This Is Hard! But it is Also so Very Good.

By Sherry Graf

Do you know you have one of the hardest jobs in The Navigators work? Really, you do!

Awhile ago Deb Maschoff shared with me a conversation she had with Leroy Eims when she was a young mommy missionary.

Leroy Eims shared at our table one night many years ago with our intern staff—-Dana  Yeakley was one of those!! Leroy was asked, “What is the best job in The Navigators?” He answered immediately, “Being a local nav rep”. Next he was asked, “What is the  hardest job in The Navigators?” Without hesitation he answered, “Being a Nav wife!!” We asked for an explanation and he pointed out a Nav wife has all the pressures of every other wife and mother plus an entire ministry is run from her home that is enhanced greatly if she is a laborer and shares her husband’s life and passion.

You might be asking why I would share that with you as you launch into a new school year. It isn’t so you can justify your nightly dark chocolate and Netflix after the kids are in bed and hubby is gone for the tenth night in a row (do we ever need to justify chocolate?). The reason I bring this up now is to affirm you. If this feels hard it’s because it IS HARD. But it is also so very good.

As a young wife in training with Navs I remember reading Gail MacDonald’s book, High Call, High Privilege. In it she shared both the excitement and struggles of living life as a wife in ministry. It truly is such a privilege to be married to a godly man first and foremost. Do you remember the years of singleness dreaming for a partner who would be as passionate about Jesus as you are? Do you remember his zeal for the Lord that first attracted you to him among other things? Being married to a godly spouse is such a gift from the Lord. It took years of running our own campus and a few student weddings for me to realize this I wasn’t just influencing this one gal. I was helping her walk with Christ which impacted her decision to marry a godly man, which impacted the lives of her future children who are now growing up in a godly home.

Recently I got to visit with one of those gals who graduated out of our ministry ten years ago. She and her husband sat and talked about life with us while their adorable four kids bounced on our trampoline and raced around with our own three sons. Ten years ago I was still spinning from moving to a new state with a newborn and two-year-old. For the first time we were running our own campus. Life was full of nap-times, diapers and occasional significant conversations with women either at an event or in our home. I may not have even had a great influence on this woman directly in the one year we were together but my willingness to do life there and ministry through our home certainly did.
Motherhood alone is 24 hours full of ministry opportunities that will reap eternal fruit. Adding Nav ministry opportunities into the mix can feel both like a burden and a blessing at times. As you switch off with your hubby once again so that one of you can get to campus to recruit, meet with a student or lead a Bible study, realize that you are making an eternal difference. And the difference is not just in the lives of those students but for generations to come. It is hard. It is a very high calling. But it is also such a tremendous privilege. So, after those little angels are finally asleep, do something for yourself to refresh yourself for another day. Sit at His feet. Eat some good chocolate. Go to bed early. Whatever it takes. And then, press on my dear mamas, it is so, so worth it!
For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done. Matt. 16:27

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Col. 3:23, 24



Sherry joined staff in 1997. She robbed the cradle and married a handsome student (gasp!) named Jeff in 2000. Since then they have served in WI, SD and now in CO.  They have 3 boys ages 8-13 and there is never a dull moment in their house. 3 years ago Sherry finally got her girl, a black and white lab mix who is her constant shadow. Jeff works with operations and training for collegiate. Sherry enjoys writing and encouraging mommy missionaries when she isn’t busy homeschooling. 

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