I am not a hugger. I long to be, I see how it breaks barriers in people. I don't have a gentle/sweet voice, and encouragement doesn't come natural. Being super excited and passionate when I see people isn't in my nature. I'm really knocking it out of the park at life, I know. I just described to you what most wouldn't expect a pastor's wife to be. Let alone a joyous person. And sadly, I described me. That's not to say I haven't been those things before, and don't practice them on a regular basis. Those wonderful delightful traits just don't come freely and easy to me.
Just the other day some girls in my church were on a hugging/physical touch discussion and my name was brought up about how occasionally I hug. The fact that I occasionally hug is huge. But, I don't want it to be! And we could argue, thats just who you are. You do you, and don't worry about changing it. But, now knowing what I now know, will argue it till the day I die. There are a lot of things that come naturally to me in my flesh that aren't good. & I could argue the same thing, this is just who I am. But, the moment I put my faith in Christ I am suppose to die to my flesh daily and have a new life in Jesus.
I have been a student of joyful, extroverted, contagious, passionate, people-loving people for a few years now. I went through a study back in 2015 by Andy Andrews and what he said stuck with me. "Joy is contagious, and people desire to be around people who are joyful." He talked about how joy is a gift. A gift to give to others. You would think after a few years of studying I would have a major or bachelors degree in it, but to no surprise I keep having to retake courses.
For too long I have held captive joy on the inside. Somehow I have viewed joy as mine, and not viewed it as a gift to share with others. I have this friend. She is actually the Mayor's wife in my hometown and she has got it! She is probably one of the only people I have EVER met who gifts people every time she sees them, and continues gifting them the remainder of the time she is with them. I think I am probably distracted the entire time I am with her, because I am studying her and watching the contagious joy she exudes. She could not know you at all, and meet you for the first time and treat you as if you are her best friend. Her face lights up. Her body language all the way to the tip of her toes expresses so much excitement, joy, and love for you. I wish I could describe her to you. I feel like I am doing her a disservice by not being able to adequately illustrate her. When you leave her, you leave thinking...does she treat everyone like that?...I think I am her best friend....She loves me, like really loves me...I must be awesome...She is the best...I wish I was like that...wow....Did you see how she lit up when she saw me?...She saw me across the parking lot, immediately called out, smiled, held her arms out to hug, wanted to know about how I am doing, and gifted me joy...Like, who am I?..She is the Mayor's wife..Her level of importance surpasses me...she has a lot of connections and people...but..I think I am her favorite..
THOSE ARE THE THOUGHTS that go through mine and Jim's (hubby/pastor) heads when we leave her! & you will never guess what happens! I leave encouraged, and excited to give the next people I see the EXACT same joy she gives me. I leave excited to smile at someone. Excited to hug someone. Excited to encourage someone. Just the other day I helped with a foster organization, and there was a lady helping volunteer that had the gift of encouragement, and what would you have it. I started encouraging people too by the end of the day.
I have noticed when I surround myself around people who have characteristics I desire to have, that they start rubbing off on me. Just like when I spend time with Jesus. I start acting more and more like Him. You know the old saying, "You are who your friends are." I can tell when I am not surrounding myself with people who uplift, inspire, encourage, and breed joy. I start defaulting back to my flesh, not gifting joy, not encouraging, getting agitated, feeling dry, and not happy with myself.
For some, like the Mayor's wife, that "it" factor comes easy! And, I pray daily that somehow it will for me too one day. But, for now, I know I have to surround myself with people who inspire me. So that it rubs off on me and bleeds over into my life. I want people to leave me thinking the same thoughts I think when I leave the Mayor's wife. I want people to leave me, wanting to encourage others. Just like I did when I hung around the other foster organization's volunteer.
I am on a journey of growth. I use to always desire to prove to myself and others, that I had arrived at full growth. I was doing myself a disfavor. I was strangling myself from any blooming because I thought arriving at point b was the point. When in reality it's the journey to point b that is all that matters. Coming to the realization that you aren't perfect, fail, and have flaws is the next step to development. Growth is an everyday, your entire life, till heaven, kind of thing. I have come along way since five years ago, and I will come along ways in five more years. We need to start excusing ourselves, and release others from our past and present who are still learning. We are all on different journeys at different levels of growth.
Pastors' wives, pull up your boot straps and surround yourself with people who inspire, encourage, grow you, and gift you joy. Here's to being a little more like the Mayor's wife.
xo a girl who sleeps with the pastor