I have many identities. Wife, daughter, sister, teacher, friend, etc. But perhaps the most unique one I carry is “pastor’s wife.” It is mostly a joy, but I’m sure most can imagine that that part of my identity carries some weight with it. Now I knew what I was getting myself into when I chose to marry this man. While dating we had plenty of conversations about what this would mean for our future life together. And while my husband would never expect me to give up my life for his ministry (it’s his job, not mine), there is definitely an aspect of “giving up” for ministry that has to happen. It just comes with the territory.
We have had the gift of being a part of a brand new church for the past four and a half years. The journey was made especially significant for us because the church started right around the time our relationship started. The church has been blessed and has grown greatly in four years, and in those four years, my husband and I met, married, and started building our life together. In many ways our life together has been totally intertwined in the life of this church.
After months and months of being pursued, we were called from this life we’ve started building at this (not so) tiny little church plant to another church and home. We moved our ministry and our life. A whole 40 minutes away.
It was a journey to get to this point. There was endless amounts of prayer and conversation that went into our decision. Over the past 6 months, I have been oscillating between emotions of excitement, worry, fear, humility, impatience, peace, and anxiety – all within the same day usually. It has been a real treat.
We are beyond excited for the new ministry that lies ahead. We have come to a church home where we know we will be loved and supported and cared for beyond imagine. We are so excited to do life with these people. All good things. Great things, really.
But the stress was and is real. The anxiety is still present. In the time before our transition, Bryan would say he went between humble excitement and wanting to puke. That is the perfect way to describe this time in our life. The ups and downs of our (my) emotions are extreme.
But now we are here. We sold our house (quicker than expected). We said “goodbyes” (I mean, we’re only 40 minutes away) to friends and family that we’ve grown with in our church. We left a place that we have been completely wrapped up and immersed in for four years. In the long run, four years is not that long of a time. But in this moment, and for Bryan and I, it has been our lifetime, our life together. It’s significant.
Through it all though, I have learned a lot. But most significantly I have learned that that which is not eternal is not worth our worry. “God’s got it” (a fun catchphrase from the children’s ministry on one of the Sundays we were visiting our new church). He knows where we’re headed and directs our paths. I will look back on these months of worry and anxiety and know that it was all OK. The stress is real and it is OK to feel that emotion. But the anxiety does not need to take hold of my life and overwhelm me. God is just too big for that, and I am not being a trusting daughter if I don’t let Him hold me through my stress and anxiety.