A letter to my 12-year-old self.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
On Sunday night, you became a pastor's wife.
Your two children became pastor's kids.
Most momentously, your husband became a pastor.
Hear me out. I know that at this particular stage in life, there are 3 things you say you'll never do (quite emphatically, and in this particular order):
1. You'll never be a pastor's wife.
2. You'll never homeschool your children.
3. You'll never drive a minivan.
I know that because of traveling with Mom and Dad to different churches every weekend, you've met many, many pastors' wives. To you, they all have two things in common: a permanent assigned seat on the front pew and an obligation to nod and smile during their husbands' best sermon points. They either seem to wear no makeup at all or way too much, particularly frumpy clothes or overly gaudy. They always seem to be wrangling a gaggle of children to church, then home for lunch where they wear aprons and serve casseroles. Their role, to you, seems so weak. So subsidiary to the actual goings-on of the church. It doesn't matter if they have careers outside of the church; they could be lawyers or teachers or nurses. They're simply known as "the pastor's wife," an identity dependent on the man they married.
Fast forward 17 years and you'll find yourself smack dab in their shoes, but (breathe...) actually really proud of your new title.
In your late twenties, you'll move to Raleigh, North Carolina, and even before your husband is ordained, the other pastors' wives at your church will invite you to their monthly gathering. What you'll discover is that the stereotype you've created in your head is just that: a stereotype. Instead, a handful of these pastors' wives will become some of your dearest friends. When you get together, you'll pass your baby girl around the room and receive candid breastfeeding advice and laugh and gorge yourself on chocolate cheesecake. You'll share prayer requests and pray for one another. You'll feel supported and loved and so honored to be considered among their ranks. You'll find them to be godly, intelligent, insightful, creative, passionate women. Pastors' wives.
What you've also underestimated is the privilege of being married to a pastor. No, not all pastors are men you'd want to be married to. You know that already. But the man you married, pastor or not, loves Jesus more than he loves you (and that's a really good thing). He serves humbly. The man he is on stage is exactly the man you see at home, and that's something you can't take for granted for a second.
On a chilly Sunday night in February, you and your family will respond to a call God placed on your lives to serve His church for all of your days, whether in Raleigh or on the other side of the globe. The prayers spoken on your behalf that night will ring in your hearts for years to come. You will have never felt so encouraged in your calling or so unworthy of the love this community has shown to you. You will want to cry happy tears over the sweetness of this season of life and ministry.
So, sweet girl, be careful what you don't wish for. It may turn out to be the most precious gift.
Your older, hopefully wiser self
PS - Don't worry... you still don't have a minivan. At least not yet.