Ministry, Marriage, and My Unrealistic Expectations
I think everyone loves Jim and Pam of The Office. Their banter, the shenanigans and their love story. This is what I thought working with my youth pastor husband would be like. It was....not.
First, let me start by saying that while I’m gifted in administrative duties, I have zero desire to be an admin. The trouble is, I didn’t realize this until after I took the job as a church admin that I wanted to be a minister, not an admin. My fault, no one else’s. My being unfulfilled in that role lead me down a path of discontentment and resentment.
We were ecstatic to work together. Taking lunch breaks every day together. Driving in together. Leaving together. Always. Together.
You see where this is headed, right?
The lines between my roles as wife and admin were very blurry (to me). Nobody really wants to have lunch with their boss every day and talk shop. Nobody really wants their spouse as a boss, either.
We’d go from working all day together onto youth group or a youth event. I felt like I was always on the clock. We’d fight about stuff, and the wedge between us grew. My whole life was under one roof and it was suffocating me.
I was unhappy. It was not good. I felt disappointed. In my job. My ministry. My spouse. In myself. I never thought it possible to feel this awful even when you and your spouse love the Lord with all your heart, and you’re both serving Him.
It was during this difficult season our extended family was experiencing crisis which we were trying to help with. We were also in the process of losing our home when I found out I couldn’t have children.
Someone, please, hand over some chocolate - and nobody gets hurt! I found comfort in food.
HOW COME JIM AND PAM NEVER WENT THROUGH THIS?! And what was wrong with me? Why did I feel this way? Why did I resent him? What a colossal failure I am! Let’s get donuts.
We made a decision for the marriage that I needed to resign. As soon as I did, I felt released. The weirdness between David and I about work and ministry began to thaw over time and give way to grace. I sought counseling, which saved my life and marriage. I also sought baked goods, which increased my pant size. Pants are overrated.
It took a while, but we got back on the same page. I started to like David again. I started being grateful. I started to appreciate that experience and see His fingerprints on it. The marriage we have today is better than what we had before. I’m so glad David didn’t give up on me.
It’s because of this season of life that I ask God how He wants to reveal His glory in my circumstances and how He can use them to make me holy.
I know someday, we’ll have a season like that again. I just hope I’m wiser and eat fewer carbs.
Author: Jenny Lind Conlee | @jennylindconlee