Monday, January 7, 2013

i didn't want to be a pastor's wife

I thought I loved church until I became engaged to a pastor.

I was over-the-moon ecstatic to be getting married, but I was also scared out my mind. Scared to be a wife, yeah...kinda. But mostly scared to be a pastor's wife. 

From the very beginning, I let fear control my thoughts until I was convinced that vocational ministry would be nothing short of miserable.

I thought being a pastor's wife and church secretary would slowly steal my soul, one bulletin at a time. It didn't help that the church I would be at was very traditional, where charisma and loud personalities were celebrated. (How does a quiet girl fit into a Charismatic church?) The type of place where I would be automatically be seen as Trevor's co-youth pastor.

And I didn't know how to do that. I was quiet and shy and most definitely not a leader type. I couldn't be the gregarious, "Hey girlfriend, let me pray for you" type that I thought I was supposed to be. I didn't think I was a good enough Christian to lead others.

I wanted to be a good partner for Trevor. But I didn't think I could do it, so I built up a wall and put myself on the defense as soon as we were married. I decided that it was Trevor's job, not mine. 
I wanted to do everything possible to make sure my life would not consist solely of church socials, barbecues, and Sunday School classes. I was twenty-two for goodness' sake. Ain't nobody got time for that!

I loved Jesus and wanted to serve Him, but I began to question if church was a good way to do that. I reached the point where I even questioned if going to church was best for my spiritual growth. If Trevor and I had not been on staff, I'm sure I would have taken a break from church altogether.

I wish I could say I had some sort of epiphany where I realized how selfish and prideful I was being. But it was something I had to learn over time. 

I had to learn to be brave. I had to realize that I didn't have to be a spiritual giant to be a pastor's wife. I didn't have to have all of Ephesians memorized. I didn't have to be bouncing around during worship. I didn't have to worry about what people expected of me.

Most importantly, I didn't have to shut myself off to people just because I didn't agree with all of their beliefs and methods.

I'm still in a learning process, but I'm beginning to see that I only have to be me.

I can support my husband in ministry, even if it's mostly behind the scenes. I know that God has put me here for a reason--not just Trevor. God uses people in their weakness and inadequecies--even a pastor's wife who doesn't like going to Sunday School.


  1. I have a lot to say to this post girl, I'd love to email you about it :) I think you are so brave. Writing this in itself took a lot out of you, I'm sure. So great of you to stay faithful to your awesome God. I know I don't know you yet, and we've only talked briefly... but I'm proud of you!

    1. Thanks, Kayla! Yeah, it's a little scary to talk about my screw-ups, but I know I'm not the only who has felt this way. Please shoot me an email, I'd love to talk to you some more!

    2. P.S. Use the email address on my google account, my blog email is having issues lately!

  2. wow, Heather, what a message! I am the exact same way, in regards to wanting to do the "behind the scenes" stuff over being in the limelight. what you said is spot on, "I only have to be me."

    I forget that a lot. :)
    Thanks for that reminder. you are awesome!

    1. Yes! It's so easy to forget that us behind-the-scenes people matter in the church, too.

  3. It's so great to meet a fellow minister's wife who isn't outgoing. People don't understand quiet people. I can completely relate to everything you've said. It makes it worse that our church is an hour away (my husband is in seminary and we live at the seminary) so I'm not very involved at all and I feel out of place when I go on Sundays.

    Btw...when you reply on here most people aren't going to see it unless they come back to visit. You can reply through the notification email it sends you when someone comments. That way you send that person an email.

  4. 1) Thank you so much for sharing this. I truly needed this- most specifically the "I only have to be me," especially when dealing with Christianity.

    2) Megan, thank you for letting me know how to reply to comments through emails!

  5. heather,

    i totally just stalked your blog after seeing your comment on beth's blog [until only love remains]. love your post about being a pastor's wife. thanks for being so open and honest. and hooray for daily surprises like finding your blog! :)

  6. Love this post!
    Ya know God is doing something new in the church and I really believe that he's starting to call his women to the front lines more. There is a gift and contribution that we have as women that has been suppressed for a long time and I think now is the time that God is awakening that. You don't have to fit into the stereotypical mold of a pastor's wife that has been portrayed in the past. You just have to be you & you have to be willing to go where God is calling you. (by the sounds of it, you are :D) I've got a heart for ministry and someday I'd like to go into it full time. Might I suggest listening to Lisa Bevere (her books, podcasts, youtube video's) She is anointed to empower women, exactly how they are. :) Keep going sister. Praying for you!

  7. I'm a pastor's daughter, and I relate to much of what you're saying from that vantage point. At this stage of my life (still attending a church where my dad pastors), I've begun questioning corporate church and its culture and am pretty discouraged. I really needed to read one particular line that you wrote - "I didn't have to shut myself off to people just because I didn't agree with all of their beliefs and methods." This is hard for me because I'm pretty nonconfrontational; if I'm in a group, I can blend in pretty well. I need to find a way to relate well to others while still maintaining my identity and convictions. That's hard!

  8. "How does a quiet girl fit into a Charismatic church?"
    I have asked myself that very same question so many times! Is jumping a requirement?...

    My fiance is going into ministry and it is so good to read your posts. So many times I let myself feel inadequate because I'm not attending Bible College or receiving the same mental preparation for ministry. The only thing I can do is trust God's plan, study his Word, and pray.

    THANK YOU for sharing your heart and for being so transparent. I feel like a lot of times people in ministry are discouraged from posting honest feelings so thank you, thank you, thank you. :)

  9. new to your blog. Can I just say that this was me nearly 5 years ago! I was engaged to a youth pastor & loved him, the church, the students but didn't have any clue what I was doing. Plus I thought it was his job not mine, after that isn't what my degree was in, ha. Your post brought me such a big smile as I remembered how much the Lord has worked in my heart & life. Love that you are so honest & real. Know you are not alone. I have always been labeled a "quiet & shy person" but there is so much VALUE in pastors wives like us. we usually think before speaking. lol. however, the Lord has grown me in unbelievable ways the last 2 years & in grace I've discovered who I am in ministry. thanks for this post! oh, and I too am not a fan of sunday school, blah. just saying.

  10. I am in a similar place as worship leaders wife, its not so easy sometimes and especially since I've been a Christian for only 6 years and feel like I'm surrounded by long time believers. I have loved serving in womens ministry a lot and really hope to further that more in our tiny church plant.


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