You and I Are Famous!

How can that be? I don’t have millions of followers on social media, and I was never even a prom queen. To be famous used to mean that you were “widely known” or “honored for an achievement.” (Webster) Now, being famous means that you have “your own Wikipedia page.” (Urban Dictionary) We live in a society that worships celebrity and tells us that in order to succeed we must have a ‘platform’ to promote ourselves. Ugh! That just isn’t who I am or where I want to be in life, but…

The reality is that you and I are famous, or “widely known,” because of who we married. That notoriety may look very different depending on the size of the community or city that we call home. Our personal career path may also greatly influence how many people we know or who may know us. But, at the end of the day, we each are famous simply because we are married to our husband, the pastor. Yep! Those that know us may or may not know our given name, but they do know who we are married to.

The Pastor’s Wife. Some people hate that title. Others embrace it. Sometimes it is the tone in which it is said that irritates us. Sometimes it is the fact that people treat us differently once they find out we are married to a pastor. Even on the days we enjoy being known as the ‘Pastor’s Wife,’ there is a part of us that wants to be known and loved for who we are individually – not who we are married to. That’s understandable, and that reality takes time. Our husbands tend to be more in the spotlight on Sunday mornings and as they interact with people throughout the week. With just one wedding or funeral, they touch the lives of dozens, hundreds or even thousands.

People are watching our lives as well. Even when we don’t realize it. Just this week, I went to pick up a copy of some medical records at our doctor’s office. Now, I’ve only been in this office one time in the past three years so I don’t know the office staff very well at all. My husband has been in about twice a year. That’s it. We come, we go and once in a while someone in the office looks vaguely familiar.

So, as I arrived at the reception desk and saw no one seated there, I waited patiently behind the glass window. Soon, I saw some movement off to the side and realized that there was someone at the desk nearby. I moved over a bit so that they could see that I was waiting. The staff person never looked up or spoke but started shuffling through some CD’s. I waited. Then, the next thing I knew she handed me a CD with our last name on it. (How did she know who I was? I never spoke my name.) I simply thanked her and exited the building. 

Huh. That was a bit weird. I wonder how she knew who I was?

Whenever I have an identity crisis, I always have to take a minute to grasp my reality. My true reality. Beyond my church family and friends, I’m not just Annette. Usually, I’m recognized because of who I am married to or because of whose mother, or grandmother, I am. There are situations when I’m known by my own personal reputation - and not my husbands – but I believe those moments are rare. The reputation I do want to ultimately be known for is in my Christian witness. In my moments of 'fame,' what am I known for? Am I kind? Loving? Patient? Am I different than the world? I hope so, and I hope you are too!

May we each use our fame to bring glory to our Heavenly Father and to help spread the message of God’s love in our communities, our churches and in our own homes. May we each…

“Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.” 1 Peter 2:12 (NLT)


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