PK Life

Have Mercy, Please

Dad and I
July 2007 – We both had less gray hair then!

This man here, this is my daddy. Yes, I am 32 years old and I still call him daddy. I always will. He’s the reason I grew up in the ministry. It’s all his fault! I am pretty sure that my mother would have never chosen that route for our family if it had been left to her but it was the calling on my dad’s life. My mother was gifted by the Lord to fill in the gaps of my dad’s life and vice versa so that together they make a great ministry team. For example, he sings and she plays the piano … that’s how they met. But the greatest way you will see this demonstrated is that my mother has the spiritual gift of mercy and my dad has the spiritual gift of prophecy. And both of them I think score 100% in that area. 🙂

Over the years, a funny sort of balance occurred between them and their gifts. My mother has a bleeding heart for everyone but her children when it comes to discipline. Ha. And oddly enough my dad was the more merciful one in that area. However, when it comes to the emotional stuff and you need a sweet word stir clear of my daddy … he’s just not equipped there and he knows it. He has had me share these examples before at a deacons retreat so I’m not saying anything he hasn’t heard before. So here’s a glimpse of growing up with a prophet pastor dad …

Advice on Dating and Marriage: “Melody, you should really consider going to seminary. Most girls end up married before they graduate unless they are just downright ugly.” Thanks, Daddy. By the way, I have yet to go to seminary … I haven’t wanted to test his theory.

After crying to him about a guy that didn’t like me: “Really? You liked him? He’s never seem interested in you.” Thanks for confirming it … wahhhhhh!

My Senior year in HS I told my Daddy I was nominated for Basketball Homecoming Court and would need him to escort me: *laughter first* “Um, sure.” In my dad’s defense this was so far fetched that I was nominated that I get the laughter because I laughed in horror too. 🙂

Anytime I had a complaint over something not being fair: “Who said life would be fair?” Face palm. At least he listened to my complaint first. Ha!

Asking him, after asking my mom, if I could get my ears pierced again at 18 (second holes): “If you want to look like a freak go right ahead, you’re 18.” I was quite pleased with that answer, however, my mom was sticking her head out of the kitchen looking at him annoyed … when she said “ask your father” she expected a no! In his defense, he didn’t know what I meant and after I had them done he looked for some weird spot on my ear for the piercings instead of directly next to my original piercings. He was quite pleased with the results. 🙂 

Finally, my sister and I shared a room for 8 years. She is 6 years younger than me. This started to become an issue after I hit 16. Her tastes in sports and my taste for more feminine things left us butting heads a great deal. One night I was sitting on my parents’ bed lamenting to my dad over it and here’s how that conversation went …

Me: “You don’t get it. It’s so hard sharing a room with someone who is 6 years younger than me!”

Daddy: “I totally get it. I share a room with someone who is 6 years younger than me too … your mom!” *proudly laughing to himself*

Me: *rolling my eyes in frustration and humor* “But you chose to marry mom! That’s not the same.”

Dad: … still laughing at himself …

Me: “UGH!”

He still thinks he was so clever for that come back! He may not be the overly sensitive type but like I said he and my mom balance each other out well. If you are in a crisis and need a calm head then he’s the one you call on. He has a great sense of humor that can occasionally come out as dry. He has a lot of stories from goofy things he did with his brother, cousins and friends growing up that I never get tired of hearing. He’s the one that my brother, sister and I get the trait of “being so tickled over a story we are trying to tell we can’t get it out” from.

He is who is he is and he doesn’t apologize for that … and he’s not going to change because people want him to. See, he’s read through the Bible every year since he was 26 years old as a part of his daily quiet time. After 38 years, he knows to Whom he belongs to and does not waiver from that. He will call a spade a spade but he has gentled in his approach even though some may not think so.

I have seen him go through some fierce fires in the church and come forth as gold. He has allowed us to walk beside him and bear the burdens, when appropriate, with him. I know of several times that he has gone to battle for our family due to various attacks and I am sure there are more that I don’t know of. He knew his kids weren’t and aren’t perfect but that didn’t mean we could be targets for others. He lives with integrity. He is the one that taught me that word long before I knew the definition because he lived it out before me. So while I may have wanted to beg him to have mercy, please a time or two when it came his prophet based responses with me, he is “perfect” just the way he is.

Yep, it’s all his fault that I am PK but I wouldn’t want to be any other pastor’s kid.

 

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PK Life

We See You

We see you …

Yes, you.

The two, three, ten, fifteen or more huddled after the service discussing your frustrations about or over our dad.

We hear you …

Pick apart his sermon like he needs your critique after spending hours upon hours in the Word of God and on his face seeking the Lord for today’s message.

We see you …

When you leave every Sunday after Sunday School, Bible Fellowship or Life Group so you don’t have to hear the message the Lord has given him.

We hear you …

Complain about our mom missing one women’s ministry meeting, out of the 3 years we’ve been here, because she came to our ballgame … yet you haven’t been to a Wednesday night prayer meeting in months.

We see you …

Roll your eyes, vigorously shake your head, or turn blood red in the Business meeting when the church votes on a different (and better) roofing company’s bid than the company your child owns.

We hear you …

Criticize us for being late to Sunday School or Youth Group yet your kids never come themselves.

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We get that there are expectations, realistic and unrealistic, placed on our dad and our family because we are in the ministry. We are just asking for grace – the same you would want extended to you and your children should your every move be watched.

We also want you to know that thanks to you we are having honest conversations with our parents about what it means to be like Christ vs. walking in the flesh, how to recognize those exhibiting the Fruit of the Spirit and praying for God to bless those who hurt us (even when we really don’t want to).

We see you and we hear you … and may I humbly remind you, so does our Heavenly Father.

May we all commit James 1:19-20 to memory and action for the sake of the Kingdom of God …

So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” James 1:19-20

**Some of these moments are from my life and others are things I have heard about. However, each example could easily apply to any church of any size at any time.**

PK Life

I Surrender But Not to This

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Sixteen years ago today I was at my state’s Youth Evangelism Conference in Nashville, TN. I was sitting in the basketball arena of Vanderbilt University when I wrote in the margin my blue leather NIV tabbed Bible next to Proverbs 3, a prayer surrendering my dating life to the Lord. However, it is what’s not written that means more to me about that day than those few sentences of surrender alone. I remember looking over to my mom who was one of our chaperones for that trip and telling her “I think the Lord is calling me to ministry.” She smiled that all-knowing mom smile … you know the one that says “I already knew this.” … and asked if I wanted to go forward as she would go with me. I shook my head no.

I wasn’t ready then. I was so scared that He was going to call me to missions that I didn’t want to surrender at that point, plus I didn’t know what I was truly surrendering too. I mean I knew ministry … it was my whole life. I am a pastor’s kid but what would ministry for me look like? I don’t believe in women being called as pastors of churches so I knew that wasn’t it. (On a side note, if you are woman pastor … your calling is between you and the Lord. I am not going to tell you that you haven’t been called. I just know that I have not because my understanding of scripture is that a man is to be the head of the church like he is to be the head of the home. I truly believe this but I respect you for doing something I believe is incredibly hard.) I knew I could be on staff at a church as a women’s director or a children’s director. I knew I could serve Him by ministering through music on a full-time basis but that would take a mighty move of the Lord for that to happen. I’ll be honest, I figured He was calling me to something far worse than missions. I figured he would just have me marry a pastor and I would serve as a pastor’s wife. Oh the horror!

It was after I had seen a husband preach and his wife sing before his message that I surrendered to the call on my life. I surrendered in June of 2000 at the age of 16. In my mind, the Lord had laid out His plan for my life through the ministry of my friends Rob and Jill Callistro. I wanted to do what they were doing. Each using their gifts and talents to minister and share the Gospel. Their ministry was so different from your typical pastor’s family because at that point Rob was a traveling evangelist and Jill went with him. I was good with that. I would totally sign up for that call. Yep, let’s hit the road, Baby. I’ll sing and you’ll preach. We’ll lead people to Christ, encourage the local pastor’s family and then move on to the next church.  It was and still is a beautiful aspiration but the problem is … there’s no guy! Besides who in their right mind would actually want to be a pastor’s wife or an evangelist’s wife?

Ministry is hard. Being in the family of someone in the ministry can be straight up awful. My mother is the most amazing woman I know. Her spiritual gift of mercy balances my dad’s gift of prophecy in a way that only God could have designed. I wonder even now if my mom has teeth marks from biting her tongue over the years but I am pretty sure she doesn’t as it is not in her nature to lash out anyway. But I will give you a head’s up if you start to hear her say “Jehovah God” it’s best to just get out of the way because that means someone has finally broken through her almost impenetrable wall and she is praying for the Spirit to take over her flesh. And when that has happened chances are you have said something really ugly about my dad or you have unjustly criticized her children. Oh, and don’t even think about EVER saying anything negative about my nephew or any future nieces or nephews. You won’t have to worry about hearing my mom say “Jehovah God” because I will be coming at you full swing. 🙂 Anyway, I digress … my family is not violent by nature but ministry can call to violent side in you. Seriously. It can.

Ministry is lonely. You never know who you can trust, especially if you are working in a church. I have had people, that I thought I could trust, take a conversation we had and throw it back in my dad’s face at a committee meeting. But since I have always been honest with my parents, my dad already knew of the conversation and knew that they were twisting the meaning of my words to try to hurt him. That lie was quickly stopped. Sometimes the PKs are popular in the church youth group and sometimes they are not. And heaven forbid, you be an introvert as well!  Which is something I have only discovered in the last 6 years about myself … this would have saved me a ton of grief during my teen years when it came to certain events that I just didn’t want to participate in. But to this day, I still struggle with trust … I have set up some walls where, yes, I will tell you my life story but you won’t know my true feelings on any given situation. I have been told that my face reveals everything I am feeling but I think most would be surprised to know that they have only been given a glimpse at what I am processing. I have 6 precious girlfriends all from my different churches and various life stages that I truly trust. 3 are 10 years older than me. 3 are my age or slightly younger. All of these friendships except 1 came about in my 20s and all of these friendships have seen me through so hard ministry stuff. Only two of these friendships started while my dad was their pastor too. It’s just too hard.

So why would I want to surrender to that?

Because ministry is also one of the most beautiful things I have ever been a part of it. I have 6 amazing friendships with some wonderful women that I wouldn’t have were it not for my dad’s ministry. Ministry calls to me like nothing else can. It’s in my soul. Ministry causes you to step out of your comfort zone, acknowledge your weakness and fully rely on His strengths to get you through a situation. It wipes you out and He fills you up. And just when you have nothing left to give He breathes a fresh word or gives you a new perspective that spurs you on for His glory.

Ministry isn’t about you. It’s about Him. At least it is when it’s done the right way.

I don’t know what the Lord has in store for me but I feel like this year is marking a turning point in my life and I am pretty sure it is not to be a pastor’s wife. Praise you, Jesus!! However, after finally accepting, at 19, that I needing to surrender to whatever He may call me to … even foreign missions I will bear whatever cross He gives me. (Feel free to applaud now. Just kidding.) In all seriousness, though, I believe I am being called to the hard but I know it will also be beautiful. In the meantime, I am seeking His direction and trusting His hand.

It feels weird to be able to say that 16 years ago I was 16 but it’s true.  There is something about this year … I can feel it with every fiber of my being … it going to be hard and beautiful … for now, it’s going to be lonely … and I can’t wait but I am until He says go.

I love you all!

Blessings …

– Melody Faith