I was going to take time to introduce my friend Staci, but in true Staci fashion, I’m going to just let her get right to it…
Hey all! My friend Jess (yes, she calls me Jess. No, you are not also allowed to call me Jess. She gets special privileges, haha!) invited me to share a guest post and I am happy to be with you today!
I know the focus on the blog lately has been identity, and while my first and true identity is “Daughter of the King”, I also wear the hat of “Pastor’s Wife”. My husband and I have been together for over 20 years and have worked in ministry throughout that entire time. Sounds glamourous, right? Seriously speaking, when I signed up for the whole marriage deal I thought the future hubs would be raking in the dough as a high school teacher, and I had no intention of being a Pastor’s wife. They are supposed to be beautiful and super spiritual and friendly and warm…pretty much polar opposite of me. However, over the past 20 plus years God has continually reminded me that who I am is not based on the roles I play, but the way He has called me, shaped me, and grown me as His daughter.
As you can imagine, working at a church has its perks and downsides, pretty much like any other job. Very early on in our career and marriage we understood that the church is imperfect, made up of imperfect people (both staff and congregations) who desperately need the forgiving grace of God.
These imperfect people also tend to be very vocal. The first slap in the face, which was also the biggest, came when a very dear church woman questioned my faithfulness and support of my husband because I was not involved in one of the activities he was planning. Did I mention the vocal part?
Often times congregation members have very high expectations of their pastors/pastors families. And while I agree that being a pastor is a high calling, I also know that as a pastor’s wife I have different gifts than my husband, and God has called me to minister in different ways. I am so thankful that I have a husband who prays for me as much as I pray for him, and who encourages me to get involved in the ways I feel called and not because of what others expect of me.
I am a total introvert, although God often times calls me out of my comfort zone in order to stretch me and grow me for His purposes. He has a way of not allowing us to remain stagnant long, which is both awesome and annoying at times.
The hardest part of the role I play as Pastor’s wife is that I often feel like I am being watched, that my family and I have to set some sort of example of Christian living. Well let’s be real for a quick second – the example I lead is that of one completely dependent on the grace of God. I am 100% a sinner, thankful every day for God’s grace. I am also incredibly sensitive, and while it “goes along with the job” it is often hard to hear the criticism that people have of my husband and the work he does, especially when I am sitting next to those critical voices in church on Sunday.
What helps with that? Being reminded of what I am called to do – In Colossians 3 verse 12 it says Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. I love this verse because it reminds me what I am – holy and dearly loved – and what I should do – show compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Thankfully I am not trying to do those things on my own! Only by God’s Spirit can I bear those fruits, so I hang on tight and try to grow my roots as deeply as I can in Him.
This post was written by Staci Patterson especially for
the One Story Series at Made For Today.