Sunday mornings are a little stressful for me. There’s run-of-the-mill pastor’s wife stress: single parenting kids who need to be clean and neatly dressed and sort of well-behaved early enough to get to worship and the possibility of an unmanned nursery. Under normal circumstances, I can talk myself through these. But there is also a minefield of tiny bombs that could explode in my heart if I get too close.
- An usher who advised my husband to resign.
- A communion assistant who threatened to leave the church and take several families with him because of my husband.
- The congregation president. Anywhere.
- Listening to the sermon with a heart open to God. Separating the content of the senior pastor’s sermons from his actions is a discipline I have not mastered.
- The senior pastor’s wife, who has vented aggressively at both my husband and me, and now pointedly avoids speaking to either of us.
I get that I am called to pray for all these folks, and to nurture a forgiving attitude toward them. I’m trying not to harbor ill-will towards them. But I’m also sensible enough to know that these people are not safe for me.
Fear usually motivates me to lay low and avoid hanging around after the service. That’s a counter-productive strategy, since I also miss out on nurturing new friendships that would be supportive and encouraging.
Today land mine #1 exploded: no nursery volunteer. I took all three kids to the service and made it through about 20 minutes. I came home feeling discouraged, like I was defeated by a challenge that I should be able to handle. I am torn between feeling like this is an unreasonably stressful situation and unhappy Sunday mornings are unavoidable, and feeling like I am not fighting hard enough to find a happy path.