There are different seasons in life. Some seasons for moving forward and some for taking steps backward. Realistically all of life is forward motion – but your direction can change. I’m reading a book by lady who used to be a pastor’s wife at our church. She’s gone on to great things. She’s no longer a pastor’s wife and no longer defined solely by her husband’s ministry. I admire the steps of courage she’s taken and where the Lord has led. Her story is incredible and inspiring.
I think as a twenty-somethings, I came into ministry expecting to change the world. I wanted flashy titles and recognition. I wanted to make something of myself and prove to the world that women can really do anything that men do. Now, no flashy titles every happened, but I do feel like I have a made headway in advocating for women in ministry. It might not be on a national level, but in my own way, through conversations and following where the Lord has led me. Ministry can be an addicting lifestyle. It’s not a 9am-5pm job. It’s living in community with a group of people who you love and who will frustrate you and even break your heart. It’s major events and many weekly commitments… oh, and office hours. It has been easy for this one building to become the center of my life.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately – how much my life revolves around my church. Do I really want a building to be the center of my life? I am reminded though that this building represents families that I care about and it represents the call of God on my life. I don’t hang out there because it’s cool and it makes me feel important, I spend time there because I love Jesus and I want to serve his people. There is a big difference between living for Jesus and living for the church calendar.
It’s been an interesting season for me as I ponder a lot about “what next year will look like…” Will I still be able to do this? Will I still attend that? I realize in a lot of ways that I can’t keep serving in the same capacity I am now and enter into the parenthood stage of life. Something has to give. It’s hard to evaluate where I will step back from ministry because I love it and I deeply value the work I do. However, I also deeply value raising children who will know the Lord and will serve Jesus with their whole life. My ministry thus far has been to kids – other people’s kids. Now it’s time to process how I will serve my own kids, how I will lead them and how I will shape them.
I’m excited to move forward into a new season of life. I am excited for a new adventure. I know that raising a family will require a lot of me and maybe my new center will be my home and not the church. I believe serving my family is just as important as serving my community of believers. It seems less glamorous to give up the career stuff and do the family thing, but ultimately I believe that it’s a step in the right direction. I also believe that pulling back for one season doesn’t disqualify me from racing ahead in other seasons. The pastor’s wife I mentioned earlier didn’t jump into these major leadership roles until she had finished raising her family. She put her family first and that didn’t mean that she was disqualified from major influence and major leadership experiences. Different seasons for different stages of life.
Now this isn’t a blog to say that I’m quitting my job to become a full-time stay at home mom – I know my mother-in-law/supervisor at work reads this blog, so don’t misunderstand me. I’m just contemplating how things will be different. My direction in life is about to change. It’s exciting and scary all at the same time. As much as I try to wrap my head around all the changes, I know that it will still be surprising and a walk of faith. I might not know what next year looks like, but I do know that for this upcoming season, my path is changing. I’m thinking more of home. I thought letting go would be harder, but I find that I’m ready for this next chapter. I will try not to figure it all out now and I will try not to stress about questions for which there are no answers. For now, I will contemplate what it looks like to move backward and move forward – all at the same time.