First, let me preface this by saying one of my blog rules for myself is to keep it short. I broke that rule on this one. I am sorry. Feel free to read it in parts if it's to long, but please read it. It is real. It is the truth. And it is not easy to share. Here we go friends...
The first two years after our first son was born were difficult for me. Really difficult. Like, I felt like I couldn't breath difficult. Like, the earth was caving in around me difficult. Like, I was living in a fog difficult. You get the point.
Being a youth pastor's wife and having small children during the summer is no easy task. I used to spend my summers with my husband and the youth group traveling. We went to Taiwan, Mexico, and all over the U.S. on various trips. I loved it! And then our son was born...and life changed. Dramatically!
The summer of 2009 was the culmination of two years of wandering aimlessly for me. I couldn't seem to figure out what being a mom and being a pastor's wife looked like. All the sudden I couldn't be a part of the youth group like I had been. I didn't belong to a Sunday school class per se. I didn't have a small group. My friends were all carrying on with life as usual and I was drowning. I was lonely, lost and miserable.
It all came to a head at the end of June 2009. My son and I actually share a birthday (lucky me). I will never forget on his 2nd birthday, my 29th birthday, my husband was out of town with the teens. I was so angry that he was gone, despite his very intentional effort to make it special for us. I remember thinking how unfair it was that I had to spend my birthday alone (although my mom is awesome and watched the baby so I could go play-Thx mom!). I also remember thinking how unfair it was that our son could possibly have several birthdays where his dad wasn't home. That summer was one of the darkest times in my life. My son got really sick while my husband was away on that trip. He was basically screaming for 3 days straight. I felt completely alone. I felt bitter and depressed. I felt like I was suffocating within my own little world. I remember one night I was talking to my husband on the phone and I was so upset I was crying uncontrollably, the baby was crying in the other room and I had zero energy left. I remember him saying to me "Do you want me to find another job?" and I said "Yes! Yes I do!" That was one of the darkest nights of my life. I had enough of this ministry thing. If my husband being gone on our birthday and me being alone with a sick baby was what ministry was about, I was totally out. I was done. I was ready to call it a season of our life and move on. I was sure that my husband being in ministry was what was causing me to be miserable. A couple weeks later I went up to Alaska with my family while my husband and son stayed home. I spent 10 days just thinking and praying and trying to get a handle on what my life was about. I spent countless hours talking to my mom. I remember realizing I had to come to a decision. I was either going to be miserable about being in ministry or I was going to embrace it. Honestly, at that moment it was much easier to just be miserable. Embracing it sounded like so much work. I was too tired for that.
Obviously, my husband didn't get a new job. He was (thankfully) too wise for that. He saw that it was just a season for me. Unfortunately, it's a season that often tries to rear its ugly head again and again in my life. It's Satan's way of attacking our marriage, our home and my relationship with God.
I wish I could say 2 years later things are always easy. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Is it easy every day? Nope. Are there days I wish my husband did something else? Yep. Are there times I have no clue what I am doing? Of course. But, there is something about my husband living his dream in ministry that gives me strength when I feel like I have nothing else to give. I can say with confidence that my husband is being faithful to what God has called him to. I know that God knows the struggles I deal with, yet He STILL called my husband to this ministry life. His plan must be bigger than what I can see. The biggest thing I learned is that I wasn't miserable BECAUSE my husband was in ministry, I was miserable because I wasn't allowing God to shape my heart by the frustrations I had. Instead, I was allowing satan to twist my frustrations. I began to believe the lie that my frustrations were because my husband was in ministry. Some how my human mind really believed if he was doing something else I would be happy. Huh. Where do I come up with these things?! Once I finally got over myself and realized the feelings I had that summer were not from God, He slowly but surely began molding my heart. Today, I finally feel like I am able to breath almost as well as I did before that summer. God has been so faithful to be patient with me.
By the way....my husband has made a promise that he will never be gone on our birthday again. Sometimes that simple promise is all I need to get through the day.