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WIFE, PASTOR AND MOM: Three words that don't work well together.

Five years ago, I received my first appointment as a pastor in a Church. I was just married, recently moved to the U.S., and really young. “I don’t want to be a pastor”, those were my words while I was studying Theology in Seminary.

But apparently God had different plans in mind.

I’m glad I payed attention to my dad’s advice: “If you want to serve God, whether as pastor or not, you need to study and prepare for that”. Also, my mom’s advice was key in my decision: “If you give God the first fruits of your youth, He will reward you for life”.

Well, four years after that I became a pastor, even when I thought that it wasn’t my calling, that I wasn’t ready for that, or that someone else could do a better job than me. And then, I got pregnant with my first baby. Wife, Mom and Pastor are words that, to me, didn’t work together very well.

So, I decided to take a "sabbatical year" as soon as my daughter was born. I “paused” my appointment to focus on my newborn baby girl: Karen Berenice. Now, I found myself doing the hardest thing I’ve ever done: Learning to be a mom, without my mom.

Between the birth of my first born, and the grieving for the loss of my sister and mom; I really thought being a pastor was way too far from my new reality.

As a result, I stayed home, with a newborn baby, a broken heart, and a calling on hold.

While God healed my heart, renewed my strength, and awakened my soul; I was there… changing diapers, cooking meals, and being a pastor’s wife. And even though it was a beautiful time, and something I needed at that time; I always knew in my heart that God was calling me to go back to ministry.

So I did; I went back to ministry in different areas: Women’s ministry, children’s ministry, outreach, and many other things, just to feel like I was still doing some kind of God’s work.

But one day, my Supervisor called me, asking me to preach on a Sunday Morning in a small Chapel, not far from home. At the time, I felt like I had nothing to give. My heart was still broken, my English was not good, and my preaching skills… well I didn’t have any. But I said yes! I drove myself to that small town. I went inside this beautiful, cozy Chapel, I stood behind the pulpit, and I began to preach like it was my last sermon. I shared my tragic story for the first time, and I encouraged the congregation to make treasures in Heaven, not on Earth. “Life is short”, I said, “Nothing matters more than being close to God”.

People cried, I didn’t; not until I got to the car and drove back home. Then I cried, I cried because my heart was still healing, but I also cried because God told me that day; that He wanted me back in ministry.

Many things got in the way for me to do that. Some important events made my life busier, like the birth of my second baby: Esdras Raul. But most of all, my own fears and insecurities kept me away from God's calling over and over again.

Wife, Mom, and Pastor are words that don’t work together very well, at least that’s what I thought.

But one day, I realized that the woman I admired the most; my mom, actually made it work. She preached with passion. She taught from her heart. She wrote many stories. She visited the sick and the needy. She gave tender advices to many, and she did all of these, while being a great example of a wife, and a mom according to God's own heart.

It was then when I realized that God wanted me to continue her legacy on Earth. And of course, my sister’s legacy as well; a woman of strength, joy and kindness. A woman with vision and courage to accomplish everything God placed in her heart.

Time went by, and during my third pregnancy I had some complications. I had to stay in bed rest for a couple of months, not being able to do anything, even if I wanted to. And that’s when God told me: “This is how you'll always feel, if you don’t attend my calling”.

He allowed me to “Be still and know that He is God”, but in truth, He was giving me a time to rest, before He gave me another chance, that I was not going to miss again: the opportunity to serve him as a pastor.

I was seven months pregnant when I received my second chance as a pastor. I was assigned to a new Church, and got to preach a few sermons before my baby was born. Then, one Sunday, when my husband was ready to go to his Church, I was going to take a shower, get myself and the kids ready, feed them breakfast, and drive to my Church to preach one more time. But that morning, at same time I was supposed to be preaching, I found myself in the hospital, where God gave me my third little blessing: Shalem Israel.

Today, my office is full of toys, coloring books, and baby items. I usually keep diapers and wipes by mi Bible, “just in case”. I have preached many times, while seeing Shalem sleeping in someone's arms in the back of the Church. Some other times, I picture my daughter Bere, singing at her Daddy’s Church. And many times I imagine Esdras running and playing in the children’s room. All these, while I'm in front of the Congregation.

Today, I make phone calls while cooking dinner. I prepare sermons while feeding a baby. I go to meetings with kids coloring by my side. That’s what being a Wife, Pastor, and Mom looks like.

Wife, Mom and Pastor are words that don’t work very well together. I realized I was so wrong!

Now I get to visit people with my daughter, and sharing communion with them. I get to see my son smiling at Children’s moment, while I sit in the front. I get to hold my baby, and rock him to sleep during the "Passing of the Peace". I get to help my husband in his ministry, and enjoy his help in mine.

I get to serve God with my whole heart, while my kids learn that He is our number One.

I get to spend time with my family and do ministry at the same time; because that's where ministry starts; at home.

Now I get to be a Wife, Pastor, and Mom. And I know that these words work together very well. Wife, Pastor and Mom; a combination that God gave to just a few women in this world.

In honor of all female pastors who share the love of God, with their words, example, and always from their hearts.

Karen Arlene

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1 Comment

Jessica RM
Jessica RM
Jun 04, 2020

¡Gracias Karen!, tu obediencia ha sido este día una gran bendición de animo, esperanza y fortaleza a mi vida, no estoy casada, ni soy pastora, ni tengo hijos jaj, pero entiendo que hay circunstancias que nos hacen querer tirar la toalla, "refugiarnos"y huir de lo que Dios tiene para nosotros. Dios te siga bendiciendo amiga, te admiro y quiero mucho.

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