I feel like I need to start off with a full disclosure. My husband did not go to college to be a pastor. I married a PE major in college. I was an elementary ed major. I had visions of teaching at the same school and summer vacations. My husband’s path lead a different direction winding through gyms, sports clubs, and lastly, at an electrical distributor as a business manager. My journey included subbing, YMCAs, camps, classrooms and eventually, home to raise my kids and homeschool them. So when God redirected our life toward full time ministry there were no preconceived notions of expectations or seminary classes that taught us protocol or whatever it is that gets you “ready” for this life. I consider this a blessing and a learning curve. We wanted to love people for Jesus, especially teens and kids and were excited to get to live this out full time.
I found out that some people want to watch your life in a “special” way and sometimes place you in a fishbowl up on a pedestal for all to see and watch. I am a bit too feisty for that. I firmly believe we are all in this together. We should all be striving for holiness and loving God and others the same. None the less, there is a bit of an environment of the fishbowl where I have learned many lessons over the last bunch of years that have arisen, either due to me confining myself to fishbowl mentality or letting someone else do that to me.
There have been many fumblings along the way and many opportunities for God’s grace and mercy. One of my favorite verses is:
As hard as this life can be at times, I am so blessed to live it. I have met and learned so much from so many wonderful people and from some not so wonderful people but all made in the image of God. I have learned more about God’s character and my identity. I have had my preconceived notions of church and myself smashed to little pieces. As Ann Voskamp so eloquently says in The Broken Way, “Our brokenness can be the container for God’s glory.” This has become a beautiful truth that I no longer shy away from. I have found abundance as I allow myself to be broken and as I enter others’ brokenness. This fishbowl life at times has felt containing, but overall it has allowed me into places and hearts I would have never known and for that, and so much more I am eternally grateful.