Often times in filling ministry roles the number one thought that comes to mind is, am I good enough? Thoughts come rushing in like a flood, and not before too long are we drowning.
I became a Pastor's wife in my early twenties. It was my first time in full time ministry. My husband is seven years older than me, and most of our core team was in their late twenties as well at the time. I can remember when we were engaged a lot of people blowing the age difference way out of proportion, and a seed being planted that would not grow until coming into ministry.
When the thoughts started consuming me of being good enough the number one thought was, "you're too young." Somehow in every conversation someone would always bring up age. I could not run from it. My value was belittled in age, while my husband was held in a position of honor and respect. The first year of church planting my number one scripture was from
1 Timothy 4:12 Don't let anyone think less of you because you are too young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.
Pretty soon, when people would ask my age, my answer would be, "old enough to know better."
The expectations set on me continued into the following year, and little did I know my shoulders were about to become heavier with a whole new expectation. Are you ready for this one? And I quote, "Jessica, you're too quiet, introverted, and don't say Hello to enough people on a Sunday morning." This expectation wrecked me. So what you're trying to say is, you don't like me, because that is who I am and who I have been for twenty something years.
If you don't know some of the characteristics of an introvert let me update you. We introverts hate talking on the phone, large crowds terrify us, we despise small talk, but love deep meaningful conversations, we work well in small groups. On occasions we get really comfortable and outgoing, but usually around people we know and are comfortable with. We won't work a crowd, and usually at a get together will stick close with one or two people.
When congregation and or staff wives put expectations such as this on the Pastor's wife it not only hinders the pastor's wife from flourishing in who she is created to be but it hinders the Pastor, because him and his wife are one. The pastor wasn't the only one chosen, but his help mate was chosen for a reason and purpose too.
Psalm 139:14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
I want to encourage you ladies to be who God has created you to be before the foundation of the world. God will stretch you in places he wants to stretch you. You can ignore the expectations, and shake off the shoulder pressing weight. Do not allow people to stretch you in ways they want to stretch you. But flourish, in Him, to ultimately be you.
For in being true to who God has called you to be, you will find your greatest joy and freedom in the ministry He has given you.
xo a girl who sleeps with the pastor