Years ago I started an identity series titled I Am. This year is dedicated to more posts from that series:
Come here. Come closer. Let me give you a bear hug. ❤️
Not quite the direction you expected God to take you, huh. 😏
In hindsight, you’ll realise the signs were there all along.
The questions about purpose that weighed heavily on you in high school.
The draw to ministry and to help people.
The day you were seated in a nondescript restaurant staring at a salt shaker asking God why so many ministry homes were imploding.
You had no clue then but God was preparing your mind and heart for what was coming.
You laugh as you remember all those times you drew a mental list of professions whose spouses you deeply respect and whose league you never wanted to join. Military forces. Law enforcement. Firefighters. Pastors.
Now here you are – on the cusp of becoming a pastor’s wife.
God has spoken. With clarity. There’s confirmation. Through and through.
You have a barrage of questions. And a choice to make.
The thing about the Lord, the thing that will never cease to amaze you, is how deeply He cares for your heart.
He will come to you with a question of His own.
Why do you think you can’t be a pastor’s wife?
And He’ll sit with you. Ready to go through every concern you have.
I’m an introvert. Where am I going to find room for all these people?
Your personality allows you to see people. Really see them. Besides, you think I don’t know how big your heart is?
I don’t know the first thing about being a pastor’s wife.
Why do you think I chose you? I don’t have to spend years erasing structures I have no need for. You’re a blank canvas for Me. You have no idea how much joy it gives Me to start on a clean slate.
I really don’t want the attention that will come this.
If you’re trying to talk Me out of making you a pastor’s wife, you need to do better than that. 😆 Your disdain for the limelight makes room for My glory.
What if I screw up?
Not if. When. When you do, I’ll be right there with My grace and mercy to help you learn and do better the next time.
I don’t think I can do this. I’m not selfless enough to make the sacrifices required.
You can’t. Not on your own. That’s why I’m here to help you. That’s why I’ve gone before you. There is no season of this that I have not already preceded you into. I’ll never require of you anything you can’t give Me.
The conversations will span across many midnight hours. Full of tears and laughter.
God will meet you there. Again and again. He will fill you with courage and strength. He will patiently respond to every single objection you have. None too insignificant to Him. He will surprise you when He tells you: the things you think disqualify you are the very things that qualify you in My sight.
You’ll say yes. To God. To a man who treasures your heart. To a call far too grand for your mind to even comprehend.
That yes will be tested. Many times over. I know this doesn’t surprise you. The reason you’re taking your time now is because you know. You see what’s coming.
Being a pastor’s wife will give you a unique view of people’s lives. In the spirit and in the flesh.
There are those who won’t know what to do with you. They have some understanding of what to do with their pastor. Not so much his wife.
There are those who will give you some honour and make sure whatever regard they give you is just a little less than what their pastor is getting. All of it sincerely rationalized.
Then there are those that will tolerate you so they can get what they want from their pastor. Others that throw you a little regard like spare change. Some won’t even acknowledge your existence. You will often joke with your husband about the Kibeti Ministry they’ve put you in – there to be seen not heard. Just sit there and look pretty next to the man of God.
You think people’s hearts are loud now. You have no idea how noisy it’s going to get. Good thing God has done such a thorough job in cementing your identity. It will allow you to see that how people treat you says more about them than it does you.
You will realise how little people understand about how ministry works in the context of marriage. There’s no spiritual transaction your husband will make that you won’t be aware of. He won’t even need to tell you because you share an altar. One that works much like a joint bank account. No one can make a withdrawal from the account without all the owners being notified.
You’ll never forget the one time you meet someone who esteems you as much as they do your husband. The sincerity you discern in their heart will shock you. The irony is that they’ll be completely clueless about how much it impacts you because of how rare it is.
How rare it is for people to see you and your husband as one yet that’s exactly how God sees you and relates with you. Two sides of the same coin. Your husband carries the title but the weight of ministry will be on you both. You can’t claim to honour the right hand of a person while disregarding the left. Yet people will do it to you often. It will bother you not because you desire their honour but because of how often their misappropriation of you will work against them. Divine principles are not respecters of persons.
There are those who will expect you to serve in your capacity based on their expectations and requirements. Right down to your fashion choices. They’re in for a rude shock. The God who’s positioning you will give you a blueprint for how to function in every season. His direction will often be at odds with the expectations of men. You will begin to see for yourself why so many ministry families implode. It will surprise you how rare it is for Christians to seek God’s opinion on what to give and receive from someone in ministry. How defunct our understanding of time and season in ministry is.
There are those who will expect you to minister to them and others even when you’re battered and bleeding. They will have no regard for your wounds because they’re blinded by their own. You will learn to set boundaries for yourself and your family that not many will understand and some will even crucify you for. But Jesus will be waiting outside every tomb with your name on it. Ready to speak life back into you. And resurrect you He will. Those tombs lay empty. Just like His.
There are those who will make all sorts of assumptions and jump into all kinds of conclusions about you. You already know not to argue with people whose minds are made up. It will save you a lot of wasted time and effort.
Even so, there are those who won’t understand why you don’t raise your voice to defend yourself. Why you’re not doing X and Y to prove these people wrong. See, they don’t know where you’ve been with the Lord. They haven’t seen what you have.
Time is the best vindicator of truth there is and God offers far better defence than you ever could. Again and again, this will be proven true. In ways that shock you even though you expect it to happen.
It will amuse you to no end when the very things you thought disqualified you become what some use to write you off. And because God has a grand sense of humour, He will use those exact things to vindicate you.
There will be seasons when you wonder how anyone could possibly do ministry and not get jaded. If we put our vows and ethics aside and held a candid church hurt edition for church leaders, maybe people would realize what you will come to know as truth – it’s no small miracle that Church and the Body of Christ is still in existence. The odds are truly against us. But God. But God.
I want you to know – I want you to remember – that the good will always outweigh the bad.
You will watch in awestruck wonder as God transforms people’s lives. As He carries them through valleys and propels them up mountains. That He would give you the privilege of being a witness will be something you never take for granted.
God will use your position to teach you of His role as Bridegroom and His love for His Bride. His messy, broken and oh-so-beautiful Bride. You will learn to love her as He does. Unconditionally.
Mary, you’re entering uncharted territory. Yes, there are plenty of pastors’ spouses who’ve gone ahead of you and many will come after you. But none are you. None will deal with the specific people or situations you will. For as similar as your role may be to theirs it’s distinctly different too.
This decision you’re about to make.
This yes you’re about to give.
It will cost you much.
But what you receive from God will be far greater than what you give to men.
Hold your head up high.
You’ve got this.
The man you’re going to marry will be an incredible life partner.
God’s steadfast love and faithfulness will never fail you.
Let the adventure begin.
All my love,