i am really enjoying chatting with you all about these things :) if you're just joining us, i've been writing about what it's like to be a pastor's wife... one post each sunday in october. here are a few links to the past few weeks:
--being a pastor's wife: wk1
--being a pastor's wife: wk2
in talking with a few of my friends who are still pastors' wives (not drop-outs like me!), i've come up with some really great stuff to share in the next few weeks :)
i feel like in the past two weeks, i've focused quite a bit on the sacrifice. [i noticed this when a reader commented on the "sacrifice," and i thought to myself "hmm. that's not exactly what i meant to say... but i see why they're getting that, since i've been such a debbie downer!"]
all that to say... this week, i want to look at the flip side of all of that "sacrifice."
[i put it in quotes because i still don't *love* the sound of the word... so much baggage with it... we can even call it something else, like "the things that aren't so much fun," or "the negative side of this," or "the not-so-great impact." now, don't misunderstand me... being in ministry is definitely a life of regular sacrifice... but i don't want you all to think that all pastors' wives are martyrs or anything silly like that!]
on the flip side of sacrifice is blessing... all those things that make all the sacrifice worth it... and then some.
here's a made up scenario that is much like many many situations i encountered... and i made it kinda like mad-libs... you get to fill in the blanks...
my husband shares with me that he's been a bit worn down because he's been counseling someone who is struggling with [insert big problem here... i.e. suicide, divorce, forgiveness, abuse, you name it]. because our church is large enough for me to not be able to guess at these things, i promptly forget. not because i don't care, but honestly... because this is a regular occurrence.
fast-forward some significant amount of time [4 months, 2 years, etc]... some person at a [small group or party or play group] shares that over the past [insert time elapsed from above], God has really helped them through [insert the above problem here].
sometimes, that person also shares that they were counseling with my husband. sometimes, he shares it with me, now that they've outed themselves to me. either way, i get to see all the prayer and hard work that goes into that person overcoming that issue. i get a real, tangible sense of the journey they've been on, and the success they're now experiencing :)
i realize now, that as a normal congregant, i don't hear those stories as often... mostly because i'm really just connected to my small group at church, like most normal people, so i don't get to hear quite as many of the success stories. and partially because i'm just hearing the end report, not having as real a sense of the time-line and the struggle that went into the success.
it's easy to get bogged down with my own issues, and forget that the ministry of the church is to share the gospel, and see its effect in peoples' lives. when my husband was a pastor, this was hard to forget, because i was reminded of it on a regular basis. this is one of the big blessings of being so close to the heart of the ministry :)