I am always curious what thoughts go through someone’s head when they ask what my husband’s job is, and I tell them. There is often an awkward pause. Maybe as they mentally go through the last parts of our conversation, checking to make sure everything had been “appropriate.” Or, as they decide whether or not to admit the irregularity of their church attendance. Because you know, if they did that, I would have to pull the book from my purse to update the record I keep as a pastor’s wife…Of course I’m kidding. That would not be polite. I totally wait until I get home!
My point simply being, that when read like that, it sounds ridiculous. But, what I just described is a very normal situation for me when I meet someone for the first time. Unless one is completely familiar with the church, and even then sometimes, there is an awkward curiosity when they find out that we’re that family.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret…It’s often awkward for us too! I feel horrible when I do not remember someone’s name or the fact that I’ve already “met” them once before. I feel just like you do, when my children disobey in Sunday School. And I still have days where it is hard for me to go to church. One of the main differences, is that I cannot hide all of these things. It is a unique place to be in, when a lot of people know who you are but do not actually know you.
I’ve been thinking a lot about being in full-time ministry because next week will mark 10 years for me. After about a year of doing full-time ministry my husband and I were married a month after I graduated from college. We were directing our first camp, as a married couple, a week after our honeymoon. I always tell people, ministry is like any other job that husbands have. I married Josh, because I loved him. I did not marry him because I longed to marry a pastor. In fact, I had said quite a few times, I did not want to marry a pastor! While I do not believe that God put me in this position because I said that, I have been very careful about my prayers regarding Africa! No, really, I believe that God knows what we specifically need in our lives to be the driving force behind our growth. God placed me exactly where I am because, in His sovereign love, my relationship with Him was far more important than my continual comfort.
I did not marry a pastor because I am super spiritual. God knew I needed to grow, be refined, and gently led in order to serve Him faithfully. He recognized my people-pleasing, over-planning ways and His great mercy called me to a different path.
I believe that God knows what we specifically need in our lives to be the driving force behind our growth. God placed me exactly where I am because, in His sovereign love, my relationship with Him was far more important than my continual comfort.
God knew that I was weak. He knew that I would need practice. Even after growing up in a Christian home and faithfully being part of church, God knew that I would need to work out my salvation, literally! He knew that it would be a hard place for me to be in, a lot of the time. But you know what?! God is continually using my husband’s pastoral position to remind me to check my focus. Being a pastor’s wife, has almost nothing to do with me! It is all about reflecting and directing. No matter what situation you find yourself in, ministry or otherwise, do you know how reassuring it is when the focus is not on ourselves?
When I am obeying God and walking in the Spirit, it does not matter what title I have or do not have! My focus is on reflecting God’s glory and character and directing His message and love to the people around me! No pressure required.
Each and every year of our ministry has looked vastly different. It has come with a variety of blessings and devastation. It has come with the realization that if we are obedient to God, it should not matter who is looking! My family is that family and I am that woman by the grace and mercy of God. His faithfulness has brought us to the place where we are. Anyone is welcome to witness because my focus is on reflecting and directing. If my eyes are on God, I can minister in any role He takes me into to. I’m not a pastor’s wife because of anything I did that was extra amazing. God just knew this child of His pays better attention in the front row!
Oh and about that attendance record…don’t ask about mine and I won’t ask about yours!