Remedy Church Go-Live hit the ground running at MRH High School October 2012. I’ve been in a season of reflecting on our rich “Survivor-like” journey as we approach our 5thanniversary. Lives have been transformed, callings answered, and a deep relational church community built. There have also been devastating disappointments, moments of hard failure, and long stretches of exhaustion filled with tears, pain, and grief. As my ministry leader, and mission-partner, my husband’s steadfastness, raw grit, and transparent faith has kept me grounded through the biggest of these hail storms.

I’m privileged to say he’s always championed the calling of ministry on my life. Not everyone has joined his support of me. The boxes, binds, and expectations that are inadvertently placed on pastor’s wives and church leaders have been the source of most of the difficulties I’ve faced. Dr. Seuss’, “Do You Like My Hat” has nothing on all the different hats I’m expected to wear. Keeping perfect emotional balance, managing sports and homework, dinner on the table during a 40 hour work week, and always a prayer or encouraging word in my back pocket to offer…just to name a few. With binds like these, it’s easy to feel inadequate, lonely, and misunderstood.

After weathering several tough storms, I believe the best antidotes to these binds are to intentionally develop authentic relationships with those around you and be devoted to your identity that can only be rooted and grounded in Christ. These are a great prescription for freedom to be WHO you are and enjoy WHERE you are on the way to where you want to be. After all, if true life-change happens in the context of relationships, that goes for ministry leaders too!

There are not enough words to express our gratitude for the support and true partnership demonstrated by the Southern Missouri District. We expect many more victories before us as we remember, “Let us not be weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9

Jessica and Josh Burton are Lead Pastors of Remedy Church in urban St. Louis along with their two children, Caleb (11) and Destiny (9). The Burtons have been married for 16 years and have pastored in Traverse City, MI and church-planted in Hilo, HI. Jessica has been an ordained minister for over 10 years serving alongside Josh as Worship Leader. She also work as an Innovation Technology Project Manager for Ascension Health.