Throughout the years, I’ve had people ask me if I always wanted to be a pastor’s wife. I suppose the truth is that I did. I knew Samuel was called into the ministry before I ever said “I do”. I’ve heard stories of women who absolutely hate being the pastor’s wife. I remember hearing of my own mother-in-law’s fear as she heard her husband profess that he was quitting his job and going into full-time ministry. Pauline loved God with all of her heart, but she was uneasy and hesitant to enter into this lifestyle. She made a wonderful pastor’s wife, and I learned so much watching her through the years. However, hearing the stories of the early years and accepting the call, I can see some differences in us. It’s been a personal struggle for me to battle the beast of comparison. I’ll talk more about that later. Right now, I want to discuss my raising, and how I’ve always felt like God’s favorite. I know we should all feel that way. I pray you can have a relationship with our Heavenly Father so that you, too, can know you are His favorite!
I don’t have a memory when I did not know God. I remember at a very young age being pricked to the heart and longing for God’s forgiveness for my sins. On more than one occasion, my mom scheduled me an appointment to meet with the pastor. We would sit, talk, and pray, but fear of walking the aisle in front of everyone would grip me and hinder my public profession of faith. I believed I was too old and others would make fun of me, and all of this before I was even eight years old. My daddy offered to take my hand and walk down with me, but that embarrassed me more. When you are young, your perception isn’t always accurate, but at the time my fears felt justified. One day a teenager who was a close friend accepted Jesus as her Savior and invited me to walk the aisle with her the following Sunday. She was older than me, yet not an adult, so I realized I didn’t need to feel too old to accept Jesus publicly. After my baptism, I gained a new sense of boldness. I spent many days on the playground at school singing hymns and encouraging all of my friends to accept Jesus. I was a child evangelist.
Everything about church excited me: Vacation Bible School, Sunday School, Training Union, Sword drills, singing, musicals, Bible Memory Association, Girls in Action, Acteens, Super Saturday, youth group, church camp…. Every visit to the mall had to include a stop at the Bible book store. All the grandkids of the older people in church would invite me to play when they came to the country for a visit. So many wonderful memories of church functions flood my upbringing.
I soaked up all my lessons. I became an expert sermon note taker! I loved Bibles. I still do! Bibles are one of my favorite gifts to give and receive. I love God’s Word!
My reputation as a Christian and a goody-two-shoes followed me throughout high school. Oh, I made mistakes. I was far from perfect, but I repented. I loved God, and it was my desire to please Him. On occasion peer pressure got to me. Sometimes I gave into my sinful nature. Also, there were times that I felt alone and left out of the “cool” group. My mind constantly a battlefield between the joy that comes from knowing you are serving the Lord and the wonderment of the fun everyone else seems to be having. I suppose we never lose that curiosity because the devil is good at his job. He makes sin look good, and we know it’s pleasure for a season. (Hebrews 11:25)
More childhood experiences next week…