On Sunday, at church, Ellison and I were walking down to the youth sunday school rooms when a person passed us and said, "Hello, Pastor Ellison."..."Hello, Ellison's wife."....... WHAT?
After marrying Ellison, I lost my own identity. I get "Ellison's wife, youth pastor's wife, that girl with Ellison, Mrs. Ellison, Tsang tai"..literally everything except, Brittney. Now although at times in my life I've cursed my mother and regretted having the same name as a scantly dressed teen pop-star, but I've never wanted to hear my actual name so badly in my life!!
Life in ministry is definitely difficult. I think I often don't give Ellison enough credit. The Lord has blessed him in tremendous ways and he is really great at what he does. And sometimes, if I don’t watch my attitude, I find myself saying to him, “I’ve had a hard day at work. All you did was take teenagers out for ice cream and plan a lesson.”
I saw a chapter in a book once that read...
As youth pastor's wives we often think.. "My spouse gets to go to amusement parks and take kids out for pizza during his workday, while I’m lucky if I get to eat a granola bar at my desk in between phone calls, e-mails, and my boss’s increasingly idiotic requests upon my time. I don’t see how I can even pretend that his job is harder."
Yes, but I guess he's not really going to an amusement park for his amusement. He’s balancing 25 permission slips, trying to keep PDA to a minimum, making sure no one gets kidnapped, trying to figure out what to do with a kid who just puked on a roller coaster, and trialing phone calls from parents whose children aren’t answering their cell phones.
Oh, and two kids forgot towels and will have to ride on the bus home for 2 hours in smelly clothes, and that kid with ADHD drank five energy drinks on a dare, and the “it couple” in youth group broke up at the amusement park so the whole youth group is taking sides, and the kids are complaining that the PG movie playing on the bus is for babies, and the bus driver is warning your spouse that if anyone else spills on the bus he is leaving the entire youth group in a ditch and driving away. And parents are calling because the youth group is running thirty minutes late thanks to the ADHD kid; one parent is charging your spouse for their child’s canceled piano lesson and complaining to the board of elders that the youth pastor doesn’t keep his promises.
When it's put that way, I see that being a youth pastor is exciting at times, but it's not always fun and games. I'm finding there are many ups and downs to being a minister's wife and I'm surviving..possibly even thriving. And although I don't always have the energy of a 12 year old, at the end of the day I still count my blessings and am truly thankful for a man who is working hard for the glory of His kingdom and I'm happy to join with him in that purpose.