When I was a little girl, my mom was always telling me, "But, whatever you do, never marry a preacher!". I remember her and her friend would always have a good laugh about this. It was an ongoing joke whenever the topic of dating or marriage came up.
I really did intend to heed my mother's warning (albeit tongue-in-cheek.). My goal was to attend college, get my degree in biology, then marry me some Godly man who wished to live in a tent and study some variety of plant or animal life. Didn't happen. I wasn't even married by the end of college! This was definitely NOT part of the plans. I began to earnestly seek God, asking what it was He had in store for me. He spoke to me in a very unique way...you probably wouldn't believe it if I told you. But I knew for sure and for certain I was to be a minister's wife.
That's why I was a little scared when the next man I dated (Darrell) told me he was called to the ministry. But--- I was naive and in love...all that stuff my mom said about living in a fishbowl and your life not being your own...was all that really true or so bad?
If you know me, you of course know how the story has turned out. My mom has teased me, saying, "When are you going to rebel?...Oh, yeah, I remember...you married a preacher!" My mom's friend even brought up this joke at our rehearsal dinner the night before our wedding. She gave my mom a great compliment, telling her that if she didn't want me to marry a minister, then she shouldn't have raised me the way she did. We got married, moved to seminary 10 days later. A few weeks after that, Darrell accecpted the call to a church as part-time youth minister.
A few years later God would solidify in my mind this "marrying a preacher" business. After serving in our first church for two years we felt called to resign, even though we didn't have another church waiting. Darrell and I agreed that maybe what we needed was to just be "regular church attenders" for a while. The first Sunday we attended your typical Baptist Church. A wonderful service and congregation, but we were miserable. So, for the next several Sundays, we thought we would try something different. We saw on the seminary bulletin board where a church plant was meeting in a local high school. We decided to check it out. Within a few weeks, the church asked Darrell to become their youth minister. We met with them, but after prayer decided it was not God's will. We were feeling pretty down about this, but when we got home to our seminary apartment, there was a message from a church on the machine asking Darrell to be their full-time youth minister!
Darrell and I often look back at that pivotal period of just a few weeks in our life. It was the only time we have ever left a church without God calling us to a new one. Many told us to wait until we were called to a church. But we felt strongly that God wanted us to resign without having found another church. I can now see God's purpose and plan in all of that. We can distinctively remember those feelings of unrest when we thought we would just be another person in the pew. God allowed us to experience that so that we know just how out of God's will that is for Darrell and I.
To those who think they may be want to go into the ministry, Darrell and I tell them to just make sure they are called, and that they marry someone who is called. You know you are called to the ministry when it is the only thing that brings you satisfaction and joy. Darrell and I cannot imagine doing anything else-- ever. We won't even consider it, because we know we'd be miserable. We might be able to sleep in on Sundays, clock in/out of a 40 hr. job, or go to sleep without worrying over some church matter---but we'd be miserable. We know that for sure and for certain.
Blessed to be a preacher's wife,