Jul 01, 2019

Expectations

Expectations. We are all too familiar with them. We all experience them and feel the pressures of them. They seem to stare at us as an unattainable goal we feel like we can never meet. We sense them from all around—the looks from others, the whispers from the adults, the comments from our peers, the reflection in the mirror and from our own broken perceptions of who we are. They are all reminders to us of who we are, who we are not, who we should be, and who we don’t want to be.

Growing up, I thought I was expected to be perfect. My parents didn’t require this standard from me or from my brothers, but I felt it was an unspoken rule being brought up as a pastor’s kid. I still remember the phone calls from my Sunday school teachers complaining about me and how I acted the previous Sunday. One adult teacher even showed up at my house during dinner to complain about my behavior. I often heard, “I was a pastor’s kid. I knew better.” I felt the disappointment as my dad or mom would stand up for me but also walk the fine line of making my teacher feel heard and understood. I hated it. I hated it for my parents, I hated it for me. My parents really tried to navigate the dynamic of being a pastor’s family. However, I watched them needing to attain a certain level of expectations as well. I knew what was expected of me. I was to be at church every time the doors opened. I was to know all of the Bible answers. And, I needed to smile and be well behaved. For the most part, I did all of these things. I learned how to play the game fairly well. Yet, I was human too. Some days I would test my waters just because I wanted to. I wanted to be “normal” in a sense.

As you know, pastor’s families come with a set of guidelines whether they are openly talked about or not. Unfortunately, we don’t get a warning label with being a PK. We don’t get to choose this life. However, we do get to choose what we do with it.

On a Wednesday night after youth group, I told God that I would never go back to church again. I don’t remember now what exactly happened, but I do remember that someone said something hurtful to me, and I thought I couldn’t take the pressure of being at church anymore. I talked with a trusted youth leader about what I was feeling. She challenged me with a thought. She said, I could choose to be angry at others (and I had reason to be), I could choose to leave the church (which my parents said I could go elsewhere if I wanted to), I could choose to isolate myself, or I could choose to stand up and grow where God had placed me. I had a lot of growing to do, but I made a choice that day when I was 16 years old. I decided to stop focusing on what were other’s opinions and expectations of me. I would determine who I was based on God’s Word and His truth (Psalm 139). I would use my time serving others instead of worrying about what they thought or expected of me. The expectations remained and the pressures continued, but they wouldn’t define who I was and they wouldn’t determine God’s plan for my life.

Being a pastor’s kid isn’t always an easy life. Though there are so many amazing things about being in the ministry, there are also some difficult challenges that we face. There were times I prayed for a different life and there were times I was so thankful for all the love, support, and opportunities that came with my position as a PK.  Today, my prayer for you is that these expectations and pressures you may feel will remind you that our only expectation is simply to follow Jesus, to be who HE made you to be and to look to Him in the times when you question your purpose.

Psalm 62:5-8 is an awesome reminder of what our focus should be on, especially in times when we are discouraged:

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God ; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

What are some expectations that you have faced being a PK? Please share these on our Facebook page or feel free to send me a DM.

By <a href="https://pastorskids.org/author/krissieg/" target="_self">Krissie Glass</a>

By Krissie Glass

Krissie was born and raised in Texas. She has two amazing boy/girl twins, Joah and Selah. Krissie is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Texas. She holds a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Counseling from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. For over 8 years, Krissie has counseled with people of all ages and from all different backgrounds. Her experience and training have prepared her to work with individuals and families struggling with depression, anxiety, parenting, grief, and everyday life stressors. Krissie has an extensive background working with local churches and ministries. She grew up a pastor’s kid and served in the ministry alongside her husband for eight years.