“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
“What’s your favorite subject at school?”
“Which is your favourite Spice Girl?”
Judge Judy. Drama. Baby Spice. Easy. Next…
As a seven year old, I had my answers well polished, able to respond swiftly and surely at the drop of a hat… or question.
Most questions adults would ask were a breeze, like answering whether I’d like to have the day off school to go to the zoo, or if I’d like to sleep over at my Aunt Kerrie’s house (which meant an endless supply of chocolate and staying up way passed my bedtime). Duh.
Yep, as a kid conversing with adults, I had wisdom beyond my years, as you can clearly read from my answers above. I was impressive… If I do say so myself.
And yet there was always one question that threw me. One subject that I never had the right answer to.
“What’s it like to be a Pastor’s Kid?”
Seriously, how was I supposed to answer that? What was I to compare it to… that time I wasn’t a PK? That would be difficult seeing as, uhh, I’VE ALWAYS BEEN ONE. But, I learned quickly. And being the rebel-PK (it’s a thing) I was, I quickly shot my answer back.
“I don’t know. What’s it like NOT being a PK?”
Genius, right? My mum never thought so.
Fast-forward to this week, where I’m kind of an adult myself now. Kind of. My friend and I were talking about being PK’s.. Us PK’s understand each other. And all the PK’s said? (If you don’t know what to say there, you probably aren’t a PK. Don’t sweat it).
“If you had five things to say to pastors kids, what would they be?”
That was the question.
Five? Just five?! Did he not realise that I am:
1) A girl.
2) Obsessed with talking.
Clearly not. I have so much to say to other PK’s that I wrote a whole book about it (subtle plug). So being the rebel-PK (it’s a thing) that I am, I wrote seven things. I know. Living on the edge. Also, it’s biblical to write seven, I’m pretty sure it means you get a bigger mansion in heaven or something.
And so I began to write. And as I wrote, I realised I wasn’t talking to PK’s. I was talking to myself. I was writing down what I always knew but wish I had actually accepted as a pastor’s kid. Maybe, just maybe, if I had, it would’ve prevented some of the loneliness and shame I so often felt but rarely verbalised.
I guess sometimes we just need someone else to tell us what we deep down already know. (Tweet That)
So, today, if you’ll allow, I’d like to be that someone else. I’d like to remind you of the things you deep down already know. Whether you’re a church kid, a PK, or just someone who really enjoys chewing Wrigley’s PK gum (it’s an Australian thing, not as good as Vegemite, but close), I think there’s something in here for you.
SEVEN Things I’d Say To Pastor’s Kids And Church Kids. (By A Pastors Kid):
1. You’re doing better than you think you are.
Take a deep breath. Give yourself a break. And go eat some ice cream.
2. Expecting others to be perfect only adds to the pressure you feel to be perfect…
That kind of pressure is too heavy, even for The Hulk. Taking the pressure and judgment off others will release you of your own pressure. More than you think.
3. God knows what you are feeling, right now, in this very moment.
Lonely? Hopeful? Numb? Disappointed? Angry? Confused? He gets it. He understands, because He feels it too. When you’re happy, he’s over the moon. When your heart hurts, His breaks. It literally says in Psalm 56:8 that He knows our every anxious moment, and has bottled every one of our tears. Why? Because He cares. And He’s there. With you.
4. There’s a difference between blocking pain out and letting go of it. (Tweet That)
Here’s the painful truth – holding onto hurt only hurts you.
You know that thing that happened to you or your family that made you angry and a little bit (or a lot) bitter? It’s time to move on. It’s time to deal with the pain and let it go. Staying down won’t help anyone get up. It’s time.
5. That smile we wear on a Sunday isn’t always as convincing as we think it is. (Tweet That)
The people who are asking questions and blowing up your phone with texts trying to hang out with you… The ones you are trying to ignore? They see through the smile. They love you. They know you are going through it right now. It’s ok to admit that. You can confide in them. No man or woman is an island. Even the coolest island with beaches and palm trees sucks without others to share it with. Pick up your phone. Call someone. Be honest. Get off the island.
6. We need people, yes, but we need our own relationship with God more.
Not through our parents or through the 1,000 Sunday School Classes we sat through. We need it through Jesus.
So often, I used to run to my parents when I had a problem. It wasn’t bad that I asked them for help, but I always wonder how much quicker my problem would’ve been solved if I had gone to God first. How much faster could I have felt peace if I just handed over my anxiety? My educated guess says much faster. After all, He is the source of all help. He is right there with us, even when it doesn’t feel like it. Especially when it doesn’t feel like it. When we are weak, He is strong and when we feel unqualified, he is the ultimate qualifier. So, what are you waiting for?
7. We are all called to different things… No matter what our parents did.
We get so caught up with what we are ‘supposed" to do. God has very specific callings for each of us, and (deep breath), it might not be ministry. My advice? Find out what God has called you to do, and run after it.
Quit comparing yourself to others. Quit trying to be what (you think) everyone else wants you to be.
God has called you to be you. The longer you spend looking for someone more talented to play the role God has called you to play, the less time you have to play it! And the only person that’s going to answer for the part you were born to play is, well, you!
I need to play my part and I need you to play yours. You can’t be me and I can’t be you, but we can be the best “us” this world has ever seen. Deal?
Birds fly, fish swim. Do what you do.
Or, put simply, do you, boo. Do you.
Now It’s Your Turn… What other advice would you give to PK’s and church kids? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s connect in the comments box below or you can subscribe to Elyse’s blogs so they arrive directly in your email.
Check out more from Elyse at elysemurphy.com.