Some friends have asked me how life as the pastor’s wife is going. I tell them the truth: I hardly notice.
I hardly notice because I’m hardly at church. Aside from the few minutes before and after service (when I’m not running late or needing to dash out the door before Babykins explodes), I don’t see people from church. I don’t go to Bible study. I don’t go to the women’s group. I don’t even go to midweek services. Really, the biggest impact being a pastor’s wife has on my life is my husband’s energy levels (It’s Lent, he’s tired).
Most of this stems from the vulnerability of new motherhood. It’s hard to leave the house to attend extra services when there’s a good chance that it will end in tears. It’s difficult to find the motivation to go to Bible studies when it’s likely that I will have to bare my breast to feed Babykins. It’s darn near impossible to find the gumption to strike up a real conversation when my sleep-deprived brain is trying to remember how adults interact with each other.
So I keep my distance. I don’t try to get involved. I stay out of the members’ lives.
You might say that this is normal. New mom in a new town and all that.
But the disturbing part of all this is that I don’t care. Not knowing members doesn’t bother me. Aside from making awkward attempts at small talk on Sunday morning for the 10 minutes I might see people, I’m fine with not knowing anyone in church. Sure, I’m lonely throughout the week, but loneliness is easier to deal with than carefully figuring out how to develop any sort of relationship with members of my husband’s flock.
It’s that attitude that probably makes me a terrible pastor’s wife.
Between Babykins’s cold and the frigid temperatures last week, I hadn’t been leaving the house much. Consequently, I could count on one hand the people I talked to in a week and a half. I was getting lonely being cooped up in the house with a baby.
(“But wait,” you may say, “Aren’t you an introvert? How can you be lonely?” Actually, it’s fairly easy for introverts to be lonely.)
On Saturday I realized that church was the next morning. I would leave the house! I would see people! And then this happened:
It actually turned out to be a good Sunday for Babykins and me. We stayed in the sanctuary for the whole service and caught the second half of Bible study–something that hasn’t happened since she was a month old.