Just Be Yourself
There were quite a few challenges in my early years of being a pastor’s wife. We had moved our young family to Baton Rouge eager to make a difference in the world. And the small church filled with older congregates were looking for a younger pastor in hopes of drawing a more youthful crowd. Our dreams were big, but we knew that it would take time to shift into a momentum of growth.
Change was not an easy thing for our family or for the people in our new congregation. We were in a process of transition. And this is fine when you are slowly implementing one small change at a time. But not us— we were testing change to the outer limits! We were transitioning the church in three distinct areas: a new pastor (my husband), a new worship pastor (that would be me!), and the completion of a new sanctuary. Needless to say, it was a lot of change all at the same time.
In an effort to support my husband I shifted into peacemaker mode (Matthew 5:9). I was constantly reassuring everyone that these changes would bring great benefits. But I was soon feeling the pressure of having to be everything to everyone. And the weekly complaints about the worship songs, the décor, and the events that were being planned were frustrating. I seemed to be running interference for many who were unhappy with all the new changes. It was becoming slightly overwhelming.
I was the most overwhelmed when I found myself being compared to the former pastor’s wife. You see, I desperately wanted to be accepted by the small group of ladies in our church. They all knew one another well and I was the outsider trying to make a place for myself. After months of making new friends and introducing our new way of ministry, I couldn’t seem to make a greater impression on the hearts of these ladies. There was one lady in particular that challenged me the most. She was one that spoke her mind and wasn’t afraid to let me know that I was not meeting her expectations. I suddenly had a revelation after making every attempt to please her. I can’t be everything to everyone— I simply need to be myself.
It all came to a head one morning after the men’s monthly breakfast. This event had been led by the former pastor’s wife and had become her chance to spend quality time with the ladies. They would always tell me how disappointed they were in my lack of participation. I suddenly realized how much they were missing their time with her. Therefore, I quickly empathized with their loss and commented on how my season of life was different from hers and that one day I’d be able to spend more time with them. Things suddenly changed when they realized that I was in a season of young motherhood. My greatest challenger had become my new best friend and my biggest cheerleader. And all the others began to follow her lead.
God used this time of change in our church to bring about a change in my heart. I learned to love others in their pain and to speak up for myself in love. I will never be able to be everything to everyone. I can only be myself and it feels good to be free!
Stacey has a passion for the truth of God's Word to be established in the hearts of women. Originally from North Louisiana, she has embraced life as a pastor, worship leader, mom of three young men, and recently became a grandmother. Together with her husband, Jay, they pastor Journey Church in Greenwell Springs, LA. Stacey loves shopping, spa days, and spending time with her Journey Girls.
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Church Website: www.takethejourney.tv