I think my boyfriend is an incredible man. I’ve known Josh since before he could accurately be called a man, but didn’t really notice him romantically until college. He showed me a lot of grace and patience in a very dark period of my life. He supports and encourages me, loves me sacrificially, and nudges me closer to God just by his presence and example.
He shared with me early on that he felt called to preach. After struggling with it for awhile, he announced it publicly, with my full support. Of course I was filled with pride at his obedience, and excitement for what the future held for us. Apprehension about all the unknowns was minimal; I knew God would take care of us.
Until someone called me a “preacher’s wife.”
It was obviously meant as a joke; we’re not even married yet. But the words ‘preacher’s wife’ filled my head with images of old, pious women who bake casseroles and stays home to raise children. There’s nothing wrong with any of those things. They’re just not me.
I found that the image in and of itself was not my fear; I feared having to try to be something I’m not. I feared the harsh criticism that comes with not living up to people’s expectations. It’s the same fear I’ve battled my whole life.
So I prayed. I prayed that if God meant for me to serve beside this man, He would give me peace. His will leads not to misery, but to truest joy. I shared my fears with Josh. He assured me that while he was scared too, he didn’t expect me to be anyone that I’m not.
God’s answer to my fears, through spiritual whispers and the counsel of friends, were thus: ”
Be who you are in submission to me.”
I’ve given you your talents, skills, and traits to use for my glory and I have ways in place for you to use them.”
“Be transparent and show grace; I shine better through broken vessels than perfect ones.”
“When times are hard, my grace will sustain you. A life lived in service to me is never wasted.”
Heavy callings often come with heavy fears. But God very specifically bids us, “do not fear.” The truth of the gospel drives out fear and leaves only peace. When the time comes, I’ll leave fear behind and wear the title “preacher’s wife” with pride.
(But I’m still pulling for the alternate title “Wonder Woman of the Church”)
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