I am the wife of a pastor. The challenges of this are often hard to describe. However as time goes on and I continue to see the difficulty of being myself, of expressing my thoughts and feelings without fear of judgement. I wonder how easily anyone does that. Life is filled with risks and if I walk around in constant fear of whether or not I may offend someone by expressing my thoughts there is something wrong. I wish to live an authentic life, one that i am called to live, that is in keeping with the experiences and thoughts that have come to me through those experiences.
My role, as the pastor’s wife, adds to the feeling of being seen as someone I am not. So there has been a long period of time that I have been less than authentic. As this behavior continued over several years, I became that person. The one that held back and acted in a way that I thought was expected. However the behavior caused me to become someone I barley knew. In the midst of it though, I felt an ache, a desire to act out. I would do this by saying things or acting in ways that were not always acceptable, especially in light of he role I had created for myself. The nature of this behavior resulted in a form of passive aggressive behavior that only served to make me feel more alone.
I have read other writings about the challenges in being a pastor or part of a pastor’s family. The imposed isolation in order to shield oneself from so many opinions and the resulting loneliness was not something I thought would touch me. Not me, this outgoing and friendly people person. Perhaps that is why it happened. I thought I was immune. It seems I was not. Working through this is difficult. Finding connections, seeking out safe places to reach out and also to let others reach me will take time. But it is worth it. Real relationships with open and honest communication and care between people is built over time. So I seek these places and as I do I am seeing they may actually exist. This is a time of discovery and also learning again to be who I was meant to be.
I believe that we are given experiences in our lives, both hard and easy and going through them is meant to be shared. The difficulties give us strength and we can pass this strength on, and the joys we share will uplift and give others belief that they have hope too. I am grateful that there are people out there that are willing to open up and become authentic as well, it helps make the journey full and meaningful.
Let the journey begin….