The Truth About Being a Pastor’s Wife: When Sharing Is Hard

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At Josh’s ordination service…when the journey was just beginning.

I have grown into this pastor’s wife gig. I recently heard another pastor’s wife say, “I just worry about being me and nothing else.” I felt like that was really good advice, and I think that I am coming much closer to having that sort of attitude. I don’t notice the loneliness like I used to. The Sunday Morning Single Motherhood thing doesn’t even bother me much these days – puke-ville and all.

When Adelle – as in my first and only child at the time – was little and I still had time to curl my hair before church and be on time, nay early, to church – I made some comment about how hard my life was to a dear old friend who always calls me out on my junk and happens to also be married to a pastor’s wife. His particular call out this time was an understanding head nod and, “Yeah. It’s hard but you can do it. A lot of really good women have done it before you and a lot more will do it after you.” As in – girlfriend, life isn’t that bad and your situation isn’t so spectacular that no one else has handled it, and handled it well, before.

After that I made the decision to stop being dramatic and put my big girl panties on, and for the most part I think I’ve kept them on – in that category at least. But there are Sundays, like this one in particular, when I find myself telling God, “I know, Lord. My life is really good. I’m sorry I am feeling a little pout-y about it, but I am.” I found myself facing the same insurmountable battle I have faced for a great deal of our life here, and I was so grateful to feel Josh’s arm pressed up against mine as we listened to the sermon. I was grateful to have my strong and steady best friend.

Then the closing music began, he leaned over and whispered that he wouldn’t be able to help with the girls afterwards today and then took his post at the front to be available to pray with whoever might need to be loved on. But today I needed to be loved on. I wanted him to be there with me as tears welled up behind my once-a-week make-upped eyes. I didn’t want to share the only person who knows me through and through – and loves me just the same. It wasn’t his fault. I wasn’t upset with him. I was just…sad. And a little lonely. And so, so weary.

So the truth is that most of the time I don’t mind sharing my man with whoever might need him. He is good and kind and wonderful at what he does. He points people to Jesus in whatever way they might need, and that is an amazing, wonderful thing. I’ve grown accustomed to sharing him logistically. But every once in a while, I find myself completely unprepared to share him emotionally.

I recognize that this isn’t all bad because my only choice in that moment was to look toward Jesus – to whisper my sad – and to remember that He has taught me that I’m never alone. There are people all around who don’t know…they don’t know that they really aren’t ever alone. But not me. I get to claim that peace and grab the hand of Jesus.

Maybe I wouldn’t have remembered it so readily if I’d been able to grab the hand of my man.

5 Comments

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  1. 1
    Cristina Key

    Wow Emily, this is inspiring. This kind of situation does allow for the reminder of our full dependence of and on God. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  2. 2
    Carey

    Thank you for sharing. I'm just a year into the pastor's wife gig, and I completely understand your heart. I have been there many times myself. This is a special calling that not many understand, so I appreciate your honesty. Prayers for your heart today!

  3. 3
    Pattie B

    Emily,
    You are never alone. We never wish you to feel that way, but we know it happens. We thank you every day for sharing Josh with us! You BOTH are a blessing to God's Kingdom! <3

  4. 4
    Trish

    You're not the only one who feels alone, even when we are surrounded by friends, in the middle of a crowd. I have felt that way a lot lately. Hugs friend.

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