Thursday, January 9, 2014

I am a preacher's wife...

I am a preacher's wife.

Five words that carry a thousand possibilities and unanswered questions and negatives and positives with very few black-and-white pieces to the puzzle.  Five words that confuse, clarify, misrepresent, and identify.  Five words that can be embraced, rejected, celebrated, or mourned, but cannot be ignored nor refused nor resigned.

I am a preacher’s wife.

I am young and pretty!  In love and a newlywed, I am on a quest for my identity.  Will I be nurturing or ambitious? Will I be a conformist or a radical?  Will I build my identity around my position or build my position around my identity?  I often base my authority upon my title rather than my experience and, consequently, end up hurt and disillusioned by those whom I am called to serve.   I am watching and observing, wanting to be everything God wants for me to be, but not quite sure who that is.  More than anything, I need for older, more seasoned members of my congregation not to write what I say in stone.  Allow me to grow, to become, to mature.

I am a preacher's wife.

As I settle in to my new life and start my family, I am often overwhelmed by all things pastoral.  If I am involved in the ministries of the church, I find it hard to balance my home, my family, and my duties in those ministries.  If I work a secular job, I often become resentful of my job or my family or my husband or my little ones or my church or, sometimes, all of the above.  I pray, but am exhausted and try not to think about the fact that Jesus was a man and not a woman and didn’t have a spouse or family.  I thank God when my husband is understanding of my plight and often wonder who I can trust to help guide me when I am at odds with him because of the sheer weight of the burden.  Somehow my identity has become that of a mom and a maid, and I am convinced this season of my life is eternal.

I am a preacher's wife.

My children have become teenagers, and I look in the mirror and wonder when I became so old.  I am busy trying to teach my children how to have character and integrity, to love God and keep His commandments, to make good decisions and right choices as they begin to venture forth into the world on their own.  It is so hard for them to figure out who they are if they are continually reminded by the members of the congregation who their father is.  I sometimes resent the interference in our family life and wish my children could receive the grace that we have extended to the children of those creating the angst.  I’m not really concerned at all with my identity at this point, because I am a mother hen and nothing—not church, nor husband, nor identity—comes before my children.  I am finding that with more age comes less patience, and I become bolder in my interactions than I was in my younger years.   Many times, I am weary with the weight of it all and have to work at controlling my tongue and my reactions in order not to create more problems for my husband.

I am a preacher's wife.

I am tired.  I would much prefer to stay home with the grandchildren and just go to church on Sundays and Wednesdays.  Motivation and being stirred are not words that move me much anymore.  Been there, done that.  Bless you, dear.  If there is one thing I have learned, it’s that it will all be here again tomorrow.  And next Sunday.  And next month.  And the wheels will keep on turning, and it will all be as it was.  I’ve earned my place; let the younger ones do it.

I am a preacher's wife.

We retired last month, and he’s now the Bishop.  It’s nice to be able to travel about and let someone else shoulder the burden for a while.  We’re enjoying our golden years.  He spends hours in his study, and I enjoy helping out where I’m needed when necessary.  We’re enjoying the reduced stress and the lighter schedule.

I am no longer a preacher's wife.

He passed away six weeks ago.  I feel so lost.  I didn’t just lose my husband, I lost my entire identity.  Who am I?  What is my purpose here in this world?  What needs can I meet within my circle, my sphere, my environment, my world?  I based my growth on who he was.  We connected with our friends at the conferences, meetings, and special services.  I feel so out of place going there alone now.  Where to from here?  

Are you a preacher's wife?

It’s never too late for you to be better, to grow, to minister as you.  Your identity as a whole, emotionally healthy woman who knows who she is, where she is, and where she is going will complete him more fully than you ever could as an insecure, indecisive, unmotivated companion.  Your personal pursuit of God and the things of God which have nothing to do with your husband nor your congregation will catapult you into that celestial realm of fulfillment and God-relationship that no human companion can ever give.

I am a pastor’s wife.

I have an opportunity to partner with an incredible calling.  I will do so with prayer, with enthusiasm, and with gratitude.  But I will make sure that if called upon to stand alone, I can do so with integrity, conviction, and grace.

I am a pastor's wife.

What an honorable place from which to grow.

No comments:

Post a Comment