I’m going to write this a bit more like a letter or personal update than I usually do or plan to do moving forward.
When we lived in Indy, I was working my first full-time, career-field job and got busy. Then we had a long, drawn out move to Fort Wayne, then we started fostering!
Now that things have finally settled (as much as is possible with life!), I found myself desiring to re-open this creative outlet.
When I started this blog, I wanted to write about women and my journey to discovering what a woman’s role should be. And I’ve learned so much!
This is my makeshift timeline:
- Age: young girl – wanted to be a missionary, a pastor of a church, practiced preaching to my stuffed animals.
- Age 9 – preached my first message in children’s church – my dad showed me all his tips and tricks.
- Sometime in middle school – I wanted to marry a “normal” guy with a “normal” job, still go to church but definitely not be in vocational ministry.
- High school – called to “full-time” ministry, but what does that mean?
- College – decided being a pastor’s wife is full-time ministry enough for me, and I don’t have to do any more than that. It’s enough for tons of pastor’s wives so it can be enough for me, too. Still had to swallow a pill of the sacrifice it would be to actually have to marry a pastor.
- 2012 – self-proclaimed “anti-feminist” and met Kyle. Believed women in ministry was just God’s Plan B for when men didn’t step up to the plate.
- 2013 – newly married and in a new denomination that was so pro-women in leadership ministry it felt like an agenda item. I felt super frustrated by my massive confusion, terrified to be a ministry wife who always stepped on her husband like those I’d seen.
- 2014 – Lots of conversations with Kyle and how we can serve in ministry together without stepping on each other. Angry when women were overlooked, relegated to only children’s ministry, or were part of a package deal with their husbands.
2015 – Moved to Indy to start a church and start thinking to myself that I really want to lead. Started researching women in ministry in the Bible to develop my own beliefs and seek God for my own calling again. No longer angry but complacent, expecting women to be treated in the church and society as secondary or an after thought without much hope for change.
- 2016 – Finally told Kyle that I wanted to co-pastor with him when we lead a church together. We decided together that we truly are best together, working intentionally to support each other in our strengths and complement each other in our weaknesses.
- 2017 – Our would got flip-turned upside-down. Moved to Fort Wayne and took on new roles in a new way for a new style of ministry than we’d done before. Took the opportunity to flush out our roles as co-leaders, embracing each other and ourselves for our own strengths and weaknesses.
- 2018 – Loving life. Told by women after unrelated messages how encouraging it is to see a strong woman in church leadership. Told by men after messages on women’s issues how enlightening and blessed they were by what I shared. Asked multiple times to be a guest speaker on women’s issues both in the church and society. Asked multiple times by men to teach on the Word of God to their congregations of men and women alike.
I’m no longer frustrated, confused, angry or complacent about my role as a woman in ministry. Now I’m simply passionate about how highly I’ve discovered God views women, and how much Jesus worked on earth to elevate the status of women.
Sometimes I am still “Kyle’s wife” or the afterthought, or secondary, or Ms. Anna instead of Pastor Anna. Being Kyle’s wife is my number one calling. Still, he and I both recognize and claim the calling I have as Anna, also. Yes, I still get asked about my kids before I get asked about my role at the church, and Kyle gets asked about his work and ministry before he gets asked about the kids he loves to brag on, but we know who we are more now than ever before.
Now I am passionate. I’m passionate about the work Jesus did to elevate and validate women’s role.
But I’m also passionate about how Christianity is viewed in this world in general. The view of Christians in this society breaks my heart more than women being secondary to men.
Whether I’m speaking about women or not, I want my message to speak to men and women alike. Because God created us all, unique and alike, to represent his love and truth and compassion to this world.
I know who I am as a wife and woman.
Now God has revealed to me that I need to learn who I am as a mom, foster mom and daughter of God. Those have really thrown me for a loop in the past year.
I’m going to be writing again. I may even talk via video or podcast. But I want to continue sharing what I learn and asking others to come along with me as I go. I am very much a verbal processor, and I want to use that to the best of my ability to bring value to others through that characteristic of mine.
So what can I do to bring you value through my words? Please bring value to me by sharing your heart!