The first couple years of church planting I was still trying to find my identity as a pastor's wife. I was young, and still had a lot of growing of my own to do. I was a die hard introvert, and didn't know any better. Sunday mornings were scary to say the least. My personality did not thrive in groups that seemed to mingle in the church lobby before service started. Those hours from set up at 7:30 am to 10:00 am when service finally started were mortifying to my young introverted being. I often hid in the back room, or kept myself busy, or I'm sad to say waited in the parking lot.
Unfortunately, because of my fear of people or lack of understanding of who I was, people on Sunday mornings were hard for me. As I ran to my seat, or designated area each week I didn't smile, or make much eye contact. I avoided all "Hey, how are you doing?" extroverts and talked with the people I knew well or didn't say much at all. My personality then, thrived in deep conversations, not surface level. I know, by now you are envisioning me as the gothic, heavy eye liner girl from the Breakfast Club. If only I would have carried that persona maybe I would have gotten a little more grace from the people at church.
Sadly, my character didn't appear to be afraid, or introverted. I simply was misjudged, and viewed as the young, stuck up pastor's wife that never asks me how I'm doing. This caused strife among staff wives, and congregational members. The pastor's wife was not who they expected, wanted, or needed her to be. They had a lot of pastors' wives to compare me too, and I didn't match it.
As a pastor's wife there are a lot of expectations put on you. Who people want and need you to be. There is also a lot of flourishing we as pastors' wives need grace doing. One thing I was good at then, was not allowing the expectations to hinder who I was. On the other hand, I did allow the expectations to hinder me from growing and flourishing. I allowed the expectations to hurt my spirit, and stood firm my ground naively and said this is just who I am. Correct, that was who I was in that season, but God had a whole lot of flourishing and growing He was actually doing in that season for who I was to be later.
I think most of us see us and view us as people view us. We know we have this barrier like being an introvert locking us down, and then see us as "not good enough" to be a pastor's wife, because we aren't meeting others expectations. We need to stop viewing ourselves the way others view us, and view us how Jesus views us. Jesus views us as the daughter of the king, that is more than a conqueror that He is constantly growing and flourishing into the woman He desires us to be on earth.
Had I not allowed peoples expectations to hinder growth, I probably would have smiled more. Asked people how they were doing a whole lot more. And walked confidently and humbly in church every Sunday knowing I am equipped where I am called. I may be far from who people desire me to be, but I am on the path to growth in who Jesus desires me to be, and that's all that matters.
Pastors' wives need grace flourishing where she is.
xo a girl who sleeps with the pastor