From the inbox:
Q. How does one overcome the "don't fits"? And yet still feel wanted or not alone while trying to find my place of acceptance just as i am?
Signed, Square Peg, Round Hole
Note: If you're a pastor's wife who has a question you'd like answered here, please contact us.
Dear Sqare Peg,
I'm so glad you contacted us. I want to first give you a warm welcome. I wish you could feel the (((hugs))). You're accepted here. You're not alone.
From your post, I gather that you don't fit what many may regard as a typical pw mold. Maybe you don't ____________ like the last pastor's wife did; nor have a gifting in _________________, like other pastors' wives you know. Maybe you don't feel called to organize certain ministries that others may presume all pastors' wives are called to do.
Or maybe your personality is just different than the last pastor's wife.
Am I in the ballpark yet?
If so, you're among good company, as many of us would probably say we don't fit the mold either. The shame is that there's ever been a suggestion that a mold exists.
I don't believe God asks a pastor's wife to set aside the unique talents and passions she may have, simply because her husband is now a pastor.
When God called Jeremiah, He said, "Before I made you in your mother's womb, I chose you. Before you were born, I set you apart for a special work." (1:5, NCV)
You and I may not be called as a prophet to the nations, but God knew us just as well. He knew our personalities. He gave us our talents. He created us purposefully, knowing His plans for us -- even knowing that one day we would marry a pastor.
(Find The Only Acceptance That Matters)
My advice to you is first, look to Jesus for your acceptance, and remain secure in God alone. He made you, after all, and He knew what He was doing! Resist that urge to let anyone else define you or determine your worth.
In Matthew 11, He invites us,
"Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Accept my teachings and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest for your lives. The burden that I ask you to accept is easy; the load I give you to carry is light." (vv. 28-30, NCV)There is such freedom in those words!
(Find a Place to Belong)
And secondly, balance that by intentionally finding places where you do fit in. You need a life outside of the church walls. Whether it's a hobby, a passion, or an interest; seek out places where others of like mind are gathering.
Or stretch yourself, go to a community class and learn something new. Meet new people along the way. Don't tell them you're a pastor's wife at first. Let them get to know you outside of their preconceived ideas, before they ask what your husband does for a living.
(Find the Lonely)
And finally, I've noticed that when I am feeling lonely or unaccepted, the best place to start is in looking for others who seem alone or like they're not fitting in either. This has been especially true since we've moved halfway across the country.
At church and even at school assemblies, I look for people whom others seem to be ignoring. They're generally happy that someone cares enough to say, "Hello." We minister to each other as we get to know each other.
And we're in good company, as Jesus did the very same thing.
So celebrate the fact that you don't fit into a cookie cutter mold. Enjoy the freedom it brings. You'll be grateful you did, and the next pastor's wife in that church will certainly thank you.
Blessings to you as you let God mold and shape you instead.
p.s. Are you a square peg, too? Chime in and let our PW know she's not alone. Any other thoughts or advice? Please leave a comment below to help our sister pw out...