Once upon a time, I was a girl in her teens who had attended two years at Briercrest Bible College. I chose Briercrest because I could take the accounting courses I needed for my chosen profession, as well as taking Bible courses that taught me more about my faith. Along the way, I made friends who are still among some of my closest, twenty years later. The combination of a shared faith and a shared college experience makes for some pretty tight bonds.
I left my two years there without my “MRS degree” (Mrs. degree)(finding a spouse), which was all good and well. I wasn’t ready to be married at the age of nineteen. Some were, and good on them, but I was not.
Fast forward a few years and I was a woman in her early twenties, attending a huge church in Burnaby (Vancouver), watching all of her friends get married. I felt like I was at spinster status at the age of twenty-four (Ha!)(HAAAAAA) and wondered when (or if) I would meet a good man and get to be a MOM. Those two things were what I wanted to be: Married to a good man, and a Mom. I had a talk with the Big Guy and said that I could give up that dream, if it wasn’t supposed to be, but all I asked was that the desire to have that be taken away.
One week later, I found myself on a church pew, sitting next to Matthew. One month later, we were engaged. Four months after that, we were married. It’s been twelve years now, and there’s no sign of stopping.
All of his awesomeness aside, I felt especially happy that he was a lumber broker and not a pastor. Pastors have crazy expectations placed upon them to be perfect and not offend anyone ever and their kids have an especially hard time of trying to live up to the hype. I have many friends who are PK’s (pastor’s kids) and, oh. Sometimes the church forgets to love like Jesus did, you know?
A few years ago, the lumber industry went down the poop chute and Matthew took up some renovating work and then he was groomed to take over the role of the Director of Children and Families at our church. He started out at a quarter time, was bumped to half-time, and somewhere in there he had to candidate for the position that he had stepped into. It was a tense time, he was neck-in-neck with some girl who wasn’t from here, and then we got the call. He got the job, by UNANIMOUS VOTE. No other pastor in our church has had a unanimous vote, which is flattering, but the vote in Matthew’s favor is probably because everyone had seen him doing this job for years. And doing it well.
I keep correcting people that he is not a Pastor, but a Director. So, technically, I am not a pastor’s wife.
Per wikipedia: The word itself is derived from the Latin word pastor, which means “shepherd“. Pastor is not like ‘Reverend’, because to be a Reverend, you need to get a degree. To be a Pastor, you just need to be a leader who takes care of the people in your life. What that tells me is that we are all Pastors.
Matthew preached for the first time two weeks ago and it was awesome. I am so, so proud of him.
Why have I been so stubborn on making his official title of ‘Director’ so clear? Because I am stubborn by nature. I don’t think I meet the visual that comes to mind when you think of a Pastor’s wife. I don’t play the piano, but I do sing along to the Top 40 songs on the radio. I cuss occasionally, and sometimes I cuss a lot. I like to enjoy wine on the deck with Matthew or good girlfriends.
I’m slowly (SO SLOWLY) coming to terms with my new role. Being a pastor’s wife doesn’t mean that I have to be perfect. Nobody is perfect. It just means that I live under grace like everyone else, but in a more public forum.
This is what scares me the most, I think. I hope that I am shown the same amount of grace that is shown to everybody else.