Six years ago today, the huzband and I were ordained as ministers. It was a special day, one I remember well and treasure. A day I accepted a great responsibility that I had a lot to learn about. A day I accepted a plan God had for me that I fought and struggled with.
Back when the huzband and I were dating, during the time I knew that I wanted to spend my life with him, I also knew that he had a heart, passion and desire to pastor. While some may jump at these opportunities, this was one opportunity that I had no desire to be a part of . You see, I would rather have lived in the deserts of Africa, eating bugs for lunch and peeing in a dirt hole than be (gasp) a pastor’s wife. If there was one things on earth I had no desire to be or do, this would be it. However, the man I loved knew this was part of his destiny. What does a girl in love do? Ignore it and assume that some time down the road, later in our future, when we were more mature, more spiritual, perhaps in our 40’s or 50’s and time had changed my mind, would we then fulfil this call.
I believe God has a sense of humor, a very big sense of humor. I also believe he was laughing In. My. Face.
I married this man, this man who the very first thing that attracted me to him, besides his dashing-ly sexy Colombian smile, wink and accent was the profound love he had for God. (Enter God’s humor.) Two weeks after we were married and one week after we had returned home from our honeymoon, Pastor Kelly and Lenora approach us with the simple news that they were leaving the church they were pastoring (Holy Spirit Christian Church aka HSCC) of 10 years to go into full-time missions. Not only were they leaving but they believed God had someone to come take on the leadership of HSCC and without a doubt believed that someone to be none other than the huzband and myself.
ha ha ha ha ha.
ha ha ha ha. really, ha ha ha ha
no really, ha ha ha ha ha
I can look back and laugh. I can shake my head and say, wow, God you’re insane. I can remember and say, I am still in awe of what He has done with us. But that’s now. At the time I did not have the same light hearted-ness that I do now. I did not have joy, laughter, peace or any other good fuzzy feeling. Kelly and Lenora pressed that this was something we BOTH had to agree upon, something we BOTH had to walk together , something we BOTH had to say yes to.
To say I struggled the next few weeks would be an understatement. I prayed asking God why. Really, I argued with God. Insecurities and fears began to rear their ugly heads. I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t in a place to be a spiritual leader. I didn’t know how or what to do as a Pastor’s wife. I didn’t have anything to offer. Could I share my huzband? I didn’t really enjoy church to begin with, now I have to go ALL the time. All this and more flooded my mind and heart. I was angry. Angry that this was the path God was placing in front of me. I was scared.
I remember driving home one day in our beloved yellow jeep (that was crushed by a tree in the parking lot of the church we were pastoring, just saying). I had been praying (aka arguing) with God. I knew I had to speak up soon and give the huzband my answer. I was upset and it was building. I pulled into our parking spot at our apartment in Sea Cliff. Nothing around me really registered because I was in a full-blown argument with God. Every reason I could think of for saying no I spewed out. It all came down to God was wrong. He messed up. He picked the wrong girl. I was yelling and I was banging on the steering wheel. God, you got this one wrong. I can’t do this. (The neighbors must have thought I was a real nut job!)
In the midst of my temper tantrum, in the bottom depths of my heart, a still small voice said,
“Rachel, do you trust me?”
All I could do was cry because in the end, I am nothing without Him. If this is all He is asking of me after all He has done for me, the least I could do was to say yes. If I was going to talk the talk, I had to walk the walk. In the end, I trust Him with my life. When I answered yes, all those fears, insecurities, all those reasons for saying no, seemed so unimportant. What replaced them was His peace, His assurance, His love and His strength.
I look back on these past six years thankful. He has loved me, taught me, molded me and used me. I wouldn’t have wanted any other path than this one that He has laid before me. Though things do not always end how we may have hoped, my life is richer because I chose to trust Him. Even in the midst of making the tough decision to close our church, I know God is honored when I choose to trust Him. It is out of all of this that I have come to love the church because I know the church is made up of faces, names, mothers, fathers, children, sisters, widows but most importantly, sinners. Sinners loved by God.
Tomorrow marks our very first service at Holy Spirit Christian Church as Pastor and Mrs. I miss my HSCC family. However, I choose to daily trust God. I know I am in good hands.
2 thoughts on “you can call me Reverend”
Rachel, wow, thank you for your candidness as you described your initial emotions in those early days when you and Juampa were called to lead HSCC. There are many stereotypes in this world and “Pastor’s Wife” is one of them. It can be so overwhelming to have to live up to everyone’s image of what a PW “should be”. It could be the fear of fullfilling this role that brings many to say “no” to God in their heart, but it is your genuine expression of emotion before God (in all it’s ugliness) that He blesses. It’s honest, real and it’s relationship. Thanks for encouraging many to simple trust Him even when it doesn’t make sense.
Wow you are a fantastic writer. You brought a little tear to my left eye, really. Great story. You are amazing, and always have been. When I grow up I want to be like you. Though I may never grow up, because I am a toys r us kid. Remember that commercial? Seriously though, yes that angry at God thing and not understanding why is something every long distance Christian is very familiar with. For a rev. you sure are cute 😉