It’s been a while since I’ve actually written anything so I figured it’s about time for me to do it again. I spent the weekend volunteering at a youth conference called Believe, and I was hit with a little bit of reality while I was there. I had never been to any of the CIY events before (CIY stands for Christ in Youth, if you want to know more about it go here) , but my boyfriend, Matt, has been to a few and they’ve become really important to him, so we signed up to volunteer together. I had no idea that it would impact me so much.
For those of you who don’t know much or anything about me or my boyfriend, I’ll give a quick tid-bit of background information. God has called both Matt and me to ministry. Matt is going into youth ministry, and I always felt that I should work as a mentor for high school girls, maybe not as a career but I’ve always wanted to be involved somehow. So Matt and I have had quite a few serious talks about our future and how we want to be in ministry together. As much as we’ve talked about it, we really haven’t had the chance to be involved in something together; it’s always been separate events where he’d be involved in one place and I’d be involved somewhere else (part of living in different cities for a good bit of our relationship). But this weekend at Believe gave us our first glimpse at working in ministry together, and after the first day, I absolutely freaked out.
For a majority of the time, Matt and I were separated, which normally wouldn’t be a big deal, but I’m an extreme introvert and I was already nervous as it was to be involved in such a big event, so I had to go wayyyyyy out of my box. I was put to work right away, and for a while I was totally fine; all the things I was working on were keeping me distracted. There were also some other volunteers there that go to my school, so I had some familiar faces around me. But then later that night, I saw Matt walking around with all this “official” stuff, like a walkie talkie and a VIP pass around his neck and I thought, “what on earth, he’s been here for no more than an hour and they’ve already given him an important job and I’m just sitting here sorting shirts and packing boxes.” For some reason, this really ticked me off, and as the night went on, my eyes started opening to that glimpse of what my future will look like as an eventual pastor’s wife.
Matt is going to be in charge of a lot of things. He’s going to be busy taking care of things that need to be done. He’s going to have his attention held by those that need his help, whether it be the kids in the youth group, his co-workers, or just his own determination to get his job done with perfection. I won’t always have his full attention. I won’t always be the first thing on his mind. And as much as I hate admitting this, I might not always come first for him. When this finally sunk in, I got really angry at him, and I thought to myself, “you know what? Maybe I’m not cut out for this. If I’m having trouble at an event like CIY, then how am I going to handle being a pastor’s wife? I want to be in a relationship where I can have my husband’s full attention anytime I want, and Matt won’t always be able to do that for me, even if he wants to.” I was seriously considering the idea of a life outside of ministry: what would it be like to not have to sacrifice my time with the guy that I’m going to marry, and what would it look like for both my husband and me to have jobs that only mattered from 9-5 and afterwards we could just relax at home? Yea. That would be really, really, fantastic. But what if that meant a life without Matthew? Thinking about that, even now, puts a lump in my throat.
So when I got home after the first night of Believe, I grabbed my Bible, got in bed, and started reading, knowing there was unbelievable amount of thinking to be thought. I came across this verse:
“Jesus said, … Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”
This verse was written right after Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves Him; a way of redeeming Peter from denying Jesus three times before His death. The verse is talking about the way in which Peter would die, but that his death would glorify God, because it would be for Jesus’ sake.
I thought again about life away from the ministry. That life looked lovely, relaxing and comfortable. And then I thought about life in the ministry. Ministry means a life of constant sacrifice. It means sacrificing time with my husband. I’d have to sacrifice my own personal time, my home and my work so that we can have the youth group kids over every once in a while. It’s messy, and it means a lot of difficulties. But Jesus wasn’t telling Peter that his life was going to be lovely. He straight up told him he would be going where he didn’t want to go.
Friday afternoon, I didn’t want to sacrifice a comfortable life for a difficult one. But Friday night, God showed me that just because the path we take might be more difficult than we want it to be, doesn’t mean it won’t be the most fulfilling path we could ever take. I’m supposed to do ministry. I’m supposed to be a pastor’s wife. This means I’m supposed to go through trials, and I’m not always going to like the life I’m living. But I’m going to be on a team with the most incredible man God could have given me. Matt may not always be able to give me the full attention I’m going to desire, but that guy is going to love me unconditionally every single day of our lives. He’s going to support me through those trials, and I don’t doubt for a single moment that he won’t ever leave my side. And we’re going to be showing the love of Christ to the younger generations. How could I not want that?
Saturday morning I went in to the second day of Believe with a completely different mindset, and let me tell you, I had a blast that day. I can’t even explain to you how beautiful it is to see 6,000 junior high kids raising their hands in praise to our God. Being completely honest though, the scariness of the life I’m about to jump into didn’t change overnight. I’m still afraid that I’m not going to do a good job of it all. I’ve got all the support I need though. Support from my family, and from Matt, and best of all, from the God that is going to lead me through this terrifying, yet incredible life he’s led me to.