I didn't become a pastor's kid until I was in highschool. My family has come on a long journey that started when my Mom was diagnosed with cancer nearly thirteen years ago. We saw the church in action during that time. We saw people with true love in their hearts. People who mowed our lawn, cooked us meals, and cleaned our toilets. It was going through that experience that made my parents realize that they wanted more than to just go through life attending church on Sundays. So, after years of praying and waiting on the Lord's timing, my family moved and my Dad started attending seminary. I was twelve at this point.
Over the next few years of Dad attending classes and eventually becoming an ordained pastor, my family went through a lot together. Since my Dad entering the ministry my family has gone through even more.
You see, I didn't grow up a pastor's kid. I kind of grew into it. I see now how God had been preparing me for it my entire young life with having my parents being extremely involved in every church we've attended, taking on leading roles even as a young person, feeling alone...
It is hard. My personality might have something to do with that.
I'm a talkative, friendly, outgoing person... you would think I'm laying all of my cards on the table within the first ten minutes of knowing me. Andrew was one of the few people who got past that point in the relationship only to realize how many cards I was holding back.
See, with being so "open", you would never know the ultra-sensitive person I'm masking. I can remember one point in highschool when several of my youth leaders told me I needed to stop letting everything that happened in my spiritually immature youth group affect me so much as it was actually leaving physical marks on me and I was starting to look sick.
Unfortunately, something that being in ministry eventually teaches you is how to hide things.
Because, even though being in ministry has changed me for the better in so many ways, has grown me and taught me... it has also shown me that
some people just don't care,
they can be cruel,
they can be indifferent,
they can leave you alone,
they don't notice,
and there's know way they would know that you cry so much from so many fears and hurts, simply because they haven't taken the time to really know you. And I'm not talking about outside of the church.
"Even in laughter the heart may be in pain,
And the end of joy may be grief."
~ Proverbs 14:13
This verse hits me right in the tender spot. Because it has been me, over and over again. And I hate hiding it. I hate laughing when I want to scream.
And the worst part is that sometimes I do share, out of sheer need to hear someone say that they will pray for me.
And, even worse, that rarely is said.
They offer solutions, advice, their story or someone else's... everything but simple love, prayer, and time.
And can't number the times I've come to my parents or been in contact with one of my few, preciously close friends and laid bare all of the hurt, fear, worry, anger I experience.
It is so easy to become bitter at this point. And I have struggled with it on many occasions. It is hard when people hurt you without realizing it, just sometimes by the way they are around you, an innocent comment they made, or whatever.
This is a lesson I'm still learning, simply because I'm young, inexperienced in being a good forgiver, and also because sometimes it is easier to hold on to those negatives... they certainly make the things that I do wrong seem much smaller, right?
This post is being written as words come to me. It wasn't planned. I just sat down and began to type. I apologize if I come across as harsh or like I'm throwing myself a pity-party. I know I have a wonderful family, a loving husband, and live in a country where I can worship my God without fear for my life; I'm not saying that my life is terrible and the whole world is out to get me. I guess there would be two things I want to say with this post:
1) It is hard to forgive. But keep trying. Don't let the feelings fester.
2) Be caring, be sensitive, be loving, and offer your time and prayers to those who lead your church. They need it badly. They are human. They are afraid sometimes. They worry. They also usually want to be the best people they can be so that they are setting a good example for other believers. They need your prayers (and they need to KNOW you pray for them). They need to be invited into your home (being in a leading role in ministry can be so lonely). They need to be loved on, hugged, asked to go on outings, and, most of the time, they don't need your two cents on how you would handle their problems: they just need encouragement. Believe me on all of this. I know.
Thanks for reading... it is just one of those days for not holding back and laying out a few of those hidden cards.