If you know me well or have followed my blog for any amount of time, you know I love to write. Writing helps me make sense out of all the thoughts that are always swirling around in my head and gives me a place to deposit them to free up space for more and different thoughts. I have had this blog for many years and used to be a prolific writer. Over time, once we came to the church where my husband is now the lead pastor, my writing dwindled and I could never understand why. It certainly wasn't because the thoughts stopped swirling because now they were swirling at warped speed. I recently began some serious introspection and prayer in an effort to understand myself better and understand what led to my slow writing fade. After quite a few weeks of pondering, I felt like I had an epiphany as to why "Everyday Glimpses of an Extraordinary God" was no longer a good fit for me.
When I started writing Everyday Glimpses, I was a ministry wife who homeschooled her 5 children and spent large chunks of time at home cultivating a simple life that sought to find God in the seemingly mundane routines of my life. While we dealt with some heavy situations during our 20 years in baseball ministry, I realize in hindsight that I was still relatively innocent and un-jaded by life. Almost 5 complete years in to being a pastor's wife and I no longer feel like that same person. It's been a long, hard journey at times, fraught with more than my fair share of tears, but it's been an incredibly beautiful journey because I feel I so much better understand who I am in Christ and who I am as a pastor's wife.
I like to think the Lord has helped preserve my innocence in areas because I do still have the ability to be surprised and delighted by the simplest sight, conversation, and revelation from Him. I don't even really consider myself jaded, but I do know I'm not that same girl who sat at a table full of board members and told them that I had no clue how to be a pastor's wife because I had never done it before. I explained to them that I only knew how to be "Barb" and that hopefully, with the Lord's faithful guidance, I would figure out what being a pastor's wife looked like for me. I still homeschool 2 children, I still spend large chunks of time at home (although not nearly as large as this introvert would like) and I still strive to live a simple life. I've seen and learned so much over the last few years, though, and have experienced things I could never have imagined.
I have spent countless hours listening to women share their deepest pains of being sexually abused as children. I have actively participated in many counseling sessions with husbands and wives who had once pledged their undying love to each other, but now find they really can't stand to be in the same room together. I have stood in a morgue and watched a Mama lying atop her deceased son and felt my heart shatter into a million pieces. I have spoken at the memorial service for a single mom who had become my sweet friend and watched as her teenage son and parents tried to make sense out of the senseless. I have watched as couples grappled with the realities of infertility. I have heard (never usually directly to my face) people, who I once considered friends, slander my husband and his ministry because if they discredit the messenger then they might not have to embrace the message he delivered that had disrupted their complacency with a sin issue. I have cried extensively when administrative decisions had to be made for the health of the church because I knew it meant real people I cared about would be hurt.
I'm sure you might surmise that being a pastor's wife has been an unpleasant experience for me based on what I just shared and that couldn't be further from the truth. Many of those women who were sexually abused have beautiful stories of restoration and healing. I have seen them share their stories and provide hope for others who aren't quite there yet. I have seen parents who lost children use their pain to minister in the midst of another's grief. I have seen single moms find love and get married. I have listened to young women share their past sinful choices with deep fear of rejection only to find themselves embraced and welcomed in in such a way that they now have their own powerful ministries to others. I have held so many sweet new babies, sniffed their heads and rejoiced with their parents over the gift of new life. I have been humbled by the fact that, with Papa's help, I can take the high road and not lash out when I feel backed into a corner or hear slander filter back to me. I have experienced the overwhelming joy of restoration of relationships that once were stretched tight by tension. I have witnessed lives saved and restored and marriages resurrected from the ash heap. I have made some of the dearest friends I have ever had in my entire life and I have linked arms with some of the most amazing women I could ever hope to call my sisters and prayer warriors.
I think one of the greatest things I have learned over the last 5 years is that I don't have to fit in a "pastor's wife mold". I don't have to model myself after a prominent Bible teacher and I don't have to stand in the shadow of anyone except the most high God. I am unashamedly and unapologetically…
Free to be ME!!!!
So there you have it…the very long-winded, but hopefully clearly laid out, version of why I felt the need to revamp my creative space. I can't guarantee this change will ensure I write as much as I once did because I have so many more responsibilities and relationships to maintain these days. I do know, though, that when I sit down to write it's under a banner that more accurately represents who I am now and how I will continue to strive to live. I have a passion to lead women and a passion to see them learn that they are free to be who God created them to be, too.
Will you join me on this journey?