When I’m really appreciative of what someone has done for me, I typically desire to repay them somehow, or at least return the favor in some way, shape or form. This is how I felt after 07.10.11. This is how I felt after Jubilee was born. This is how I felt after Ben and I renewed our vows. This was how I felt towards my Creator, who, I believe, saved my family from tragedy. He saved my husband and I from divorce. He saved my eldest daughter from being a product of a broken family. Ben and I felt grateful, indebted, ready to devote the remainder of our Earthly lives in service of the God who had been so good to us.
But what did that look like?
Well, for my husband, that looked like following his calling of finally becoming a youth pastor. He felt led to pursue this life at around 16 years old but got a little distracted by the rock-n-roll life and forgot about all of that “pastor” business. LET ME JUST SAY THIS: when he pitched this idea to me, I was NOT HAPPY ABOUT IT.
I loved young people. Don’t get me wrong; I had volunteered over the years with clinics that specialized in mentoring pregnant teens, had spoken to classrooms and youth groups full of high school girls about their sexual and emotional health, but PASTORING THEM? “Nah,” I thought, “I’m good.”
Growing up in an UBER Christian environment with parents who were incredibly involved in the church had jaded my view of the church. I saw the hypocrisy of “Christians”, I saw the judgement by Christians, I saw the ridiculously impossible standards that pastors and their families were held to and the subsequent harshness they were subjected to because of their positions. I wanted NO PART of that nonsense. So, the fact that my husband, who I had just re-committed my life to, had just decided he wanted to BECOME A PASTOR….well, to be honest, it felt like some kind of a sick joke.
I wasn’t ready to be held under a microscope. I was not your typical “church lady”. I was not your typical “pastor’s wife”. I was not interested in having my every word, every deed and (let’s be real ladies) every outfit scrutinized and commented upon. Was this really what God was asking of me? I had a pretty successful photography business, I was raising 2 little ones and already felt as if I was starting my life all over again.
Was I honestly supposed to forget about my dreams and simply come alongside my husband and support him? To put this into perspective for those of you unfamiliar with the church world: Pastoring isn’t just a “job”, it’s an entire lifestyle. A man doesn’t just decide to become a pastor all on his own. His wife is kind of automatically included in that package, no matter how much she protests. And I protested. Until…..
Ben got hired as the youth pastor of the church we had been attending. He put in the hard work, completed his Biblical studies courses, had volunteered in the youth group full-time while still working at a funeral home full-time (I know- Funeral Director turned Youth Pastor….the irony doesn’t escape us) and suddenly he was a licensed minister.
And suddenly I was the wife of a licensed minister.
And all I could think was: