“If you tell Lisa something, are you sure that she will not tell others?” the pastor asked his wife. They were dealing with a tricky church situation that could turn into a huge mess. Gossip needed to be minimized so that the situation could be dealt with privately. “Oh yes, Lisa is a vault.” This pastor’s wife trusted me with her secrets. I was her friend. She knew that I would pray for her and not gossip about her.
I can’t imagine what it is like to be a pastor’s wife. Your husband has a job in full-time ministry and is putting in more than a 40 hour workweek. Yet somehow the wife must also meet the many expectations of the church. She should lead the ladies ministry, graciously entertain church members at home, never show anger or weakness, and serve tirelessly. I’ve heard that is a lonely position, as the wife has few trusted friends in whom to confide when she is struggling.
You see her every Sunday. She comes rushing in, perhaps a little late, and finds her seat near the front row of the church. Her arms are weighed down with stuff: her purse, her Bible and perhaps a diaper bag. She plops her belongings down on the floor and takes a seat, and looks around to smile at everyone. You imagine how wonderful her life must be, to be the wife of the pastor. You make eye contact with her, smile, and nod your head.
Then perhaps your mind wanders a bit. Why wasn’t she at the last women’s outreach? Why is her kid running wild through the sanctuary? Why didn’t she reply to your last email? Isn’t her skirt a little too short for a Sunday morning? Why did she have dinner in a pub and post the picture on Facebook? It’s easy to find a lot of ways to tear her down. She is a pastor’s wife, after all, and you hold her to a very high standard.
Friends, she’s a woman, just like you, with insecurities, worries, wounds and fears. Like you, she has a dishes to wash, bills to pay, kids to shuttle, and calls to return. She also carries the burden of the church along with her husband. She often has dinner alone. This woman needs help and support, not judgment and isolation. You can be the source of help and support. Yes, you.
This is a guest post by someone who has known me since I was 18 years old…Kimberly Potter, a friend from college and a CelebratingWeakness.com reader. Her story is heart-wrenching but also full of hope. It is a privilege to share Kimberly’s guest post with you today.
The journey for me to become pregnant was long, involved, and costly on many levels. However, when my husband and I learned I was pregnant, it was all worth it. While over the moon happy about finally becoming a mother, we went in for the 18 week ultrasound to learn we were expecting a son. Only moments after seeing his little feet and hands for the first time and hearing his heartbeat, the doctor informed us it was highly likely our son would have a rare genetic disorder we had never heard of, tuberous sclerosis (TS). TS can impact people differently, ranging from minor skin adhesions to significant developmental delays and seizures.
We prayed for our then unnamed son, prayed that he would not have the condition, prayed he would be spared, prayed he would be healed. I believed God could do all of this. I also cried out to God. Really? After all of this? Why?