A friend of mine was reading Dangerous Surrender by Kay Warren a while back. In a book buying blitz of wanting some good, Christian literature, I purchased it along with 3 other books. I’m not much of a reader. I know, that sounds really weird as an English teacher. I just get so bogged down with reading essays, AP prompts, and the stuff we’re reading in class, that I don’t sit down and read. So, when Jeremy committed to his 3 Rs for the year – reading, resting, and running – I kind of attached myself to the same plan. I did open the Dangerous Surrender book and read the first chapter or so. It kept focusing on her passion and what she allowed God to do with it. I got a little frustrated. It’s like when I tried to read Andy Stanley’s book Visioneering. His first chapter dealt with using your passion. I got frustrated because I couldn’t find my passion. I mean, I’m passionate about a lot of things – my family, marriages, teaching, photography, running, so where do you start? What was really my passion?
I figured God had stepped in and intervened with NILMDTS. I applied, I researched, I prepared…and I’ve been waiting. Since March 2. Still waiting. There are a few things that could have caused a hang up, I figured. I’ll spare you my analytical thoughts on the matter (they would only confuse you and might scare a little that I really do analyze things that much), but I’ve decided to do a couple of things and reapply. In the meantime, God opened a door in Stephenville without my even being a member of NILMDTS through my friend Amy and my friend Jennifer’s mom. I feel like I was obedient, and I feel a huge sense of peace.
So, thank you, I found it, and I was done. Easy. I wait for others to call me. Perfect! Except, I knew I wasn’t.
You see, I’ve had this stirring for church planter’s wives. I can’t really pinpoint when it started. Jeremy coaches, and I’ve been to the coaching orientation to help “coach” wives. But, no one really knows what that means. Including me. I know that my heart just wants to burst with excitement and aches for those women – it is such an exhilarating, exhausting, faith-building, scary, frustrating, amazing, lonely, happy, busy thing. I just don’t have enough adjectives (and I know a LOT of adjectives, and I’m really good with a thesaurus).
I’ve always worked really, really hard to be NORMAL. I’m just a teacher. Just a mom. Not really a girly girl. Don’t go around talking about church and God excessively, actually, I try to avoid those conversations altogether. I happen to be the pastor’s wife. I like to hide out in the background. God’s really worked in me in the last year. I’ve come to realize (or maybe just finally accept) that I am not “just like everyone else.” For instance, I’ve realized through many random encounters in Kroger, Wal-Mart, the Y, that people know who I am. I’ve come out of my wallflower status to meet and greet people between services (heck, last week I was eagerly inviting women to come to the retreat – that’s not me.) I’ve come to embrace that as part of my role. Not just accept, but embrace.
I’ve been recognizing this passion for church planting wives through different experiences God has placed in my path. I want to help them, coach them, rejoice with the faith-building events that happen, listen to the ranting when they’ve just had enough and want to quit, be amazed with wide eyes and audible gasps when God really steps in and blows them away, cry through the pain of frustration (because there is frustration), and just BE there. To help them grow from the role of “what has to get done to survive” to the role of “passion and helpmate” for their husband.
So, there’s a new passion. God has shown me the need, and I have this voice inside telling me the need is growing. As if I needed confirmation, because we all know that I do, and God seems to laugh as if to say, “he he (in a very deep voice), this will mess with her” when he gives it to me, he gave me a couple. A dear friend shared a stirring she has for planter’s wives. I was able to share my passion for the same and even for those women who find themselves married to a pastor when they never saw that coming. Then, I get home, and I had a friend request on FB. A woman who is a runner, photographer, and church planter wife contacted me – I mean, she could almost be me if you read her profile and her blog! I feel so normal again! You see, I think all women, pastor wife or not, are yearning to make connections – to find other women like them, with similar interests, that will spur them on in the faith and in life. To an extent I feel a burden to help that happen, but add to life that unique element of church planter wife, and, I get all excited inside.
So, I have the “who” and “what,” most of the “why,” no clue on the “how, when, or where.”
But, I know that Jeremy and Joey have always had a vision to use StoneWater as a basis for church planting. Maybe, just maybe, God has had this little plan all along – I mean, He is the omniscient, omnipotent Father. He’s got a plan here, and I pray that I will leave my heart and mind open that He will use me as He wills.
Speaking of prayer – it’s one tough discipline. I feel like I’m losing, and I don’t like to lose. I’m not giving up, though.