Sunday, May 15, 2011

Just Like You Only Messier

I have a little bit of guilt about my role as "pastor's wife." I mean, first of all, since my husband isn't yet ordained, that title isn't even quite accurate. But anyway, you know what I mean. Last year, when George was interviewed for his position as a pastoral intern at our church, I was also asked a few questions. I was asked what I saw my role in George's ministry to be. I remarked that I always raise an eyebrow when couples make a huge deal out of the fact that the wife is not being hired. I think that no matter what one's husband does, a wife comes alongside him and aids him as best she can. I also think that all women have a role in the church and need to use their gifts and time to serve their church body in some way. On the other hand, I don't think the "pastor's wife" is more obligated than anyone else and there is no reason she should be involved in everything or be expected to be super woman. I told them I would not be singing in the choir and I would not be leading up children's ministry because that's just not what I'm good at. But I told them I would love to have my home open often, that I love to entertain and to cook for people. And y'all know that's true about me.

But here's what's happened. I've still been the me that doesn't much like to get up in the mornings and get dressed up and go to church. I'm confessing that right now, y'all, I don't like going to church. I love Jesus. I just don't love slips and tights and skirts- especially not in the morning. And why is it that conversation is so much harder in those clothes in a building that puts no one at ease with coffee that no one would ever pay for or choose to drink again? Well, isn't it obvious why? Right. I still can't sing, and I'm still pretty tired of being with kids all week by the time I get to church so that I'm really quite ready for everyone to just go to Sunday school, and not at all ready for them to back to me so that I have to sit with them in the pew telling them to be still and stop talking and stop kicking the pew in front of them and turn around and come on say this creed/prayer because they know it. Anyway, I've still been that me, the one that's basically the worst version of myself on the morning that I would love to be my best, seeing as how my husband in front and center. But I've also been a me that, during the rest of the week, has been crammed into an apartment that isn't quite big enough for my family and trying to homeschool, against all gifting or inclination, so that I am even more of a mess and not really ever ready for people to come over. Just the fact that there is a big pile of picture frames on my living room floor that has been there for more than three weeks is enough to illustrate the point. So, as you can imagine, I haven't done a lot of entertaining. For a while, we did have the college Bible study here once a week. And we've had a couple of families over for dinner. But really, as far as what I had intended, I have been a pretty big failure.

So here's what I'm offering the Church. As you probably know, George is again looking for a job (please pray for his search, by the way). And when the interview turns to me for a brief moment this time, I don't expect to say anything that much different. I am still not going to sing in the choir or be the leader of Kid's Club, and I still do love to prepare food for friends and have people over. But sometimes just doing what needs to be done is all I can do. Sometimes we have a year of just trying to figure out a new city and a new job and pretty much new everything and we go back to buying frozen pizza and hot dogs because we just don't have the time and energy to do what we want to do. I don't know how to really say that to a bunch of elders, or if they really even need to hear it. I just know that I need to know it ahead of time and be okay with it. Because I'm not depressed, y'all. I'm just maybe a little disappointed? And I think I'm also worried that my enthusiasm and expectation for myself was expressed publicly so that others might also be disappointed. And I feel like a liability to George. I feel like he's wise and kind and energetic about ministry and about the Church, and I am just the glob of gluck that goes with him. But, the good thing about the glob of gluck on the arm of the pastor is that no one else in the church will ever feel that she has to measure up or be some sort of super woman because the pastor's wife is a super woman. In fact, she's the barely-getting-by-woman. And the good thing about the pastor with a wife like that is that he visibly models the Gospel in that he is okay with that. George isn't disappointed with me, and he reminds me (often, because I need it) that God isn't either.

So, if you are a church looking for a pastor and you're checking me out because you're looking at my husband (I hope this doesn't actually happen), know that my husband is awesome and he's excited about the Church and he's excited about our family. And I am not awesome, but I am excited about him. And I'm doing the best I can. And I make fantastic cookies. And our kids are sweet and funny and delightful, even though they wear me out. I'm the worst of the lot, so if you can stand me, you'll probably be alright. God is faithful so I'm sure I'll be better some day, but still not what I want to be. But, praise be (and today I feel especially glucky so it's hard to believe), God and my husband are okay with me just as I am.

4 comments:

Renee said...

Abby,
This might be the best thing I've ever read. Truly. What grace, humility, honesty. I promise you, I think you are fabulous. And after reading this post, more than ever, I wish I lived next door to you.:) To say the least, I can relate. And I know I haven't seen you since college and it might be hard to believe, but I think you are amazing and fun. So thankful for your candor.

Jessie said...

;-) well said!

Abby said...

Thanks, y'all!

jennifer said...

Abby,

Great post!

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