Friday, April 20, 2012

Being A Preachers Kid


 For those of you who dont know me personally, or haven't read this at some other point,
I am a PK. And I gather that if you didn't already know what a PK is, you do now, 
because of the title of this post.
being a PK has no guarantees, 
other than these 2 things
#1) As I was growing up, I went to church every time the doors were open,
whether I liked it or not.
#2) I constantly felt as though I was being watched.

And while I maintained MY behavior quite well, I'd say,
compared to what road I could have taken, I always did it for the sake or someone or something else, ~~in particular to save face for my parents...the pastors.
Now that I am older, I look back and am thankful for the qualities and
behaviors and beliefs instilled in me.
And as all parents do, we remember when we were young, and we think, "ok,now I get why my parents did that.." or "yep, never going to do that with my kids..."
But really, as far as PK's go,
I think we (preachers kids) have a generalized reputation for
rebelling against our strict upbringing...
doing our own thang..
because nobody is going to tell us what to do...
or who to be, right?
Wrong, Not Me. I was a sweet angel. Still Am... Haha
But in all seriousness, I was never that rebellious PK.

However, my disadvantages lie in the fact that I took for granted so much.
I took for granted being raised in such a loving family.
I took for granted "knowing" God, without ever really knowing him.
I believe I loved God as far as I could understand.
I knew all the right songs.
I am a c. I am a c-h. I am a c-h-r-i-s-t-i-a-n...
or The B-I-B-L-E, yes thats the book for me...
and don't forget
This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine,
(hide it under a bushel, NO, I'm gonna let it shine)
What's a bushel? And why would I hide the Light of Jesus under it?

It wasn't until I grew up and had MY life and MY family and struggles of MY own...
that I really solidified MY faith in MY GOD.
I have had financial struggles, health struggles...
spiritual struggles..
 but my upbringing had taught me so much about faith, 
and taking God's promises at his word about such topics..
It seemed easy for me, when Jeff and I had financial difficulty..
or when I was dealing with horrid eczema for months on end,
 covering almost my entire body
to take all those scriptures on health, and prosperity and God's goodness towards us...
and apply them to that situation.
As big as the battle seemed at the time, I maintained my faith in MY GOD.


Many of you have read or heard me talk about my battle with depression
in the recent years.
I have to say, emotional and mental instability, 
by far outweighs any physical or financial battle I have had.
When there is NO peace of mind, it is nearly impossible to function properly.
The constant cloud, (even when you are laughing and smiling) is hanging over (and very close to) your head. And while I have come far...and a great deal OUT of this state of mind,
unfortunately it has become very very easy for me to slip back into it.
I hate it. I really do, 
because I never used to be this girl who could get so overwhelmingly sad or anxious.
I was always little miss happy girl.
Now, JOY is a constant pursuit of mine. I pursue joy, peace, & contentment...
when before I pursued things...a husband, a family, health, finances.
Joy and Peace is all I really want
(while maintaining those other things).
(i want a perma-grin, and not because of some happy pills)
I was crying to Jeff last week, telling him " I feel like this feeling will never go away."
 I have moments where I am glorifying the name of God,
because I can see victory~
(a light at the end of that tormenting dark tunnel)
when at one point, I saw none, and simply wanted to escape this life.
Yet, in between those victorious moments,
one thing may happen that hurts me, upsets me, or offends me...
and I suddenly feel like giving up on life again.
It sounds silly, but maybe if you've dealt with depression, 
you know what I am talking about??
It's a weird cycle and it's easy to NOT really get what I mean,
 if you haven't been there.


Anyways, it wasn't until I start making my way out of this horrid battle,
that I realized how badly I need God.
This God that I took for granted, as I grew up in a preachers home...
now was my ONLY hope.
In my desperation of trying different things to find tranquility,
I FINALLY have come to realize I need to go back to my original source of love,
because He was my ONLY real hope.
No doctor, no medication, no self help strategy can help me the way HIS presence can.
I am not saying those things don't work, because they do help many many people maintain some stability when their mind is complete chaos.

But I was raised to know a peace like know other,
I just never realized how badly I needed that until recently.
I've never really been one to sit down with my Bible for hours on end and study.
Generally when God speaks to me,
He will drop one thought, one scripture in my heart sometime during the day...
and I will meditate (think) on that for days,
then usually I will write about it in some form or another.
This morning I was reading Jeremiah 29.
Yes, the famous scripture is 29:11-For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you and expected end.
But that is not what caught my attention.
It was the verses before that where he was speaking to those who were held captive,
and he was telling them after soooo long of being held captive,
he was going to cause Good towards them.
Wow, that spoke to me like nothing else.
After crying to Jeff about "how long will I feel this way?" Basically feeling captive to my own emotions and thoughts, wishing I could escape, it was as God was telling me, 
after being captive, he was going to bring me good.

This is what I mean.
One simple passage, or thought, can set the mood for your day, your week and your life.
It was after I read that, that the story of Mary and Martha popped in my head.
When Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus, and Martha was so busy...
and Jesus told her "Martha, Martha you are troubled about many things...
but one thing is needful (Luke 10:41).
We often used that scripture in light of the busyness of our lives, to calm ourselves down
and take time for our creator...
BUT our minds can be busy too.
And in the midst of chaos and confusion and pain in our mind and heart,
Jesus tells us, ONE thing is needful.

...to sit at his feet. find peace in his embrace. rest is his arms.
and find STRENGTH in his joy.

As hard as life has been for me personally the past few years,
there is a part of me that is thankful that I had some experiences...
because I know MORE NOW than I ever have about who I am.
what I need. and who I can rely on.

All those years being a PK, 
and it wasn't until now, that I am solely dependent on God...
some days just to wake up and take care of these kids, BECAUSE I HAVE TO...
but more often than not, it's because I want to touch lives.
I want to love people. I want to change the world around me...
with HIS love.







9 comments:

Erin said...

Wow, girl. This post literally has me nearly in tears. As a PK I can relate with everything you shared and have had similar struggles...especially the 2 guarantees - that you'll be watched and at church every time the doors are open. I needed to read this, and you don't know how much your words of truth from Scripture at the end ministered to me. You are a GEM and I love you and your blog!

Kelly said...

I really love this. I have battled with depression since I was 15 and my parents got divorced. It reared its ugly head again when I had my first miscarriage...you are absoluetly right the only way to find true peace and joy is through God. thanks for this today.

Jessica said...

i just stumbled across your blog and loved reading this. i agree emotional pain can be so much harder to deal with than physical. and i love what you wrote about making your faith your own.

5ohWifey said...

Thank you for being so open and honest with your post. I just love your heart!

The Not Quite Military Wife said...

Hey, I'm a new follower of yours and I loved this post!! I am a PK too! You two guarantees are spot on. When people used to ask me what it was like, I tell them, "I wasn't raised by just my parents, I was raised by the whole church".

Brit said...

Thank you for being transparent. I too, am a PK. Both of your points resonate with me. Always in church & myself and my siblings all good kids (not rebellious). I am married to a pastor & we have our own little PK :) Also, I relate to your struggles with depression. I know the cycles and understand all of your thoughts you've talked about. Praise the Lord! We serve one faithful God who loves us continuously & is in constant pursuit of our hearts.Thankful for redemption in Him.

mari said...

Julie,
Loved it, loved it! Thanks for sharing! Love the photos! So glad you joined in our Mommy Moments Photo challenge! Good Luck!
A couple of reminders:
-Remember the image that is on the linky is the one were judging for the challenge.
- Write the Day on the linky.
- Make sure you have followed both host: http://inspiredbyfamilymag.com/ & http://www.thehollierogue.com/
- Still have 17 days to get your 12 days of photos!!!
-ENJOY!!!!
Blessings, Mari

Marcie Jean said...

Thank you so much for being honest and vulnerable in this post! I wasn't a PK growing up, but I joined my husband in ministry always felt like I was being "watched". I've always been a half-glass full person, positive and happy go-lucky all the time!! This past year I've really started fall in and out of depressive episodes. Everything you were describing resonated with what I'm going through. All I can say is, it was so refreshing to read this and know I'm not alone! Some days are so happy, others - not so much. And I can't figure out what triggers them! But just like you, I'm learning more about trusting God, even when things seem hopeless. So glad I found your blog!

xo,
Marcie
A Sigh and Sanity

Frank Wunder said...

Julie,

I'm an SG (seminary graduate) which may be a cousin to a PK in that the majority of people in seminary come from ministry families or are being sponsored by a church to become a super preacher. Neither of those applied to me, so I had a different experience, but I say with all confidence that having been to seminary and known minsters and pastors in training I think a lot of the issues that affect parents of PK's begin at seminary, primarily in the form of the constant encouragement for students to have a singular focus on ministry.

Now don't get me wrong, I think singularity of focus is incredibly important, but not for young people who are early in a career with a young family. A singular focus is great for individuals who do not have so much responsibility that they have no choice but to neglect their families or in the cases of some of the students I knew: get a D, pass the class, be closer to graduation.

I knew a lot of bad PK's and I roomed with a Missionary Kid who had such high expectations for himself and then for me that I had to tell him that I didn't want to be friends with him because there was no way that I could ever meet his expectations and I didn't want to even try.

I think the discussion is lacking on how having such a strong vision can not only affect the individual but others around them. I think it's necessary that ministers have a focus on their ministry, but not at the expense of others.

I also realize that we're always looking for perfection even though it is not ours to have in this lifetime. Every PK and SG I've known has talked about the perfect model child/student/volunteer and yet they're trying to be something that is impossible to sustain.

It isn't fair and it's heartbreaking that what are good intentions often lead to such unfair outcomes.

But, we're broken people working with broken tools with an idea of what is perfect, but no ability to achieve it in this lifetime. Thanks to be God that faith in Him allows us to achieve after we've labored in the flesh.

You blog about very important issues which need to be discussed frankly and openly. And I hope others can learn and be encouraged by your blog.