So, where were we?
Oh yes. In my previous post, Husband had just dropped the title-worthy line, “welcome to my world!” Thus winning an argument we were having about one of the apparent struggles of ministry. (It really is worth reading that first if you are going to commit to this one…)
He won. He won because in that moment I not only realised that he was right; but I also realised that I had just unwittingly stepped into one small but significant part of his life, and had been quite shocked by what I found there.
See, the truth is, up until this point, I had not really understood or sympathized with the difficulty of his vocation, if I’m being completely honest. When we first arrived in this place, I saw him getting to know people, going for coffee, getting his teeth stuck into projects, being energised by colleagues and, not to mention, being very quickly recognised and appreciated; I saw him thrive at something he is actually very good at. And.. let’s be honest… I was a tiny bit jealous. Just a bit. For, if you longterm readers remember all that time ago, I had arrived as his little side-kick, his shadow if you like; with more baby brain and less purpose than I had actually foreseen. I had a little identity crisis, got overwhelmed by my imagined ineptitude and insignificance, and not to mention outnumbered by my –albeit wonderful– real-life children! Husband would come home and say he’d had a tough meeting and I’d think, “at least you’ve been talking to adults!” He’d tell me he was snowed under with assemblies or sermons or emails to write, and I’d think, “at least you’re using your brain!”
But suddenly, here I was. Realising with just one line, how difficult adults can actually be, and how hard it is to manage a creative project, or get anything done to a high standard, when so many high-maintanance people- and interruptions!- are involved.
So, I followed his lead on this one. In the end, my reply to Forgetful was…. to ask her out for coffee. (I know, I’m proud of me too!) We met up, we discussed the situation at length, we planned a meeting- at her house- that she could absolutely definitely come to… and she still dropped out last minute! But… she talked more over that coffee than I’d ever heard her speak before.
So we met up again.
In the meantime, she and Busy both dropped out of planning the group and left Keen and I to run it on our own, (which, let’s face it, was much easier for all involved anyway!) And yet … Forgetful and I now meet every week. We go to the Church food pantry, talk about life and sometimes even pray together. And do you know what? She very, very rarely forgets this. What’s more, her engagement in the Church community has increased significantly, since we began to meet.
Imagine how differently things would have turned out, if, in my anger and exasperation, I’d sent that first reply?!
Yes, the whole thing was frustrating and exhausting and ridiculous at points; but the place we have arrived at now? This is the place where I ask Husband how his day was and actually care about his reply. It’s the place where relationships are invested in and bear fruit; the place where Keen and I create and connect and build community; the place where my “day off” alone with the kids actually feels like the best day of the week!
The place we are at now is still all kinds of tired, and various kinds of frustrating; but it is also beautifully rich and life-giving.
Which, I believe, is the other side of ‘his world‘!
And if I’m welcome to it… well, so are you!
Thanks for reading 🙂