So I’m not sure what God is doing. I have days I feel like I just want a normal life. Out of ministry. Hang out with girlfriends. Make play dates. Plan meals and bake and volunteer at school. Have Friday and Saturday nights FREE. Go to church as a family. Really, I want all of that. And a lot of it I DO have until the rude awakening of my husband having to rush off to the hospital to pray for someone that is sick…or use his day off to spend counseling a couple on the verge of a divorce…or have the entire Sunday spent just me and the kids because he goes to service early, stays late and plans meetings. And the expectations. I’m a pastor’s wife. They weigh heavy on me so often. I feel I have to be there not to serve or minister to others but because of "who I am" and I should be there sitting in the front row. I feel like I need to be put together and smile at people I don’t know and reach out and shake their hands when they leave…because I’m supposed to. I’m an introvert. I don’t like all eyes on me, I even dreaded walking down the aisle at my own wedding. I’d prefer to blend into the crowd and even the thought of speaking out at small group bible study sends my heart into palpitations and my hands sweat. Reaching out to someone I don’t know, smiling as if I’m enjoying every moment just feels so FAKE to me. And yet I do it. Because I feel like I’m supposed to. Those dang expectations get me down every single time. Well, the other day I started to realize something. When all you see around you is the outside and lack the relational mentoring from another who walks in confidence of who they are it’s very easy to get stuck in that game. Stuck. That’s exactly what it is. Stuck. I’m stuck when I pretend to be someone I’m not. I’m stuck when I do things out of expectation and obligation. I’m stuck when my focus is on who I should be rather than who I am. Oh yes, I’ve been stuck for a few years now. I don’t mind the heart palpitations or sweaty palms, I can get over it. And I have. I have stood in front of a crowd of 100 women and shared my heart and touched theirs. I’m not excited about it, I’m still nervous but I get through it and see how marvelous and wonderful is our God when we walk in obedience. And the kicker is, I did that not because I was expected to. I did that because I knew I was CALLED to. Well I know I’m a pastor’s wife and I know right now, that IS my calling. Yet I’ve struggled with what that is supposed to look like. See, there’s that word again. Supposed to. Who makes the rules anyways of what a pastor’s wife should or should not be? Say or shouldn’t say? Wear or shouldn’t wear? I must have missed that book in the Bible. Something has awaken in me recently and made me realize that it’s not my job to fit into a mold – it’s my job to simply walk in confidence with who God has made me to be. He doesn’t make mistakes. He never intended me to CHANGE my character for a role He has called me into! So if I’m not comfortable sitting in the front row, then why should I? If I don’t want to smile and shake hands of every person because I feel obligated, then I won’t. But this brings me to another point. It’s not about ME. God doesn’t really care about my level of comfort. I think in all those details we have to learn to look past ourselves and at others. And you know what…women feel connected when I shake their hand. People feel valued when the pastor’s wife acknowledges and smiles at them. When I overcome my barriers of comfort, I set the bar for others to follow. When we shift our thinking from doing things out of expectation of others to doing things FOR others out of love for God – things change. I might not enjoy every aspect of my role but I respect and honor God enough to commit that I’ll do whatever whenever He says. It’s not about me. And it’s not about doing anything out of obligation to others. It’s about a servant heart with an eternal perspective. Looking at it that way, the small things in this world that give me insecurity don’t seem so big anymore. Afterall, I serve a God that is secure and loving and unchanging and forgiving and merciful and strong and wise and who am I to shy away from anything that might bring someone just a tad closer to seeing who He truly is? So ok, maybe I don’t have a so-called “normal” life for the mere fact that I haven’t been called to one. Oh yes, once again I’m reminded….I’m called to be uncommon.