Tired Pastor's wife....
I grew up in a Pastor's home, as a result, I vowed I would never marry one! Well,I ate my words...I have been married to a Pastor for 20 years now. He was a Pastor when we got married. The early years were pretty good, we were young, had a lot of energy, and my husband was full of zeal and excitement. We have never "inherited" someone elses ministry they worked to build, like some of the Pastor's we know. Instead we took on churches that were down to about nobody, and built them by the grace of God, with a lot of blood, sweat and tears. In a couple of cases, we went in not knowing what our salary would be, or even if there would be a salary. Those fragments of churches we were handed because the last Pastor collected a paycheck for years, with no vision to see the church grow, or maintain the grounds. We have seen hundreds of people come to the saving knowledge of Christ, to God be the Glory!!! We have witnessed God bringing men and women out of a life of drugs, and promiscuity, and make them Pastor's, and Pastor's wives. All those are the highlights you love to reflect on.
About 6 yrs. ago, my husband began having panic attacks, due to the stresses of ministry, and a tumultuous childhood filled with multiple divorces by his parents, and many other destructive things, but he had grandparents who led him in the right direction, and he was saved and called to preach at an early age. It all began to catch up with him. He didn't know what was happening, because he had been a preacher with boldness, and couldn't wait to get an opportunity to preach, now he was terrified to get in the pulpit. He would go out the back door of the church at the time, and throw up before he got into the pulpit.
We stepped away for a year and a half, just served under another pastor, helping fill pulpits, or whatever was needed, but didn't really get "away" from ministry. Then we went back into a Pastorate, again, only a handful of people, and most of them were the trouble makers the last pastor ran away from! It was a mistake!! We thought we would make a difference, and with about half of them, we did see God working in their lives, but the other half were constantly trying to stir up trouble. We didn't have a piano player, and I'm not a pianist, but I play by ear enough to do congregational hymns, and some specials, so I took it over and did my best. In the end, I would be sitting on the piano, and see a group of women sitting in a huddle in the pew before church, literally pointing at me, and putting their heads together wanting me to see them "talking." I got to the point where I didn't want to even go to church, and then it was also starting to effect my teenage daughter, who was helping teach a ss class, and running the sound booth because we had nobody to do it. We finally got a break...we thought!
We got a call from a man from our hometown, he asked if we would be interested in taking a church with one women of 85 years old left. We thought about it, and after others, some 15 people said they would come be a part of this church, and help us try to revive it, after the last Pastor had ruined the testimony in the community it sat in by his lifestyle, etc. we decided maybe we could reach my husbands family, since they lived in the area, and also that we could maybe restore the testimony of the church. We came here, and have only grown to about 25 on a good Sunday in a yrs. time. The people who worked so hard to get us here, well, they are nowhere to be found, and haven't been since we came! We have no help! We find ourselves doing everything! Nobody is dedicated, and we find ourselves having to fill in on the piano, song leading, and whatever else comes up, all the time. My husband works full time, outside of Pastoring, since they can only pay us $100.00 a week. We need tires on our vehicle, among other things, but we don't have one church member who even seems to take notice of the Pastor's needs. They expect so much for so little, and complain about such petty things! I find myself wondering, how can they expect so much out of us, while doing nothing themselves? Where did people get the idea that Pastor's do it all, and his needs are not important! Again, our teenage daughter is miserable, and hates when Sundays and Wednesdays roll around! So we are making preparations to step away from the Pastorate, as soon as we can!! After all, my husband is working full time, anyway, so why not just do that, and at least have peace, and be able to go to church and not stress or worry about all the things we have for the past 20 yrs.
We don't have much money, very little, but in spite of all the hardships of the ministry, and loneliness we have felt, our family unit has remained strong, by the Grace of God. So we are excited to take this adventure, though it has many uncertainties, we long for the first Sunday, we can go to a church, sit on a pew, sing, worship, hear a message that we can grow from, and go home, not thinking about how people acted, received my husband's message, or if Bro. So n So liked the flower arrangement on the communion table, etc. Instead, we can go and leave, with no baggage!
The difference in us, and some of the testimonies I've read on here, is we have the desire still to do something for God, we want to serve Him in some capacity, just not Pastor! We are fighting bitterness, and anger, and we know we have to work though all that, but we are TIRED!! We just want to get some help for ourselves! For once in our lives, we are the one's who need the encouragement, instead of the one's trying to give it!