Mar 13, 2012

From the heart of a Pastors Wife

I am a pastor's wife. Never in a million years did I think I would ever be one - mostly because I liked the bad boys, but here I am. I have been one for 5 years. And not only am I an (associate) pastor's wife, I am the daughter-in-law of the pastor too. 

There's a lot that comes with that role but until recently I didn't realize that. I thought it was just me. Why can't I make a friend? Why does everyone else click so quickly? Why do all my relationships seem so surface level? Why can't I find a girlfriend to hang out with? What is wrong with me? Why do I feel like such an outsider in this town? Is it just me?

I struggle with loneliness. Wow, that was hard to admit. (brought tears to my eyes just saying it out loud.) I struggle with envy (in the friendship department). I struggle with insecurities. I struggle...

It is so weird to me because always growing up I was "popular" or whatever that means. I had lots of friends and even when I moved to Bible college I was able to make some great real friendships. (Now here is my side note: I DO have friends. They have been my friends for 25 years - my best friends are a group of girls that became my friends in kindergarten. I grew up with these girls and still see them several times a year! Man, they are the best!!!) 

However, I have lived in this town for 5 years and I can't say that I have a friend. - Now don't get me wrong people reading this. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my church family. I would LOVE to be friends with so many of the people in my church but what confuses me is why this has never happened! How can that even be possible?! 

Let me just tell you, I am a good friend. Ask my group of girls from KFR. I care, I listen, I am fun to hang out with, I am laid back, and sometimes I am even funny... LOL- building some spirit in me. :)

Maybe being a pastor's wife is kinda like what celebrities go through - without the fame and money though. You never know who wants to be your friend for who you are or your role. Or who doesn't want to be your friend because of that exact reason. Or who feels like they have to include you because who you are. Or how you are never included because I mean come on - "Who invited the pastor?"...

A few years ago, when I was about to start a new job in this town the lady I was going to work with went to my church. Her friend said to her, You're going to work with your pastor's wife? OMG that will suck. You're going to have to watch everything you say! That will be so uncomfortable...  and whatever else! My coworker at the time said Nah, it's KC. She's not like that. 
But what's funny about that is I NEVER viewed myself as a "pastor's wife". I mean I knew I was married to one but for people to have to be careful around me because I'm like closer to Heaven or something? We are just people too! 

What is it about Pastor's wives that makes them "unfriendable" or scary? You may not even realize that you think this way but if you do please share! Or if you are a pastor's wife PLEASE share with me your experiences and thoughts on this!!!

Now in saying all that I am SOOOOO proud to be married to my husband. I am proud of what he does. I am and always will be his biggest supporter! I am so lucky. He truly is my best friend and our family is most important to him. I am sooo proud to be one of the pastor's wives at COS. I love our church family. I love the people that attend. And I try my best to serve the best way I can. And I do have to say I am one Lucky and blessed pastor's wife. Our congregation at COS is so stinking cool. They are the most loving and welcoming people I know. They don't expect me to wear a dress and a bun in my hair. They let me be ME!!! -- this post is just focusing on the friendship factor of pastor's wives not anything else. These are just some very personal thoughts and struggles I have been going through lately (like the last 5 years). 

I decided to search the web for articles and blogs about and from pastor's wives to seek wisdom and to realize I am not alone! and hopefully find a way to break through this silly cycle! Here are some things I found:
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"In some places, God and our husbands may be our only confidants. Staying in touch with long-distance friends via phone or e-mail can help."

45% of pastor's wives do not have a close friend.

"When people introduce me, they ALWAYS say, 'This is my pastor's wife.' That is the kiss of death."  --- I've even introduced myself as a wife of a pastor, because I am proud of him and what he does but I never realized the effect it could have on my relationships. Now I will never hide this but interesting thought!

"The biggest woe that Pastor's wives have is loneliness."

"One of the hardest things to deal with is despite the fact you're surrounded by people on Sundays and Wednesday nights, you feel completely and utterly alone."

"The Pastor's wife wasn't called to be a pastor, just to love one."

"In the early days of ministry, I'd go to church alone and walk around in a bubble of self-doubt and self-consciousness. Who will talk to me? What do they think of me? Am I good enough? Am I doing the right things? I cringe to think of the opportunities I missed to hear from God and encourage others to come out of their own bubbles of self-doubt."

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I found soooo much more. Did you know 80% of pastor's wives feel unappreciated? Do you know how high the standards are for pastor's wives? ... But I really wanted to keep this post about the struggle on my heart. FRIENDSHIP and LONELINESS

I do not say any of this to ask for a pity party I say it mostly for myself. To gain encouragement and confidence. But also to ask for prayer. I read on one of the blogs speaking to pastor's wives - pray for a friend and then have patience.

I would LOVE to hear from you on your experiences as a pastor's wife, or of your pastor's wife, or just your experience in dealing with any of this!!!

Thanks for letting me open up and share what's on my heart.

5 comments:

  1. I have these same thoughts a lot! It doesn't help that we are in Moberly with the CCCB staff and their wives who probably go through the same thing as the Minister's wife. Praying for you!

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  2. KC, being the pastor's wife isn't the only role that can be lonely. My husband travels when he's working. So 2-3 weeks out each month he is gone. Who wants to invite the 3rd wheel. I also work across the road from my house by myself. I have several customer's who I'm very friendly with, but not anyone that calls and says let's do lunch. This is the very reason I love a friendly church. They are my family and friends. Most of my family lives in Illinois and some farther away. Kenton's family is at least an hour away. They don't call to get together without their brother or son. It's a lonely life. I've been here 9 years now and the only friends I have came from bonding at church. I don't shy away from the "Pastor's Wife". I think you're pretty awesome and maybe just need to have a little more confidence in yourself. Let people know you want friends. If you ever need an ear, call me. I'm really a good listener.

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  3. a couple comments I have received by message - not naming any names and took out some personal things they shared, but I like to put some things under here for when I reread my blog posts and am struggling with the same things, I can remember the encouragement people gave me:

    1. My phone wouldn't let me post on your blog....I am not a pastor's wife but I grew up a PK and I always felt like my friends were only nice to me because my dad was the pastor and they had to be nice to me!! I know that my mom would say the same thing about being a pastor's wife. I remember her always saying she didn't have any friends.
    After my dad quit pastoring we started going to a new church. My mom became the pastors secretary and so we had lots of opportunities to be around him. I remember him saying to me one day that I was the only kid in the youth group who treated him like a real person and how much he appreciated it!!
    I don't have many words of wisdom for you but I can tell you that you are one of the most incredible women that I know! (even though it's been years since we have seen each other). I love seeing how God has flipped your life around!! The KC I met in Edmond sure wouldn't have married a pastor!

    2. I love your blogs! I love you and consider you my friend and one I'm proud to have. I guess to me, most times you are my friend 1st, Kairi & Brayce's mommy 2nd, Jonathan's wife 3rd and a pastor's wife 4th. I don't know what that says about me! ha! Anyway, I'm proud to tell everyone KC is my friend!

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  4. 3. KC- I totally understand what you write about in reference to lonliness in ministry, doubly so! Not only am I the worship minister's wife, but I am also the children's minister. It is very lonely sometimes, especially with my only dear and close friends who understand me and don't judge me for having a glass of wine or saying a derogatory joke are overseas missionaries! I have to watch my back from all sides, not only to protect my husband's ministry but also my own. I ask myself the same questions you do- do they like me for me? Do they like me because they are pretending? Was I invited out of pity? Do they not want me around because I'm boring or they think I can't have fun? it is lonely to be in ministry, but I know that I have to look at it as a priviledge. Ministry is not for the weak or faint of heart. If I let the lonliness, discouragement, down in the dumps mentality get to me, I shrivel really quickly. So what if no one wants to be my friend? Because I have Jesus who loves me and is always there for me. My husband is my other best friend and he thinks I'm funny and loves me for who I really am. I have my son who thinks I'm the best. And some days, that's plenty enough for me! I'm not here to impress anyone- I'm here to serve. The lonely factor is rough, especially when I have struggles and I'm afraid to tell them to anyone because of how I'll be viewed in my leadership abilities or as "not as good a Christian", when that very term is absolutely ridiculous! Who can I talk to about how I have some really dark and depressing days? No one. So I share with my husband, God, my mom a little, and I write my friend through Facebook. I carry on and look for ways to be content where I can. But I know this world is not my home and I won't ever be or feel complete until I'm in my permanant home.
    If nothing else, I hope you know you're not alone and that if you ever need to write to tell me anything, hopefully that will help you and me both to have someone who understands. I am proud of you for saying what you did and for your honesty. I think SO much of you and I'm so proud of the awesome mommy and wife that you are. God is using you in mighty ways and is preparing you for the future.

    4. from my hubby: probably the best blog you have written. so real, so emotional. i know its hard, and at times i know it really sucks, but thank you so much for being the woman you are, and for being my biggest supporter. I am so amazing blessed to have you

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  5. i know how you feel kc! alot of times i am known as the youth ministers wife, not stephanie and that really bothers me. I have had the same problems with friends just like you and i have lived in the same town for over 2 years. I think that people are afraid to open up themselves with us because they think we are "holier than though" when in reality we are just the same human beings that make the same mistakes they do. God created us all and no one is better than the other. Hang in there. I have been running with a girl from my church and we have gotten really close this last month. we can just hang out without her thinking we need to pull out the bible (no offense) or talk about only "Church stuff." We can be ourselves and be friends. i will be praying that a genuine friend comes along for you. Just remember, your not alone. I wish we lived closer. would love to hang out with you!

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