Guest blog from Bradyn Schellenberg.
“What’s it like being a pastor’s wife?”
On my best days, when I feel God’s love strongly and appreciate the blessings he’s given, I am so grateful for the privilege it is to be a pastor’s wife. However, life is not full of “best days”. In short, I’d say that being in ministry is difficult, demanding and draining BUT tremendously rewarding.
The long answer entails so much more. Being a pastor’s wife isn’t like anything I’ve ever experienced before. Like my entrance into motherhood, it started in a way that I could have never fully prepared myself for. As a mom-to-be, I read books, blogs and heard from other moms about the sleepless nights, the temper tantrums, the overwhelming love you feel when you meet your baby for the first time, but no amount of preparation, no amount of baby proofing the house or bulk diaper buying beforehand, could have prepared me for what was to come. In the same way, I wasn’t prepared in advance to be a pastor’s wife. Jesse and I were a couple years into marriage. He was working in the business world and was very successful in climbing the corporate ladder. I was working full time as a teacher – loving the community I found among my teacher friends. This lasted for a time and then Jesse said to me one day that he wanted to start taking some seminary classes. The next thing we know, we’re invited to a church in another community where Jesse takes on his first job as a real life pastor. It all happened so fast and much of our experience was kind of unexpected, but God orchestrated it all and his timing is so perfect. Just like my entrance into motherhood, my step into life as a pastor’s wife is all about the learning along the way.
The work that my husband and I are in is more than an occupation, it’s a lifestyle. Some might read this and think, “Wait, isn’t it just your husband who works for the church?” To that question, I would answer, yes, Jesse works for the church, however we share a unique calling together. My husband, Jesse doesn’t exactly punch his time card at the end of the day and head for home, turning all areas of work out of his mind. No, in ministry you’re always on. Phone calls can come in all hours of the day. People still need help, direction, prayer, a listening ear. Jesse will jump back into his car after coming home and will head over to the hospital to be with people who are sick or dying. We open up our home regularly to people from all walks of life, some strong in the faith and others weary and with questions. Among all these circumstances, I have the joy of seeing my husband flourish in a calling he’s realized and followed. The part I play in this calling is this: I have the responsibility and concern of helping hold up his weary arms when ministry is hard, to encourage him and be excited with him when ministry is bright, to listen, to love, to take care of our family, and to be his constant companion and helper in this ‘together calling’.
The thing is, despite the busy and exhausting lifestyle we live, I thank God for the call that he has placed on our lives, and for the constant learning along the way. I’m proud of how hard Jesse works to serve the people God has entrusted to him to lead and shepherd. I love being a pastor’s wife and I am privileged to be a part of the ministry of the church.
Leadership is … the joy of sharing a calling
Yours in Service,