To say my marriage on this uncharted journey has been easy, would be a lie. Being in ministry for the duration of our marriage, to the next day going into a self induced season of -rest- was no easy transition. Picking up life as we knew it, and moving our family back to our hometown has been a journey.
You see, my husband has only ever known life in ministry. From being a young life leader, to worship leader, to college pastor, to church planter, ministry is hardwired in his DNA. You should hear his "send me" moment he had as a twenty year old in a field with Jesus, it's pretty incredible. Or listen to the many other pastors who say time and again how he has been given the gift of preaching, I on the other hand, moved out of my parents house to move to Nashville the day after our honeymoon to church plant. Ministry and marriage combined is the only combination I have ever known. Both of which, take incredible amounts of hard work, and can be overwhelming and burdensome at times.
So we packed up and moved from life as we knew it. Here we were empty handed. It all happened so quickly, all we knew how to do was put one foot in front of the other. And with that came, fear, doubt, anxiety, stress, and much more. It hasn't been easy. We have walked through times of serious growth, healing, and more healing. Trying to figure out who we are individually, and as a married couple without doing various forms of ministry. Over time mourning the baby (church) we started and help grow. My husband learning how to walk a humbling journey out of his calling, to work odd jobs to provide for us. And me figuring out who I am as a wife, and mother without the familiar title, pastor's wife. All the while, asking the question, "Will we be ok if we are never called back into ministry?"
I would love to say this journey in the desert has been cake. But it hasn't. We have both at times wanted to throw in the towel. While we are thankful for this season, there have been absolute moments of doubt. After all, we were doing what we loved to do, to now trying to figure life out without ministry. I know Jesus takes us through these seasons to remind us, He is enough for us. But as a society, we all fall into the "if only" state. If only I had more instagram follows, a better car, bigger house, and so on.... We all know Jesus is the only one that satisfies that longing we have. Yet, we remember like clock work to check our Instagram, and forget to run to the overflowing fountain of satisfaction in Jesus.
If I am truthful, I walk through this doubt daily. Was leaving life as we knew it the right choice. But then I sit and ponder what our lives would be like had we stayed, and I realize that maybe the Lord brought us here to do something more in us, instead of us helping to change the lives of those around us. And then I realize, just maybe I am walking through the desert, because it is here, that I will learn to be more thankful for the promise land. Had I stayed in Nashville, I would have never come through this process of growth and healing. Just maybe Christ has something that much greater for us, that we had to be stripped of everything we knew.
So here we are with no titles or accolades. We don't have it all together. We aren't certain of what tomorrow holds. Life isn't easy. Marriage certainly isn't easy. & like the Israelites, some days I complain and long for the promise land more than I do what He is teaching me presently. Sometimes I fail at being a mom, and wife. Sometimes I take the longer journey to learn a lesson, instead of learning it the first time. And sometimes I forget life is full of seasons, because the one I am in feels 40 years long.
But His truth is this. When we have been stripped of all we are and stand before our Maker, He sees us for who we really are, and as painful as it is, it helps us to truly see ourselves. And we remember again, Jesus is enough. He will always be enough. I can't do this life without Him. I can only find my identity in Him. He is in the restoration business. He is our healer. Our redeemer. Our lover. & He makes a way where there is no way. So as hard as marriage can be, as hard as this in between phase of waiting we are in now, all the uncertainty, the craziness of life. It is a season. Regardless of the seasons, high or low, He is my, and will always be my sustainer.
xo a girl who sleeps with the pastor