Growing up I was mentored by the wife of a pastor. I watched her love of people, love of her husband, love of her kids and love of me shape those around her. She dreamed with people, asked tough questions and juggled 3 babies under 4 years old with (what appeared to be) ease. I rarely saw her stumble and if I did I sure don’t remember it.
What I do remember is the creativity, her knack for knowing something was wrong, and her drive to make sure she could do whatever possible to help. I remember her knowing my situation (my new baby niece was living with us–my mom, dad, brother and her mom–it was a rough time) and extending grace and peace in the ways she knew how… her home an her family. While I never lived with her and my pastor, I did spend many nights on their couch, wrapped in a couch blanket and resting more than if I was in my own bed.
My parents were and are great parents. They could not have handled the circumstances surrounding my nieces birth with more grace and compassion. I don’t blame them at all for the chaos that surrounded my junior and senior years of high school. It wasn’t anything they could control. But they understood that little bit of escape I was allotted by staying with my pastors family various nights throughout the month, and being the church babysitter for their two beautiful girls and their son (they have since had another son).
I couldn’t have had a better example in my life and all he was doing was living and loving on people. My pastor’s ministry and reach has since grown exponentially, inevitably because of their love and passion for people. A passion they lived out each day.
Granted my 16 year old self might be transforming them into the ideal family with no flaws and no troubles, but I know that through those circumstances I know who I am to be in Christ and in ministry because I saw it lived out through my mentor and my hero, my pastor’s wife.