Life as the wife of a Young Pastor – Sheryl-Ann Thomas-Scott’s Story
Imagine being looked upon intently with high expectations and with all your actions scrutinised even by those with whom you have never come in contact? Well, similar to those in positions of authority, a pastor's wife is one such member of society who is held in high regard.
For many, this be would a task all too overwhelming. But there are others much like Sheryl-Ann Thomas-Scott who is living daily in God's Grace, doing the work of the lord and supporting her husband as best as she can.
"I know that there are great expectations of what I should do, wear, say, how I should look, even what my career should be, and not only from members of the church, but just about anybody with whom I share my husband's role. Oftentimes, persons will express disbelief in me being married to a pastor because of my age or may ask if I'm a nurse or teacher because there are members who publicly express that they never knew 'Sis Scott did this or went here because of XYZ'. There are days when I get annoyed by it because I am simply a sinner saved by grace just like anyone else."
NO PLANS FOR A PASTOR
Unlike some who planned who their lifetime partners would be, Thomas-Scott had no idea she would end up marrying a pastor.
"I didn't have anything against pastors' wives, but it never crossed my mind. When Dwayne (husband) and I met in college, my focus was finishing school, going on to graduate school and living in Spain for a year or two. Marriage was the furthest thing from my mind. To be exact, I thought that if I got married, I wouldn't have to think about making such a decision until I was maybe 30. Interestingly, as a teenager, a few friends of mine told me that I would marry a pastor just because of my personality and involvement in the church and after my response, it was never mentioned again. So I guess they 'goat mi'," she said laughing.
Having been married for approximately nine months, the digital marketing specialist leads a hectic life with her added duties as 'First lady'.
"My days can be very hectic, simply due to my job. Working in the media and communications industry is pretty competitive, so my Monday to Fridays can be crazy at times, and sometimes the weekend may come into play as well. Additionally, the activities of the church never stop whereas my 9-to-5 job can be seasonal, there is no downtime with ministry, especially if it is in large district (and active) that we serve. There are always revivals, board meetings, visitation of the sick or hopeless, numerous choir rehearsals, counselling sessions, prayer meetings and the list goes on and on.
LONG DAYS, LATE NIGHTS
She added, "And that can give my husband long days and late nights (Imagine that as a new wife). Don't think that I am always a bystander in ministry. I enjoy music so I sing whenever I get the chance by supporting the Music Ministry in the district, and will assist wherever necessary."
Knowing how crucial the total support for her husband is, Thomas-Scott is living daily with the strength of God and the support of family and friends.
"If I don't support him, he will look elsewhere for support! He is still a social creature as every other individual on this planet. He is flesh and blood like me and you, with such a burden to bear many times. There is pressure from society, especially when his beliefs aren't supported by the majority, and high level of expectation from the church, and many look to him for support during some of their worst life experiences. There is many times he wants a listening ear, someone to bounce ideas off, a prayer partner to pray with and plus he is still a man with all sorts of needs, so my support is not just important: it is essential to his stability in ministry."
She continued, "I am still human trying to live right before God and all mankind. However, I understand it comes with the calling that God has placed on my life because as time goes by, I realise that because of this role, I have been exposed to so much. There are individuals that will come to me for words of encouragement and wisdom, and I am able to share what the Holy Spirit has laid on my heart or even advice based on experience, and if I wasn't in this role, I would never have had this opportunity to do so with ease."
With aspirations to further the work of the church locally and even internationally as a missionary ensuring she can add to the numbers of the kingdom, Thomas-Scott also wishes for to stay prayed up as she journeys on the path god has chosen for her.
"I would just encourage our brothers and sisters to pray for us to grow in grace if they see us stumble. I have a strong support group, though, who really encourage me in ministry, my family, my close friends, and even a group of fellow pastors' wives. And it isn't the case of me against the church and the world. There are numerous fellow church brothers and sisters who have been very supportive of us as a couple, that pray for us and look out for our well-being."