When my husband became an Ordinand (he is now a Vicar) I felt really lost, overwhelmed, insignificant and quite unHoly! We had found our faith together 4 years earlier and I was a Business Development Director for an advertising agency. Now he was training for this amazing calling – all hands in the air – wooo! I was still swimming in what felt like the shallow end. People kept saying sagely, “ooh God calls you as a team/family.” I was like “are you sure…have you heard what comes out of my mouth?”
I knew my husband was called and had the right gifts to be a wonderful Vicar (which he is) but I genuinely didn’t believe I had any gifts and that God would use me. I thought gifts were for Vicars and super Holy people.
So then followed a painful journey of trying to keep up, a difficult retreat (what are they about, I just seemed to turn up and cry!!), lots of prayers for me, lots of epic fails and foot in mouth situations on my part and a genuine belief that all the other ‘clergy spouses’ were better than me.
Somebody wonderful and way more super Holy than me prayed for me and said she felt God was giving me a spirit of Esther (I didn’t have the heart to tell her I had no idea what she was talking about so shuffled off and read Esther).
Esther was a beautiful queen and even SHE didn’t know how wonderful she was and that she had a God given purpose to undertake. It took her relative to come and say “Oi love……those people over there….they will be saved anyway, but YOU will perish. Saving them is as much about you fulfilling your calling as it is about them.” So she stepped out (well she retreated to be with God first……you see super Holy and so the right thing to do) and used her position and gifts to change the world she was in.
I found this truth hit me right in the heart. So, that day, Esther Ministry was born. The purpose being to equip, empower and release all women into their calling, whether to be the best mum or the next prime minister (and everything else in between). I want every woman to have her Esther moment.
It also really struck me that I may not be alone in feeling overwhelmed at being a clergy spouse (give me a board room any day over being asked to bake something – scary!!!). I really felt it on my heart to see if I could use my journey of epic fails to support other clergy spouses. So after much discussion and with the encouragement of our Bishop and lovely Archdeacon I am stepping out and on 19 November running an Esther day exclusively designed for clergy spouses.
This day will aim to help you to rediscover (or discover for the first time in my case) who you are in Him, what YOUR calling is in this season and how you can operate within it.
They say we are called as a team but there is no training. That is because it is (on paper) the strangest job in the world! There is no job description, no pay (most of the time), massive expectation on you, no expectation on you, you are on display, you are invisible, you are a route to the Vicar, you must be able to turn your hand to everything and you require super human Grace.
So if you would like to spend a day in the company of other people who understand your challenges and also the deep joy and privilege of the role then get in touch. Come and find out what our loving God has planned for you and how you can put that into practice.