There are moments and places in life that always seem to be close memories. Even as distance grows, the memory feels only a moment away.
These are generally the large, life-impacting moments in life — the death of a loved one, the birth of a child, or a once in a lifetime experience.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about my once in a life time experience a lot. In a moment, I’m back in the experience. It almost feels that if I turn my head, even the environment will be altered. I’ve found myself whisked away while in a fitness class, during a teaching moment, and even in that moment before my eyes open for the day.
Sure, there have been several once in a lifetime moments like meeting Jay but lately my mind has been going back to Greece.
If you’ve been around for a while, you know that I started 2018 in Athens, Greece. It was a life altering experience that I’m still feeling the trickle effects from it. While I learned much from the trip and I’m forever grateful for the opportunity to experience a window of life on another continent, meet some amazing people, and witness God working wonders on the other side of the planet, I learned a lot about myself.
One of the most important things that I learned — or rather re-learned — is that I have a voice. I have authority given to me as the Daughter of a King. I have a calling that is all my own.
Perhaps it is for this reason that my mind has wandered back to Greece.
In my real, every day life, I am the wife of a youth pastor.
Yes, I am also a teacher, artist, and author in my own standing but many people I come in every day contact with see me as nothing more than a Youth Pastor’s wife.
I am not ashamed of this. In fact, I am proud. My husband has a calling and he has been faithful to his work. We have been witness to some amazing growth in students’ lives. We’ve also struggled and fought for our students with tears and prayers. We praise God for the good harvests and we still wait for the day when our prayers will be answered.
While I am proud of my husband and his calling, it is not mine. I enjoy working with our teenagers but it’s not my calling.
And since we’re on the topic of calling, I should state that I don’t know exactly what mine is yet. I have a different once in a lifetime moment that still seems like yesterday although it was more than 20 years ago now. I have a calling moment. As years have passed, I’ve prayed and pleaded for God to make it clear. It’s been a slooooow process. Today, I don’t know exactly how it all plays out but I’m sure of that calling and to whom I am called.
Back to the topic at hand… It’s not always easy being married to someone in church leadership. Especially in today’s climate.
Jay and I don’t see everything eye to eye. We discuss the woolly parts of the Bible and don’t always agree. We look differently upon the political climate. Heck, we don’t even have the same taste in books and movies! We are are very different people so why would anyone thing that we have the same calling?
Many church members fail to see me as an individual. More than a few take it a step further and I’m left with the impression that I need to fall in line, keep quiet, and “behave like a pastor’s wife” (which p.s. I have no idea what that actually means.) I’m left feeling voiceless, un-empowered, and frustrated.
I understand that few people who read this will actually understand my position. But many of you may know what it’s like to feel voiceless, un-empowered, and frustrated. Whether it’s in a place of business, politically, or even in your own church, most people I know have felt this way at one point or another. And the feelings are only amplified when you feel as if it’s that that specific arena that you were called to step-up and speak out into that is telling you to shut up and sit down.
If you feel voiceless, un-empowered, and/or frustrated, I’m sorry. I feel ya’. And while I can’t change that for you, I can share with you two silver linings I hold to.
These are two lessons I’ve learned over the years of voicelesness, un-empowerment, and frustration —
1.God has the final word.
God isn’t confused about who I am. I am not some extra appendage of my husband. I am not just another voice in the crowd. And neither are you! I mean with regards to the not just another voice thing. It would be weird if people associated you with my husband. 🙂
God hears you. He sees you. He knows you. He knows your name, your purpose, and the plans He has for you. He has called you holy. He has called you redeemed. He has called you a child of the King of Kings. He has called you His.
I cling hard to this information. God gives me wisdom — not just my husband who in turn might pass it on to me. God called me child and not an in-law. God has given me His Spirit and He has chosen me to bear fruit!
This is sweet music to my often frustrated spirit. However, I can’t forget this last lesson while I’m remembering this one.
2. There’s a time for everything.
Timing is everything in life. If you’ve ever waited to long to eat your ice cream then you know exactly what I mean.
But seriously, timing is vitally important. God didn’t forget you. He may just have you in a season that’s not to your liking — like a silent one.
If you’re looking for a platform, God will give it to you in His timing and not a second sooner. If you looking for breakthrough, He’ll bring it but not a moment too soon.
Sometimes, the most difficult part of any process is waiting on God. We want things to happen now but He says wait.
Ecclesiastes 3 tells us that there a time for everything — including a time to speak and a time to be silent. There’s also a time to fight and a time to keep your peace.
There are times when we must fight the powers that be to make our voice heard. But we must know when that time is.
For me, that time is not now. As much as I want to fight, I’m trying to learn what God wants me to learn in this season of submission.
It’s not always easy to embrace the season that God has placed us in. But there’s a beautiful verse that promises God will not forget us. He will complete His purposes in us if we remain obedient.