My Zeal. That’s what I could offer. I contained a genuine love and excitement for all things “church”. As a young minister’s wife, I felt like every service was as exciting as youth camp was to me as a kid! King David said in Psalms that better is one day in the house of the Lord than thousands elsewhere (Psalm 84:10).
I remember one time I was talking to a fellow preacher’s wife, and I made the comment, “Why wouldn’t everyone want to go to ladies’ retreat?” I honestly could not fathom why women wouldn’t want to get together. I thrived on fellowship, and I imagined everyone should be just like me, after all, I was making the right choice (remember how I said I could be opinionated-lol).
I had youth on my side and independence. I had no children, yet, no job because I was still a student, and I never met a stranger. No wonder I enjoyed retreats so much! I can now look back and imagine the mother leaving behind children with a dad or sitter; or, the business woman taking off work for an extra day to relax at the retreat while worrying over the extra work compiling during her absence.
I realize that life doesn’t stop during a retreat. As a matter of fact, life after retreat can be more difficult than before. The spirit of joy we feel during a weekend away can be quickly replaced with garments of weightiness as we step back into real life.
Through the years, my youthful zeal digressed into “the struggle is real”. I am not looking for pity or sympathy, but honesty demands transparency. As much as I love color and strive to add life into every situation, sometimes I just don’t feel it for myself. Life can be pretty black and white some days.
Back to the younger years, we will focus on the struggle later on this journey. I did bring Zeal to the family and the church. Immediately, I became the fun aunt. Not because I wanted to win anyone over, it’s really just who I was. I loved family! I loved my new in-laws family, too. Samuel’s three nieces and two nephews (at the time) were even in our wedding. What was his was also mine, and I made no differentiation. As newlyweds, we would host slumber parties, zoo trips, and of course McDonalds play dates! We played games, ate special food, watched movies, and made pallets on the floor at bedtime. So many fun times!
At church I was no different. I jumped in feet first and organized activities. Through the years, we planned VBS, lock-ins, Christmas productions, youth group activities, kids classes, adult bowling, skating (regular and ice), hay rides, cook outs, retreats, camps, mission trips, Six Flags, etc. Basically, if you can think of it, we’ve done it. Each of these activities has a story of its own, too.
Wherever people are, drama is sure to follow. Luckily, during those early years, I was sheltered from a lot of the problems due to Samuel’s parents being the active senior pastors. There were times I didn’t understand a judgement or stance they would take. Oftentimes, I felt as if they did nothing but pray! Now, I realize that sometimes prayer is the only thing you can offer. People are hard headed. They must reach out to God on their own and willfully change their actions. I cannot force people to make a change and have a lasting result. My in-laws had already discovered this.
A band aid only conceals a wound for a brief amount of time. A band aid does not heal, for the healing must come from the inside.
From zeal to the struggle is real… over the next few weeks we will take a sort of break. My entries will still be personal stories, but each story will revolve around a particular event or activity.
Next Monday: Christmas Productions