Next week I have a big, newsy, tour of the church post planned. But for now, it’s another feely post about church planting and pastor’s wifing. Cool?
For those who are new, every Saturday for the foreseeable future, I’m writing about our church planting journey. Here’s a little more info
I remember one specific episode (viewed in my suite mate’s room just before lunch) where a bunch of church women were touring the parsonage and commenting loudly on the curtains and bedrooms with disdain and loads of snark about the decor.
In their opinion, since the home belonged to the church it was theirs to evaluate, tour and scrutinize.
So often ministry families feel like this. Owned. Scrutinized. Evaluated and found lacking.
College me grabbed another handful of Doritos and told my suite mates… “See, this is why I will never be a pastor’s wife, that’s crap.”
But…. here we are. #pastorswifed
They say that man makes plans and God laughs. This phrase has always bothered me because it makes God out to be a bully who enjoys messing with us.
It also bothers me because it seems to hold true a lot of the time. I didn’t want to be a pastor’s wife, but here I am.
I talked to a lot of other pastor’s wives and they said the same thing. “I never wanted to be a pastor’s wife, but here I am.”
I think it’s because so many of us worry that somehow God’s work will be the undoing of our marriages and families.
We’re worried you’ll judge us
We’re worried you hold us up to unreachable standards and dismiss us when we fail you
We’re worried you’ll judge our children, maybe make them hate church.
We’re pretty sure that you’ll say mean things about our spouse
We’re worried we’re not good enough for our role
We’re worried we’ll fail you by example.
And all these fears, have validity in the history of our lives
They’re valid because they happen.
Here’s how I plan to survive this, I’m going to believe exactly this:
They only way I can truly fail our church is if I cease being the woman God created me to be and start becoming the woman they want me to be.
The only way I can really fail them is by conforming or giving into these fears.
And I say this is true for every man and woman who walks through the doors of the church. The best way to fail the church is to never bring your true self through the doors.
To either not show up at all or to bring some churchy plastic version of yourselves on Sunday.
I’m going to bring myself to church. This is my jam, my game plan, my future hope.
I’m going to be myself, Kel’s wife, Caedmon and Noelle’s mom. I’m going to bring my questioning, broken soul to church with me every Sunday. Sometimes I’m going to cry and sometimes I’ll show up pissed off at the pastor (totally gonna happen).
But I’m going to bring myself to church, down with any other version of doing it.
I’m going to have faith in the people who come through those doors and not fear them for things they’ve not yet done.
I’ll cross bridges when I need to and pray for the strength to do so, but for now?
I will take hope in a God who had me in mind when he set our family on this journey. I’ll take hope that he wouldn’t send me into a place that had no room for me.
And if he’s laughing, it’s not because he’s bullying me around but because he sees the woman this journey will make of me if I can do the good work of showing up and he can’t wait for me to meet her.