So you know I’m a Pastor’s wife, right? Almost everyone who knows me personally, knows this about me. However, it is NOT the first thing I mention about myself when I meet someone new. I have learned over the years, many people shut down as soon as the words come out of my mouth. It’s one of the hazards of being a pastor’s wife (PW) A very hard thing I had to learn to accept.
I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned being a pastor’s wife occasionally in other posts. I’ve been once since the day I married Don….37 years ago! The funny thing is, I didn’t ever see it coming….this pastor’s wife thing!
In the early 70’s Don was the Campus Pastor on a small college campus. We both had been in the campus group, and he had grown into the leadership role and was on staff at a local church overseeing ministry to the campus. After we fell in love and married, we continued working with college kids and we thoroughly loved the great relationships we had with them. I’m sure I pictured us being in the campus environment for the rest of our lives. I guess we were actually pastoring on the college campus, but I never thought of myself as a pastor’s wife and I KNOW the thought of pastoring a church NEVER crossed my mind at the time!
But God had a definite surprise in store for me, when after three years of marriage, Don was asked to pastor the church we had been part of since our college days. I remember thinking, “How is it that suddenly I’m supposed to be able to take care of other people’s spiritual lives, when I’m barely learning how to take care of my own?” By this time I had only walked with Jesus for about 6 years and had not gone to Bible School. Our season of leading the college students had been one of mutual learning and growing as friends. The idea of being a pastor’s wife seemed like entirely new territory!
Don and I had been trained and discipled by our wonderful pastor, so he and the elders felt we were ready for the challenge. However, for me it felt as if we were suddenly being pushed out of the nest, and I was quite sure I was NOT ready to fly! Regardless of my feelings, it was going to happen, so I tried to wrap my mind and heart around the idea.
I set aside time to think and pray about this new step! And one day God dropped a couple thoughts into my heart that brought peace…. I could either try to play the role of “a pastor’s wife” or I could “be” the same person the people in our church had known all this time. In the moment the choice was easy — be myself!
Sticking to that choice would definitely have its challenges in the years ahead….. (that’s another post).
The other thought the Lord gave me was simple: He said, “I didn’t call you to be A Pastor’s Wife, (and He said it as if He was reading the title of a book), I called you to be Don’s wife. Be the best wife you can possibly be to him and the rest will fall into place.”
Although at times it was difficult to keep those two things separate, God was ALWAYS faithful to help me see when I had taken on a role — and then He helped me re-prioritize my life, so I could take the time to “be” Don’s wife ….. and let the rest fall into place!