|Monique and Curtis Zackery, Living Hope Neighborhood Church, Richmond, CA|
Hello Fellow Ministry Wives!
Welcome back to The Garden. I'm so thankful that the first month of this blog is focused on "The Beginning"--sharing the beginning of each of our stories of ministry.
As I read Carla’s first blog post, I realized I wasn’t alone.
I never dreamed of being a pastor’s wife. As a child I remember pretending to be a school teacher. I set up my stuffed animals and instructed them through make believe. At times I pretended to be a secretary. I piled papers high on the desk in my room and I envisioned myself being busy at work as I “answered phones” the way I saw my mama do it. Other times I pretended to be a famous singer, belting out songs into my hairbrush. As I got older, I dreamed of my wedding day. I imagined being a bride--being a wife. Through the years I dreamed of and hoped for a lot of different things. Interestingly enough, however, "Pastor's Wife" never made it's way into my childhood fantasies.
After my husband proposed I found two truths at war within me. The first was the fact that he was undoubtedly the man God was calling me to marry. The second was the fact that he was called to ministry, which meant that I would eventually become a pastor’s wife. “ME? A pastor’s wife?” That idea seriously intimidated me since, in my mind, I was clearly not pastor’s wife material.
All the pastor wives I knew seemed to have it all together. Granted, my view was a completely skewed, outside-looking-in perspective. But in my eyes P.W.’s were always kind, graceful, confidant and knew just what to say at the proper time. They knew how to dress appropriately. They were wonderful moms and they knew how to host, how to cook, how to decorate a table, how to lead Bible studies, how to quote scripture, how to mentor other women, and how to home school their children. In essence I thought they were the June Cleavers of ministry.
I knew none of those pastoral things. I had no training in Pastor’s Wife 101. I was terrified!
Yet God chose me…. inexperienced, unqualified, broken me.
I imagine His decision had something to do with the fact that His strength is made perfect in weakness. I’ve wrestled much in finding my place under this mantle of ministry. But I praise God for His grace and patience as He shows me security, identity and freedom in Him.
Just before getting married, we received a lot of advice from different people. I remember one particular friend saying, “Marriage is a ministry. It’s not just for the two of you. When God calls you to be married, it is because He knows your ministry will be more powerful with each other than it would be without each other.”
Now I see so much truth in that little bit of advice offered to us. I praise God that He chose me to be part of ministry with my Husband. God is intentional. He doesn’t make mistakes. He purposed me to be in this role and He’s done the same for YOU…
You, with all of your gifts…
You, with your unique passions…
And yes, even you with your weaknesses... those weaknesses that God continually uses to make known His mighty strength, as you follow Him.
I thank God that I am in the process of growing. I’m thankful for this season of learning who I am in Him and who He is calling me to be, which isn’t June Cleaver. (Praise the Lord!) Furthermore, I thank God that you are here with us in this Garden. We welcome you to this mini, weekly retreat, where you can find encouragement and community, right where you are. You are not alone.