Frustrations of a Small Town PastorLast year my wife and I entered into the world of being a homeowner. The process of buying a house is pretty intense. The buyer makes an offer and hopefully the seller accepts. Sometimes the seller will counter and ask for a lot more money than the buyer is interested in spending. In our case, we couldn’t have asked for a better situation. We made an offer and it was accepted, almost immediately. Then we began the process of doing all of the paperwork. It was horrid, of course. I’ve never had to sign my name that many times!

Throughout this entire process, I had told my wife that I wanted to keep this whole thing private. Sometimes it’s nice to just enjoy something as a family, you know? So that was our plan… keep the entire thing to ourselves so that we could enjoy it. What an exciting time!

Then it happened.

I was at the grocery store and a person who I have never met before, let alone seen, asked me if I was excited to move into my new house. Then he proceeded to tell me all about the owner and her family and to give me advice on what improvements I should make. Hmmm, so much for privacy! Over the next couple of weeks it became clear that it was a well known fact. Similarly, a month or so later, we had a wedding at my house. A few days later, I found out that our house was the “wedding house.” Apparently news travels fast in a small town!

For the record, I’m not bitter about either of these two stories. They simply highlight a frustration I sometimes I have. You see, I want to be the person who decides who I will share my life with. Sometimes it’s frustrating when I don’t have the freedom to make that decision. In small towns, you’ll often find that everyone wants to be your friend and that the expectations that are placed on your shoulders are simply impossible.

I’m okay with telling people how I’m feeling. Most people understand when you drop a hint too. But every once in awhile you have people that think that your business is their business, as well as everyone else’s. People like that can really drain you, as well as frustrate you. At least it’s frustrating for me.

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