This blog. Well. This is a hard one. Not for me to write…because I love authenticity. I love real. I love raw and honest and transparent. The problem is, others don’t. And in my community…where pastor’s wives live and breathe and love and bleed…it is often unsafe to declare transparency to the world. And that is a tragedy. For the women who hold others’ hands and keep others’ secrets and share others’ hurts and wade through others’ struggles, to be trapped in their own plight with no one else to turn to. Well there is a flaw in the system of Christian humanity when the mothers of churches aren’t free to weep and struggle with the rest of the flock because sheep bite the hardest. And shepherd’s wives bleed the deepest. Too many times have their words been twisted and their feelings manipulated. The expectations placed on these women touted as Gospel when the Gospel says nothing of the sort. My community. They need the freedom to grow in the reality of success and failure without fear of judgement and ridicule from the religious. They ask for the simple acceptance that they offer day in and day out. They ask for a place to be loved and vulnerable.
But this really cannot be. Not in the traditional, American church. Pastor’s wives find themselves behind walls built around their very own hearts by their very own hands, holding people at a distance, waiting days, weeks, months, years until someone comes along that proves trustworthy. Once in a great while, they will stumble across that person, that friend, that they can confide in. But this is rare. And this breaks my heart.
I can say this because I have found genuine friends in church, and I have found fabricated friends in the church. I have seen both sides of the coin. I have been both sides of the coin, sadly. It is a bitter reality, at best.
What I want is for these women, these sisters, to find their voice. I want all pastor’s wives to find the place that they can stand up and boldly declare what God is doing on the inside of their hearts. I want them to be able to come to a place that the community they should trust the most is, in fact, the most trustworthy. I want these women to have the freedom to be REAL. Oh, for every woman to find that freedom. To be who she is. And that is all. To be ONLY and EXACTLY and COMPLETELY herself. To let all the demanding expectations fall on deaf ears.
And this brings me to this blog. A series of blogs, really. This series will come from a deep place of discontent in my heart. It is a discontent that has built up over the course of 13 years of ministry. My goal is not to point out the flaws in people, but maybe in a system that just doesn’t seem to be working as it should. And my credibility lies in a lifetime of church attendance and over a dozen years of church “employment” (be it voluntary.) My qualification is being the pastor’s wife who is taking a step outside the norm to shed light on areas that need to change for the church to move forward. It is me being REAL. Being who I am ONLY and EXACTLY and COMPLETELY. Letting all expectations fall to the wayside.
Here is what I do NOT want to come of this series. I do not want pity. I do not want calls/texts/emails of grave concern over the pastor’s wife who is sinking in despair. That is so far from the truth. My discontent is a good thing. It is a deep, God-working, an unhappiness with the way things are in the American church as a whole. It is a rumbling in my heart for change. And I don’t think I’m the only one. I know I’m not.
What I DO want is freedom. I want the freedom to share what I see and voice what He is tearing apart in me. The traditions and religious ways that are unfounded and unBiblical and doing the church nothing but harm. And most importantly, the things that are turning away the lost. The intentional and unintentional alike. Because both grieve Him. Both grieve me.
So that’s it. Be on the lookout for additions to Deep Musings of The Preacher’s Wife. This should be fun!