Do you ever look back on your life and wonder “how did I end up here?” This is not the life I had pictured. I do, all the time. I had always dreamed of moving to the bright lights of the big city- New York, Dallas, somewhere far away from the life I’d known growing up in Oklahoma. I didn’t think much about a family; I wanted a career, a fancy leather briefcase and a trendy wardrobe, like the kind I had drooled over from the time I laid eyes on my first Back to School issue of Seventeen Magazine…I was 13 and I was hooked. I wanted to do something exciting and adventurous, I wanted to look like the girls on the magazine pages and above all, I wanted to be successful.
So what did I do when I graduated from college? I married a pastor, gave birth to 4 kids in 3 years, drove a beat up mini van and lived in the suburbs. Instead of fancy jewelry, my clothes were all accessorized in spit up any my new definition of success was brushing my teeth before noon. My life had turned out so unexpectedly different than I imagined.
If we could talk face to face I would sit with you at my favorite local coffee shop, I’d order 2 steamy toasted marshmallow latte’s, the pretty kind with designs on top and I’d tell you all about it, about how the most unlikeliest of girls became The Un-Pastors Wife.
As a kid, I always loved school, excelled at it and strived to be the perfect, straight-A student. I showed up each day with a smile on my face as I participated in a multitude of school activities- sports, cheerleading, drama, office aide… anything to fit in, to feel normal. I battled a massive inner struggle with fear that would rule over my life even as an adult. I was always worried that the people around me would find out the story I was hiding behind my smile. From a young age, I had created a double life, one perfected for public and another that was the hidden, not so pretty truth.
Raised by a single mom who had inherited her own lengthy family history of alcoholism, drugs, financial struggle and depression, I experienced unthinkable things including a series of sexual, physical and verbal abuse that began when I was 5. A self-proclaimed people pleaser from a young age, I kept quiet about my real life. I just wanted everyone around me to be happy which made it easier to pretend I was just your average all american girl… but I wasn’t, I was a scared little girl with a fake smile on my face, a fraud in hand me down clothes and fake penny loafers.
In the years that followed I could see glimpses of how God was watching out for me, protecting me and drawing me to Him yet this did not stop my own self-destructive lifestyle leading to a series of poor choices and heartache as I navigated through my life.
And this is the girl who, at 23, showed up on the steps of a church and captured the heart of a youth pastor… and so begins my story of the Un-Pastors Wife.