A few months ago I was having a conversation with a total stranger. When she discovered what Michael did for a living, she said “oh gosh, isn’t it awful being a pastor’s wife?”. She said one of her relatives was a pastor, and she felt it was one of the worst jobs possible.
“Yes, it is awful”, I said. And before I could continue, we were interrupted, and were not able to get back to what I was going to say.
I was going to say…
Yes, it’s awful. We are broken, and the only people around for us to serve are also broken. The devil wants to destroy us. Every day in every possible way. I can tell.
There are times that I think only crazy people would take this job. Why else would anyone want to be in this position?
But there is always good news. I would also tell her this: We are only here because God decided we should be. So what if we’re crazy. God likes crazy. Because God is only about His glory. And crazy people are at least consistent, in the fact that they aren’t impressive. God is.
God will have His glory. At all costs. Reading the Bible assures us of that.
I was also going to tell her that she doesn’t know Michael.
But I do.
I get to see the back story of the sermon prep, the long nights and days, the soul-searching, the grieving over how inadequate we often feel. I also see how broken everything is; how only God could repair the broken.
After our interrupted conversation, I thought a lot about her question, and suddenly it struck me, quite profoundly, because these last four years have seemed like an endless series of heavy times…
I love being a pastor’s wife.
Don’t misunderstand…I am not the best pastor’s wife. There have been many tears shed over how unfit I am for this role; much begging of God to change me into more of a people person. Unfortunately, my hermit personality is not best suited to this position. (Incidentally, pastor’s wives aren’t usually valued for their ability to be happy sitting by themselves in an empty field.)
But, despite all of that, I sure love being married to Michael.
I am horrified to think that if God had ended up “saving” me from being a pastor’s wife, I wouldn’t have been able to share this life with Michael. It is such an honor to serve the Lord beside him.
I get to see God continuously glorify Himself. I get to see how He changes lives. I get to hear the other side. I am so grateful.
In a way, this little post is an effort of faith. Satan wants to discourage us to the point of giving up. The darkness is always there…lurking. But Jesus…He is the Light of the world; He has already won the battle. We can have courage!
These things have given courage and strength lately:
The kids and I are memorizing Philippians 2
Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life-in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you.
-Philippians 2:14-17 (Emphasis mine)
Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
It’s one of our bathroom books. (!) One of the kids had bookmarked and underlined a certain part, and I was curious. It was the chapter on gratefully living where God has placed us in the present; not letting Satan deceive us with constant (discontented) visions about how the future will be so much better than the NOW.
During Michael’s sermon last Sunday, I caught a glimpse of the glory of God, and the terrible battle that rages all around us. I was reminded of the fact that God knew me, long before I did. He created me to be here, doing this, and taking joy in the here and now. We are broken, so we only see the glory dimly, but we are rescued, so we get a glimpse into the world ahead.
Michael continues to preach about the kingdom of heaven, and the power of Jesus. We are going through Matthew right now, and it’s…intense. In Matthew, Jesus shows us that He is the only way to the Father. There is no compromise. It is a painful way, but there is also great joy.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning it’s shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
-Hebrews 12:1-3 (Emphasis mine)