Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Confessions of a 23 Year Old Pastor's Wife

Hi. Most of you know me. Well, most of you who are reading this. You know my quirks, you know my strengths, my weaknesses, my desires and my shortcomings. You know me. I'm 23. I'm finally graduating college in May. I graduated high school 5 years ago. Most of my friends are just graduating, just getting married, just having babies. I'm pretty much in that boat with them. Life is exciting right now. And I'm basically the same as they are. And God called me to be a Pastor's wife. Being a pastor's wife is really great. I have a great ministry and a great call to serve my husband as he serves the church and the community. We have a great heart to see people saved, and we're passionate, together, about our ministry.
But I think people get confused. I think people hear the term "pastor" or "pastor's wife" and they see "sinless" or particular duties that come along with the word. Now those of you who know me know that I sin (and you who are reading this most certainly know me). You also know that I have a heart to not only serve my husband but to also serve alongside him in ministry. But, I must admit, I don't believe my calling or my duty is to serve every woman in the church by being something I'm not.
You see, I was recently approached by an individual who was obviously a little offended that I haven't been making contacts with the ladies in the church. Please, again, don't misunderstand. It isn't that I don't want to know these women or to speak with them at church, but my ministry is with my husband, to my husband, and I'm at church everytime the doors are open. I serve, but obviously not in the respect that she'd like for me to.
And all of this got me thinking. The expectations that are often set for our pastors and our pastors wives are not only unbiblical at times (there are standards, don't get me wrong, just sometimes the standards the church puts on individuals are even more critical than those that scripture put upon us) but are often unattainable. You see, I'm a normal person with an extraordinary calling -- just like you. We all have extraordinary callings as Christians. And by setting these standards on me, not only are you setting me up for failure (because I fail... often) you are setting yourself up for disappointment.
I love the Lord, and I love the church, and I love my life as a pastor's wife. But, just because I'm a pastor's wife doesn't mean that I make a mean casserole, or that I wear a skirt to church every week. It also doesn't mean that I don't enjoy listening to some Coldplay sometimes. My being a pastor's wife doesn't make me want to take part in the woman's scrapbooking fellowship, I really hate scrapbooking. I'm not real crafty. And to be honest, I love hanging out with church people, but when my husband gets to be home, I want to be with him. You see, I break the mold as a pastor's wife... and I bet your pastor's wife might to... if you let her.
Well anyway... just a little sidenote to one interesting ride...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Hay Bails

If you've ever heard the analogy "This is the straw that will break the camel's back", then you may be able to relate to our lives right now. It seems, since January 2nd, that everyday something else is placed upon us, another straw so to speak, and without fail we always say, "What else could happen?" or "What else could go wrong?" And every time we say, "I can't take anymore, this is the last straw, I can't handle any more." And the next day comes and so does the next straw.
Don't let straw fool you. It may be small, but it adds up... and after a few weeks of carrying these next straws and those next straws, Aaron and I started carrying around these hay bails on our backs. And they're heavy. And they hurt. We literally feel hunched over at the weight of these invisible straws.
And we're here again. We're at another place where, "We just can't handle anymore. This is the straw that has broken our backs."
But God taught me something. Straw, piece by piece, is light. It's not heavy. It isn't one straw alone that will break a back, it's one straw on top of an already full load.
And God said, "Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest." If I can continue to hand to God every straw that's placed on me. If I can give it up, the next straw won't break me. So, it's at Jesus' feet that I lay enough straws to build the first little pigs house. It's at Jesus' feet that I weep and hurt and struggle to lay the straw down, struggle to give it up. It's at Jesus' feet that I regain strength to stand up, walk back, and take the next straw.
And it's exhausting... it's exhausting trying not to hold on, learning to let go, and going back knowing that the struggle is coming again. But it's the only way to get through... it's the only way to push on.
And it's hard. I'll never claim that it's easy... but it's necessary.
I've heard it said that "God will never give you more than you can handle." I wish someone would show me scripture for that, because personally, I believe that God will keep giving you more and more and more until the ONLY way you can POSSIBLY handle it is to hand it over to Him. The statement should be, "God will never give you more than you can handle when you're handing it back to Him." I think that statement holds more truth.
So, here we are, bailing hay... filling the Lord's barn to capacity...
Until next time...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Unfiltered Blogging

God has an interesting way of stretching us and pulling us and molding us more and more into his image. As Christians, honest Christians, it's fair to say that sometimes life gets rough, confusing, there are questions, there's hurt, and for any of you who know me, I love to write. Writing is the outlet by which I figure out myself. Writing is the outlet by which I discover who I am and how I feel. But as a writer, I can't imagine writing without reading, which is why you're here, I hope.
Feeling as if there's a deeper, more intimate self inside, a person I'm not willing to open up to just anyone, I've begun a new blog, a blog here, and you've been given this address, because I value your opinion, your comments, your prayers. Most of all, I trust you, I know you know me. You know who I am, my imperfections and strengths, and you love me despite both. So, this is kind of the beginning. This is the beginning of a deeper expressed self, and I consider it an honor to have you reading this right now. Please keep checking back, I plan on writing often.