When Scott was called into full-time ministry and hired by our church as a worship pastor, I was so excited for him! This was a dream that we had dared to dream and sacrifice for! It was a dream come true! Then the reality hit me as he started his first week! I literally cried EVERYDAY! I realized that I didn’t look like what I thought that a pastor’s wife should look like; I didn’t act like what I thought a pastor’s wife should act like. We hadn’t even begun this journey and I was already failing my husband, or so I thought! As a young pastor’s wife I had so much to learn about people, about leadership, and about ministry! The question was whether I was willing to learn, and for me the answer was YES!
My husband was always patiently encouraging me in the dreams that I had, the things that I was interested in, and reassured me that I didn’t have to fit into another person’s mold. He always made me feel valued but not because of what I do, but because of who I am. He would tell me that I was unique and gifted to be able to be a blessing just the way that I was and would continue to be as I grew in my faith. I am so grateful that he didn’t add to the pressure that I was putting on myself!
Our pastor was so considerate of my role as Scott’s wife and the mother of our children. He helped me to navigate the additional role of “pastor’s wife” as we began living this dream that was also part of his dream. He interviewed me along with Scott understanding that I have influence on him and the way he would serve. (The old phrase, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” comes to mind here!) He helped me to find my areas of strengths and weaknesses so that I could find purpose and understand how I can better minister to Scott, our family, and others! He would ask me once a year how things were at home and if Scott was spending enough time with family. I so appreciated that he valued us beyond the demands of full-time ministry in the church.
There were a couple of ladies in the church that had become good friends to me and both allowed and encouraged me to be me-not someone that I thought that I should be. They accepted and loved me for who I was and always challenged me to be the best that I could be! We would meet weekly and talk about what we were learning in God’s word, and prayed for our church, marriages and families. When difficult or challenging situations came our way, we would search for and speak the truth to each other, and would continually support each other in prayer. One of them used to tell me that I was, “Scott’s best kept secret!” I treasured that because I felt like she counted me not only a treasure for him, but a secret weapon to help him in the ministry that he was serving! They were my mentors, my advocates, and my friends and they still hold my heart!
That time in my life was full of opportunities to learn lessons that still impact me today and remind me of the value and importance of the humble beginnings of living the dream we had dared to dream. If I were to go back in time, knowing what I know now, these are the things that I would say to me:
It’s important to identify what matters most to you and your family as you begin to pursue your dreams or experience a life change.
Talk with your husband/wife about how you are feeling about the possible changes and the roles that you may be taking on. Talk about the sacrifices that you are willing or may need to be prepared to make.
You don’t have to know or be everything that you “think” is needed as soon as you start. There will be plenty of opportunities for growth through the successes, failures, disappointments, joys, losses, and gains that you will experience and learn from.
You will gain wisdom if you will learn from other leader’s teachings, experiences, and examples.
You need to have people in your life that you trust who will love you and your family, will tell you the truth, will be there when life is hard, and will pray you through!
You don’t arrive at the peak of success of your dreams in a moment or by wishing it so! There are some things that you can do now to prepare for then:
1-PRAY FOR AND EXERCISE PATIENCE! No matter what you dare to dream, understand that there is a journey involved that will help to shape you as you go, grow, learn, and change. Be patient with yourself!