On Saturday my life got really old. I woke up cranky because the cheesedoodle decided that 5:50 am was a fine time to get up and play thankyouverymuch. Jonathan had to work 10 to 4 which is my least favorite shift because it wrecks the entire day. To compound it, he had to run a catering order, and didn’t get back until well after 6. I was tired. I was sick of never seeing my husband and sick of being “housebound” or at least neighborhood bound. I was sick of hemorrhoids. (Sorry for the over share) I sat on my front porch while my kids played and I just felt sorry for myself. I am sad to say that I felt sorry for myself for about 24 hours, or maybe a little more.
At some point on Sunday afternoon, I realized something. One day, Lord willing, Jonathan will graduate from seminary. When that happens, there will be families in the congregation to which the Lord calls Jonathan who will be living lives that look a lot like mine has the last year and a half: families in which the husband works two jobs just to barely make ends meet, and sometimes not even. Families that don’t have “regular” schedules and can’t make plans beyond a weekly schedule. Those families aren’t going to have the light at the end of a four year tunnel that I have. They won’t be able to look into a defined point in the future when life won’t look the way it looks for them now. For those families, life can’t get old. It’s what they’ve been given, and they’re called to be faithful in it.
There was a time when I thought families like that just weren’t trying hard enough. There was a time when I would have considered those families “not committed enough.” I don’t think that any more, and I think walking this path the Lord has set out for us will make us better at loving whomever the Lord puts in the congregation my husband will shepherd. I praise the Lord for this four year tunnel with a huge light called “graduation” at the end of it and the hope of something bigger and better.
And now I’m praying that when I get there, I won’t forget how these years have felt. I’m praying that I won’t fall back into the trap of thinking of the pastorate as “suffering for Jesus” and the occasional evening or early morning meeting as “above and beyond.” I’m praying that I can walk sympathetically alongside those families, and help them to be faithful in the calling they have received, rather than burdening them with the expectation that they should mold themselves into the white collar suburban shape of the western church.
I’m praying that I quit feeling sorry for myself, and begin to see this as yet another big old patch of sanctifying sandpaper, wearing down my selfishness and pride and making me into the pastor’s wife He wants me to be.