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"Under The Hats"

By: 1st Lady June Willis, Soul Enrichment Ministries

      It has been said many times, “The pastor’s wife wears many hats.” After seven years in ministry, I have come to understand that this is a true statement. Who is the woman under the hat? She is a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, teacher, entrepreneur, and other roles taken on that come with the ministry and everyday life. These roles are the ones that God has assigned to her. But under the hat there is a human being with a personality, feelings, attitude, and a real sense of belonging.

Each moment I put on a different hat, it is to fulfill the gift that God designed for me; I must wear it well, I represent him. As a pastor’s wife, I press to live within my limitations and boundaries. In the beginning it was how do you do it, who do you ask for help, or why so much at one time? I was reminded in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that God won’t put more on me than I can bear, and that he will equip me for the work. So I relax and rely on him to dress me in the appropriate hat for the task.

After the first year, I learned a big lesson quickly; living the way people want you to live is exhausting. Living by their standards makes you fake, a robot, and you begin to lose yourself. I learned to be who God created me to be and that’s just me. I don’t go out of my way to be a people person, caring person, or outgoing because I’m the 1st lady or pastor’s wife; it’s my natural character. I teach because I love to teach, and reach out because I love to reach out, it’s just me. I am human but sometimes people build a pedestal and plop you up on it. You have to dress a certain way, talk a certain way, and all the other stuff they want you to do. You become lost as a person in the hype of all that stuff. And when you don’t bounce to the ball they toss, they begin to label you, talk about you, and even disrespect you.

There is a hat of resentment that I pray I don’t put on. When the pastor’s wife thinks of all the sacrifices she has to make for the family, and the congregation, she can feel alone and left out. Being overlooked can cause resentment. Sometimes you can be made to feel like it’s just about the pastor and you don’t matter. Then God pinches you and reminds you that after all Jesus endured, He did not resent us.

The balance hat is one that taught me a humorous lesson. When I was pregnant with my youngest child, a few friends gave be a baby shower. They put a paper plate on my head, and as I began to open the gifts the ribbons and bows were put on that plate. It began to get full and some of the stuff fell off. We would laugh and put them back. I felt like it was a balancing game. God does not expect us to be jugglers. He knows that people and forces will tend to push us to the extreme. Our God is not a God of confusion, but order. I know now and have the confidence that peaceful balanced living is possible. I thank God and my friends for that enlightenment.

There are so many other hats that we can put on or are put on for us. Just stay before the Lord and he will give you a yay or nay as to which one you are to actually put on to fulfill the purpose he has for you.

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