New Kid on the Block

2003 – Broussard, LA

I walked into the sanctuary a little tired from the day, but ready to be energized by a time of worship and a good message.  We were a fairly new addition to the pastoral staff, so I wanted to put my best foot forward.  After all, people were still getting to know me.  I had on my favorite trouser jeans and the cutest white jacket.  A great pair of high heels and freshly straightened hair topped off the outfit.  I felt good, ready to meet new friends and enjoy the presence of God.  As I was making my way to the front pew, I felt a tug on my arm.  I turned around, expecting a warm greeting.  But instead I was faced with a very concerned look.  The question that followed nearly knocked the wind out of me…

“What makes you think that YOU can wear jeans to a service?  Do you see any of the other pastor’s wives wearing jeans?”

My heart sank, I didn’t know how to recover from the statement.  Still in shock I managed to mumble an apology…It took everything within me not to run out of the church in embarrassment.  I spent the rest of the service discretely counting how many other people were in jeans.  Evidently I wasn’t alone in thinking that it was okay to dress casual for a mid-week service.  I slipped out during the salvation prayer and ran to the car.  All I could think about was how I let everyone down…I was already a failure and people barely knew me. This instance was the kick-start to a very long season.  A season of feeling as though I did everything wrong…a season of being controlled.

13 thoughts on “New Kid on the Block

  1. Hi, Jana!
    I just did one year as an MC at this church. I can imagine your scenes playing out as I walk through the campus in my mind. I want you to know that I believe God has used you and many other people who have gone through the horrors you experienced to pave the way for change at that church and in that MC program. Although the humble little halfway house still needs a lot of work, there are strong-willed, Holy Spirit-filled men who have taken initiative to change that. I know through reading other blogs that there have been immeasurable amounts of struggles with this church, but from what I’ve read to what I’ve experienced, God is using the people of the church to make a change. The change hasn’t fully surfaced, yet, and I’m moving on to a different location as an MC this year, but I see the hearts of those who have joined this church in the years since you’ve left and I can gladly say that God is stirring conviction in the hearts of the leaders to allow the Holy Spirit to do His own work.
    Thank you for your openness. It has helped me solidify in my spirit that I am not crazy for questioning my leaders who questioned the pastor they were supposed to be under.

    1. Thanks for writing Jacob! Yes, we are hoping for change and praying that the elders and leaders in the church will take their rightful place. I know most of them personally and have been in contact with some of them recently. The word on the street is that they are finally taking notice…so we will continue to hope for the best! No real repentance has happened yet…just confessions of wrong and abusive behavior…however true repentance always warrants change in the hearts of truly humble men. Let’s watch and see what God does…I’m very hopeful! Thanks for the encouragement…it is appreciated! 🙂

      Best wishes as you continue to follow God’s will for your life!!

      1. You’re welcome.

        I hope I wasn’t out of line in posting my thoughts, either. I know there is a lot of hurt going on that I don’t know about and it might be a long and painful walk of change in the leaders and healing in those who have not gotten over the hurt, yet. My biggest concern is for my friends who are sticking around there. I hope the change you have been a part of bringing about leads to a less painful and more God-filled experience for them.

  2. I recently found out about your blogs. Not sure if you even remember me but I was in Masters. I remember you and PB being so humble and graceful; Who would have new all this was going on. Just want to say I feel and understand all what your saying. I am glad to see that ya’ll were able to allow God to heal ya’ll. Many people get so caught up and lose sight of the thing that is most important and that IS THERE RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. I truly pray that God uses your blogs to open up eyes.

    1. You are so right Jamie…the most important thing is relationship with God! Love you girl and of course I remember you! So proud of you and your beautiful family!

  3. lol Jana and Jacob.
    I attend a church under an interstate bridge. the majority of our congregation consists of the homeless community.

    You’re lucky IF they even show up with pants on at all.

    and i LOVE it.

    -did i mention I’m having my wedding ceremony there?

    [we’re having a wedding in Houston also. mainly for my family that cannot drive 6 hours to waco but will drive 3.5 to houston. also, i wanted to include all the people that i care about deeply that unfortunately would not feel comfortable attending a wedding in the sweltering heat, distracted by our faithfully attending church member, MHMR patient, “Patrick.”

  4. Thanks so much for this. Honestly, clothing has been one of my biggest concerns. Since we are going to a small church in a small town, what do they expect a preacher’s wife to dress like? I mean, what happens if I don’t wear dresses enough?!

  5. That’s awful! I’m so sorry. I don’t understand how people who love Christ could be this way. I mean we are all flawed and come with baggage but if we have a genuine relationship with the Lord, than this is certainly not the way we should go about “correcting” those of the same faith. Although I don’t think you needed corrected for wearing jeans to church.

    I’m curious…what church are you and your husband at now?

  6. Okay, you made me laugh Jacob!

    I agree, church should not have a “uniform”. People should dress in a way that is comfortable and allows them to worship God without fear of being rejected or judged. Thankfully, I wear jeans every Sunday morning now and no one thinks twice about it. I love having that freedom…it’s so nice!

  7. Wow, if you knew how hard I fought with them to put away the stupid notion that there is some kind of “dress code” that is appropriate or inappropriate for sundays or wed services. That drove me absolutely crazy, & is one thing that I enjoy about not being in “church” anymore. Every sunday morning I wake up & put on my most comfortable pair of Levis, walk out on my front porch with a cup of coffee & sit in silence. Inevitably after about 15 min. I feel more calm, peaceful, happy, encouraged, centered & in tune than I had felt after doing 3 sunday morning services when I was a part of the “church”. And just think, I experience all of this while wearing jeans & a wife beater & sitting on my front porch. I know that experience must not be God because I’m not in a church & I’m not wearing my sunday uniform;)

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