In the three months since that I have been a pastor's wife something never ceases to amaze me. Women talk to me! It's INCREDIBLE! I LOVE it! Now before you start thinking that nobody liked to talk to me before I was a pastor's wife, let me explain. Women really talk to me and they let me SEE inside. They open up their hearts and they tell me their stories - stories about when they became a Christian, stories of past struggles, stories of grace and forgiveness, stories of pain and loss. It's a beautiful thing to hear these stories and be able to listen and cry and encourage and build up these women.
My husband and I have often talked about the "Stained Glass Masquerade" that happens in churches everywhere. People hide what is truly in their hearts and in so doing, no one can help them. But at the same time, no one can hurt them more.
How beautiful would it be if everyone could go to church and be themselves completely. How beautiful it would be if you could go to church and everyone would love you and encourage you and help you with your deepest darkest struggles. If church could really truly be the safe house that it is meant to be, how would it change our lives? I think it would be monumental!
So how do we make a change in our churches? How do we help our churches become a place where we can take off the mask and be ourselves? Let people into our lives? When you look at the overall picture, it is impossible. We cannot simply hold a world-wide - "Let's all Take Off Our Mask Sunday!"
It starts with individuals. I may be a pastor's wife that is expected to BE a certain type of Christian, a certain type of mother, and wife. But if I let people in to realize that I am just a woman, a sinful woman struggling with sin in my heart just like ANYONE else out there, it allows for people to have HOPE. The more I share of my insides and how I need to grow and how I have already grown, the more others realize that they too can have that! By being REAL and honest it gives HOPE to others!
Being a pastor's wife creates an environment for women to feel safe to talk to me. I love that because I have a heart for encouraging women. I am so thankful that God has chosen me to have that role. But maybe you are not a pastor's wife and there is someone in your life that you need to talk to, someone that you need to encourage by telling them your story. Someone that is struggling in their life and may not know that you struggled with the same things. Pray about it and see if God wants you to be that person to step in and say "I know how you feel because I've felt it too." Then it won't be just your pastor's wife who that person feels that they can turn to.