thomas, wife to a handsome husband, mommy to three sweet babies, daughter of the King, recovering sorority girl, and perpetually trying to lose 30 pounds.”
I’m not sure the staff knew what to do with me. In fact, no one in the room laughed, snickered, or even coughed. You could hear a pin drop. I had to follow that up with, “It’s ok – you can laugh! You can also laugh at any given diet plan I might have going on – juicing, protein, high fat, low carb, extra coffee – miracle plan, and encourage me- I’ll need it!”
Laughs, jokes and truth-telling aside, getting to that place where I have embraced the many expectations, labels, or identities placed on my life is the culmination of a long journey of understanding who I am, but more importantly, understanding more of who God is.
You see, the part of my story that many don’t know, or see from the outside, is the counter- productive, dark side of expectations and labels which negate everything I am called to be for God. Yet, they too are an ever-present thought in my heart and mind.
Mommy guilt. Opinionated. Competitive (NOT athletically!). Overweight. Too young to lead. Unworthy because of your past. Pray more. Read the Bible more. Over achieve. Work harder.
I’ve taken my courage from the Word over the years in both the hardest dark places all the way to the mountain top experiences.
Philippians 1:6 says, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
One day I woke up to the truth of God’s Word that I can be confident in the God who created me – skills, talents, labels and all – and that he is the same God who will carry me through the days when the lies are louder than the truth.
The biggest lie I heard for many years was that the Bible, God’s very heart for his people, didn’t address my deepest needs, so why should I read it? It was at the crossroads of that very lie, and my commitment to read the Word and listen for God’s voice, where I had the epiphany that God doesn’t expect a perfect Tracy. He just wants Tracy – imperfections and all. We are all imperfect people who are so desperately in need of a perfect God.
It is our desire at Biblica for the content we share to encourage and uplift you as you are on your journey with the Lord. This month, we have asked a variety of women to share their stories of motherhood, imperfection, recovering (fill-in-the-blank), and wives. With these special contributing authors, we hope to tackle the hard stuff women deal with, sharing from their voice how the Lord brought comfort, direction and his kindness through the toughest of times.