Onto the Beaten Path
The book we received at our retreat – highly recommend it!
When I was approached by my fellow pastor’s wife about going to a conference just for pastor’s wives of our district, I was extremely apprehensive. Thoughts flooded my mind and mainly the unsettling feeling that I just didn’t fit it… I already had a difficult time accepting the shoes I am trying to learn to fill now and be comfortable with being who I am while I walk down this road. To add to those thoughts…how will Mike survive for 3 days without me? Not that I’m the saving grace of our family, but will he really make sure things run smoothly while I’m gone? Will Kai stay up too late or not get enough rest? I know I can’t be the only one who thinks of these things too!
So I went. Packed my items for the next few days and traveled to West Virginia for the conference. There is a freedom in stepping out of your comfort zone. Oh how I would have missed out on so much if I didn’t go! I was so pleasantly proven wrong over the next few days and found a comfort and clarity that only God knew I needed. I had been praying to feel connected and to embrace who I am without the stuffy title that can come with being a pastor’s wife or the stigma that surrounds it. I wanted to take the trials and experiences that have caused so much growth in my life and use it in ministry… To be accesible to those around me and not a distant figure of Jesus without substance. But I kept hitting this brick wall – fear and self-conciousness. Fear that though I know God has placed us here, was He really sure it was this place? If so, now that I’m here why would He put someone like me who hasn’t learned to hold their tongue too long? Even writing this I have to laugh to myself, because I get in my own way and over analyze every detail (a gift and curse)!
Needless to say going to the conference caused me to face this wall head on with no excuses or husband to hide behind. What was even better was I ended up sitting next to the speaker and author of the book for the entire conference (talk about the irony)! It caused me to face my strengths that I’ve deemed to be weaknesses and a perspective that has caused me to stay isolated and alone. That’s one of the most difficult parts of being a pastor’s wife, not allowing yourself to stay isolated. Whether it’s because you don’t know where you fit, your children are too young to participate, or you’ve been hurt so your circle of trust is that much smaller – you often fight the desire or circumstance that keeps you a part. But the truth is, though these things are very real and being a wife and mother is my first ministry; you have to actively choose to stay connected. Ministry is a choice and a choice I knew when Mike and I sat down over a year ago that we would always make together. We are partners in life and this was no exception. I knew the sacrifices that would need to be made, but I knew the call of God was too strong on my husband for me to think our safe and normal lives could avoid it.
Over the next several days I was able to be vulnerable in a way that I have not been except probably through my writing and this blog. I spoke of my heart’s desire to women that understood where I was and had been there before. I prayed and actually felt like God showed me a glimpse of what is to come. Most of all I wasn’t so afraid. Not so afraid to be myself or to choose Kai over our ministry schedule. To set healthy boundaries and be okay with admitting to myself and my husband that I love doing ministry. I think about our youth daily and pray for them just as much as I pray for my son.
I have left refreshed and renewed emotionally and mentally. With this high moment I know the responsibilty that comes as well. I sat down one evening and journaled all that I’ve been doing and separated those things that only I can do and those things that I could pass on to others (a great tool I was given by a pastor’s wife). I cried out of frustration in letting some things go and also took a sigh of relief. As our roles in ministry are drastically changing and more responsibilities are coming Mike’s way, I am having to let some things go. No I won’t stop writing, but sadly I will be closing my shop.
Yes it’s true. I believe that the shop has served it’s purpose in this season, which was to show a very broken and insecure me that it is very possible to succeed. I’ve had the opportunity to have over 150 sales on Etsy and several more not just through my shop! My heart is still very much with small business and I will continue with that a long with crafting and sending out all the remaining orders before I close its doors for now.
So many more wonderful things are to come, but if I took anything away I know that I want to be great at a few things rather than settle for being mediocre in a myriad of them.
Carmen! I swear we are sailing along in the same boat of life in so many things. I needed this so much! My husband has a similar role in our faith and I just loved reading this! You are so great.
Josie! That's so awesome and so hard to balance doing God's work and the everyday things that life throws at us, but I know you both are doing amazing things for God. Thank you for always encouraging me, you're amazing!