Lord, I Give You My Heart…But Please Don’t Take That Part!

Part of my heart

One of the hardest things about being in the ministry is allowing God to take control of my whole heart. Naturally, some areas are easily surrendered. But when it comes right down to it, some areas are difficult and even painful to let go. I am the oldest of four children. I have always been extremely close to my parents, brother, and twin sisters. I have a very large extended family that is also very close. The day I married my minister husband, that all changed. We moved eight hours away from our families to the town where he was serving as a youth pastor. I missed my family terribly. Recent college graduate, newlywed, and now pastor’s wife, I had to quickly learn to juggle—job searching, a new town, married life, living with a man for the first time, and even more difficult, the pain of missing my family. Sunday after Sunday, holiday after holiday, it nearly killed me to watch families sit together while I sat in my pew alone because my husband was up front helping lead the congregation in worship. Every now and then, church members would invite me to sit with them. I appreciated and accepted their offers, but it just wasn’t the same. I missed and ached for MY family. Eventually, during private conversations with my husband, I found myself using phrases like “It’s not fair,” and even “This is not what I wanted for my life.” During these times, I thought I was feeling resentment towards my husband for taking me away, but in all reality, my resentment was toward God for allowing it. It has taken me a long time to learn this…and even longer to actually admit it. After all, no one likes to admit when they are angry with God. My husband and I have been though a lot together—for better or for worse. We are not the same individuals we were when we met ten years ago. God has stretched and pulled and stretched and pulled us to become better. I am learning how to surrender ALL parts of my heart—including my family—for the blessings of ministry. I still and probably will always have moments when I desperately miss my family, but I am learning to be thankful and content with my situation. I am also learning how to appropriately handle my emotions and words when I am struggling. If you are honest with yourself, I am sure most of you can relate in one way or another. You may live far away from your family or have allowed resentment to overtake your heart. I want to encourage you. You are not alone. It is normal to experience these feelings. I do not have all of the answers, but I trust that God will continue to hug my heart when it hurts and longs for my family. I believe He will do the same for you if you ask Him.

~Grace

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