At a large conference with 3,000 women, I found myself tucked away in a friend’s office eating lunch as we avoided the masses. There were only three of us there, including myself. The friend whose office area had been opened up to host us for the next 30 minutes was a fellow pastor’s wife, in addition to leading in ministry herself. The other friend a voluntary counterpart and sounding board to me in ministry.
“In ministry, most of the time, when you’re interacting with people, it’s either really heavy or they’re complaining about something.”
In the midst of our conversation, the words above just slipped out of my mouth. We had been reflecting on how strange it was to attend an event and not be responsible for any part of it, and I had personally been realizing how much I needed that.
In all honesty, I’m not usually the one dying to get to events. There are a few reasons: My time is precious, I’d rather be home with my family, the financial cost, etc. But probably most of all – when these events are what you do, it’s almost like you don’t go when you get a break from having the responsibility of going.
To sit. To be. To walk into a room as an attendee and not as the one leading the event or at least some portion of it…I didn’t realize how much I needed that! To be fed in that way – like the church member that I am, just as equally as the minister and minister’s wife that I am. We are in just as much need as anyone else. Leading is such a high privilege, but it is hard– sacrificial, actually.
The same friend who was sitting with me has been talking a lot about that recently. The sacrifice of the call. The balancing of it all. And most pastor’s wives won’t publicly share just how hard it is. There is wisdom in that. But I also think there is wisdom in acknowledging that while we surrendered to a life of service, it is no one’s calling in life to make sure they are being served.
Sitting tucked away from the crowd, breaking bread in fellowship in that completely safe space with every bit of my guard down, the sentence that slipped out wasn’t left in that space. I carried it in my heart over the next few days, thinking about how, in my most honest and vulnerable state, that was something my heart was wrestling with at that time. The personal interactions that come with the call. It deserved space for pondering. For every good and beautifully rich blessing that comes with ministering to others, the hard needs to be addressed, too.
The ministers need ministering to.
Praise God that you can carry both – the challenging and deeply, supernaturally, wonderful. Praise God that He gives us safe spaces, that we can be honest, that it is GOOD to be human so long as we are reflecting Christ – just the way we were made.
For in our weakness, His power is made perfect in us. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)