In my most recent interview with a pastor’s wife, we talked about the different transitions she and her husband have gone through over the last five years of being involved in full-time ministry. The most impactful one for her, despite two moves, creating new communities and friends, and having different employers, was the transition to motherhood.
When Rebecca* was pregnant, she was a volunteer leader at the youth group where her husband was the pastor. She was intimately involved in the lives of many of the girls, fostering spiritual growth, guiding, and walking through life with them. Two weeks after having their firstborn, she and her husband moved to a new state, took a new position at a different youth group, all the while trying to figure out how to care for this new life that they just brought into the world.
Not only was the transition into this new job incredibly difficult, but even more so was Rebecca’s transition from having significant conversations on an almost daily basis, seeing transformation happen and walking through life with young adults, to changing soiled diapers, getting no sleep, and the only dialogue she was having was with a little person who was screaming at her the whole time.
One night, at 3 in the morning, something significant for Rebecca. She had rocked her little one back to sleep, sitting quite still, when she heard something spoken to her. The stillness was something new for her, she had always been a doer, so the mandatory slowing down with the newborn was foreign territory. As she sat in the stillness, holding this new life, she heard God say to her, “Be okay in being still.” In that moment, the shift happened. She realized that this was sweet. Precious. And that she was being called into a new position. She was no longer shepherding dozens of high schoolers, she was to shepherd one. Her child. This was her call.
After months of struggling to find her identity, feeling like her freedom was taken away from her with such a needy little person in her life, with no one coming to her for advice or help, the shift happened. She had a new flock to shepherd. Her small and precious family. The moving stopped. And she became still.
*Name changed for anonymity