I have been trying to write this post for over a week now. I want it to say something on my heart that I can't seem to put into words. I don't want it to be misinterpreted or misunderstood. I want it to be God-honoring. I would just skip it but it won't leave me alone and that usually means I need to write it. I am hoping my thoughts and experiences may help another pastor's wife out there. Or someone else. Or maybe just me. And that's good too.
I feel like God's brought me to the other side of some things. I don't know if that makes sense. I guess I have felt like I am constantly going through things. I am always in the middle of it, trying to fight my way through it, and it is hard to get perspective when you are in the thick of the battle. But, just lately, I have been feeling like I'm on the other side of it. And I have time to think. And gain some perspective. And figure out what I've learned.
One of the areas of my life that I have learned about is my role as a pastor's wife. I have struggled in this area. I don't write about it often (maybe never) because I don't want to say the wrong thing. What I am talking about has nothing to with people in the church. It is a battle I have fought within myself.
I have always felt inadequate. I'm not cool enough, outgoing enough, spiritual enough, talented enough, never ever enough. This has played over and over in my head until I believed that God and my husband made a huge mistake by making me a pastor's wife. I tried my best to do what I could to help Dean with his calling. But there was always that voice... telling me it wasn't enough.
Then came a break. I was so relieved for a respite from the constant demands I placed on myself. And the guilt of never doing this thing right. I thought I would love it. But I didn't. I missed it. No, not the feeling inadequate part.
I missed being a pastor's wife. I missed the people and the way my husband and I could talk about his vision for the church. I missed leading the women in Bible study. I missed the relationships and sharing peoples' lives. I missed watching my husband lead and knowing that he was doing exactly what he was made to do. And I was helping him to do it. I missed being forced to step out of my comfort zone and do something new.
So when the time came to step back into church ministry I was my husband's biggest cheerleader. I knew, without a doubt, he was supposed to do it. I prayed for him and listened and, together, we heard God calling us.
And, now that I am on the other side, I realize what the difference is... it is OUR calling. Not Dean's, but OURS. I'm not just trying to help him fulfill his calling. I share it with him. I realize that all those things I missed were things that God created me to do.
I feel so blessed to be where we are today. I treasure the church and people God has called US to serve. I truly look at it as a gift, something to be protected and nurtured. I want to grow and learn and do my best. I am excited to be stretched and pushed to do things I never thought I could. Not because I married a pastor, but because God called me to this awesome ministry of being the Pastor's Wife. And I still feel so very inadequate. I hope I always do.
So, that is what I've learned as I look from the other side. And I'm smart enough to know that I will be in the middle of something new. It is simply a part of life. But I am enjoying the view from here as long as I can!