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:
"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."
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.