I’ve Always Wanted to be a Full-time Pastor, and Finally….
I’ve always wanted to be a full-time pastor, and finally the door has been opened, but I didn’t expect it to happen this soon. Since I first started to pastor in 2010, I’ve always been a bi-vocational pastor (2jobs), and at times I really enjoyed it– the other times I felt over worked. However, despite the joys and pains of bi-vocational ministry, I did what I had to do to provide for myself, my family, pay bills, and save. Furthermore, I’ve always felt that I needed to earn a certain amount of money to be full-time in ministry and take care of my family, I just never settled on that amount. Was it $30,000, $40,000, $70,000, $100,000; honestIy I don’t know, I just figured I’d know when I reached that magic number.
Well, I don’t know if I hit that magic amount or not, but I’m now a full-time pastor. If you’ve been reading this blog or following my story, then you would know that my son Super Mighty Max has special needs, and requires a lot of care, time, and energy to parent him. When Maxwell first got his G-Tube placed in January 2015, that shook my world! The thought of him having a G-Tube was frightening and I quickly learned that others felt the same way. The majority of day cares do not accept children with G-Tubes because of the risk of infection and liability issues. After speaking with my day care and searching the Charlotte area for a day care provider, I realized Maxwell’s day care days in Charlotte were over! We weren’t going to pay for a private in-home nurse, that’s expensive– and so was a “special needs” day care. Therefore, because my wife is currently the primary bread winner in our home and because I primarily work on Sundays (pastor), it was a no brainer for me to stay home with our son.
Initially, I jumped at the bit to stay home with Super Mighty Max, mainly because I felt as if I’d have more time to devote to the church; whew, I was so wrong!! Those next 5-6 weeks were HELL! Sorry for the language, but this was the time that Super Mighty Max was at his worse! His reflux was acting up! The seizures were happening! His tone was bad! He needed to be held around the clock to be comforted, which prevented me from getting work done, and he cried all the time. On top of that, his G- Tube still ended up getting infected, which was no good. It was during these weeks that I realized two things; being a stay at home parent is more than a notion and parenting a special needs child requires a lot of patience! I mean a lot of patience! Plus an entree of compassion!!!
Well, after much discussion, my wife and I decided to move back to her home town and reside in the Hampton Roads area. Literally, all of her family is here, and they’ve been a gift sent from God! On top of that, my wife’s godmother owns a day care, so she’s watches Super Mighty Max and does a marvelous job. Part of the reason that we also moved back to Virginia was for me to go back to work again. I found a job within a month of being back and it was a job that I really wanted too! It wasn’t set to start until August, so I had time to get myself acclimated to being in Virginia, as well as establish care for Maxwell at the local children’s hospital. Little did I know, that Maxwell would have doctor’s appointments every week, sometimes 4x a week (multiple times), in addition to therapy. We’ve probably had at least 30-40 appointments in the past 4/5 months, 3 EEG’s, 4 emergency room visits, and 3 separate overnight hospital stays. It seems like every appointment is more bad news, more medications added, more doctor’s referrals, and more bills!
It takes a toll on you and it has stretched me in ways I’d never imagine. I went from letting my wife handle all of Super Mighty Max’s care for the first 5 months, to me being the primary caregiver because of her hectic work schedule. That was and still is hard for me to do! I went from just feeding him once a day, to now, giving him baths, getting him dressed, picking up the medicine, dispensing the medicine, giving him injections, taking him to all of his appointments, feeding, and etc. I’m It is a lot of work (did I say that already!)
Unfortunately, the hospital visits hadn’t really let up yet, we may have a week every now and then free of visits, but those are few and far between. Therefore, my wife and I felt that it was best that I resign my job, so that I could be flexible to take care of Maxwell’s needs. My wife does an excellent job of caring for Super Mighty Max when she’s off, has a later work schedule, and fights through her fatigue. She’s Amazing! We didn’t plan for it to be this way, but we believe that this was best for our family. As a man, who grew up with a father who worked extremely hard, I was taught to do whatever takes for your family. I believe that my willingness to switch “roles” with my wife was doing whatever it took to take care of my family. Sometimes (most of the time) I feel guilty that my wife has to work so hard, so I TRY to make life easier on her when she gets home, which is something I need to get much better at. I’m not the best cook or domestic, and a lot of this is new to me, but each day I try to get better. Despite what society says or thinks, I honor and respect families who live within their truth, and does whatever it takes to operate their household.
So, what can I say, I’m officially a full-time husband, father, pastor, and friend; still trying to find the balance! In closing, I hope that this blessed and helped some family reading this, and pray God’s blessing on your families. Until next week, I have a wife to LOVE, Super Mighty Max to love and care for, and a church to pastor!!!!
Off to Work,
Posted on September 8, 2015, in Disability and tagged child, church, family, father, full-time pastor, HIE, love, mom, pastor, Special Needs, stay at home dad, SuperMightyMax, working mother. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.