It is 10PM. Joel is watching some YouTube videos on CS Lewis. Jeremiah is asleep. M is for Monday and Monday has become our day of rest. Rest, ah, rest is satisfying when you are really working!
M is also for ministry. Ministry has consumed our summer and we have at least 5 more heavy weeks of events ahead of us. Last week I was extremely tired and did very little so Jeremiah could regain some normalcy after the mission trip to Pagosa Springs.
It has been almost a year since Joel left his job and began pursuing full time ministry. We are hardly the same two people now. God has taught us the beginnings of what it means to count the cost (Luke 14). The cost of serving God is great. We know the deeper He draws us into His service the more costly it will get. It has and will continue to cost us time. It has and will continue to cost us financially. It has and will continue to cost us relationally. It has and will continue to cost us physically. And, at least in this moment, I can honestly say it is satisfying.
Finally, M is for marriage. Marriage to a pastor is going to be hard. It is not the same as it was before- we do not ride to church together (I cried when we made that decision), we do not have two days off in a row (we follow the pastor's schedule since Joel is the newest pastor), most nights are full (at least in the summer), when we are at church Joel is pastor (he is busy and we wait), he gets calls for ministry when he is at home (Honestly, I find this annoying- especially since it is rarely an emergency), everyone knows who I am (an introvert loves that!), everyone knows Jeremiah (and wants to get in his face, poor guy), we stay at church late if someone needs counseling (I need to take 3 snacks instead of 2!), more people want to talk to me (again, an introvert loves that!), etc., etc. It is exhausting.
It is also satisfying to serve with him. It is encouraging to watch him grow in his pastoral role. I love watching him teach (he is teaching through Genesis and Acts right now). He comes home with amazing stories of how God lead him in counseling sessions. It is exciting to lead events with him. I am being stretched as a wife and a mother more than ever before.
I am learning what is truly valuable in a marriage and it is not date nights away from the kids (do NOT get me started on that!). The times of ministry with him is apart of the core design of marriage. I am watching God use MY husband to minister to people! I am watching God use MY marriage to minister to people! I am watching God use MY child to minister to people! I have said it before-a Christian marriage is not so we can have Godly romance, cute Christian kids and live the American dream. What a waste that would be (and is)!
Marriage is a picture of the Gospel. It is the husband like Christ and the wife like the Church together witnessing to the lost world and ministering to believers. It is bearing children and raising them to do the same. It is growing old together (not retiring to some place of comfort) and serving God until our days are done.
Please pray for us. God has definitely called us to this, but it is challenging. We are growing and with that comes its various types of pains. Pray that we would not grow weary and use our own strength, but that we would rely on God's incomparable power (Ephesians 1).
Coming soon: Luke 14 and Me.