Creating a safe space for pastors, pastor's spouses, missionaries, ministers to be prayed for confidentially.Read More
We have been created for
But we are tempted to hide behind walls of "safe" isolation.
An older pastor’s wife once told me to be careful to not share too much of myself with my friends. She told me it was dangerous and that it would leave me vulnerable to attack and hurt. Remembering this conversation makes my heart hurt.
But years later, I see that it is so very easy to build a protective wall from others. We isolate ourselves out of self-preservation. We help and love and serve but refuse that same care from others. How prideful and arrogant our hearts can be!
On the other hand, the safety that is essential for sharing, confession, and friendship isn’t available in every church and situation.
It is no small task to discern what we share about being tired in ministry, working on a struggling marriage, parenting an unruly child, or struggling with a sensitive health problem with those we minister with.
The problem is that we keep moving the boundary of our friendship closer and closer until we are not our true selves with others.
If anything is good and holy is provided by Tree By Water, I want Tree By Water to be a SAFE place, a sanctuary for your soul, and shelter for your heart.
“Once the soul awakens, the search begins and you can never go back. From then on, you are inflamed with a special longing that will never again let you linger in the lowlands of complacency and partial fulfillment. The eternal makes you urgent. You are loath to let compromise or the threat of danger hold you back from striving toward the summit of fulfillment.”
The unfortunate truth is that many times, the pastor’s wife’s callings and God-longings are drowned out in a sea of ministry initiatives and dreams and visions of others. The oftentimes “supporting role” of Pastor’s wife includes so much time and energy encouraging others dreams in the church and carrying out tasks that MUST be done at home (grocery shopping, picking up the kids at basketball practice, paying the family bills, etc.) that there is little room for her dreams.
The voice of those longings gets tired of being ignored, and those longings get stuffed deep, deep inside.
But you can’t fool me! I know they are in there. And I believe with my whole heart that they are worthy of doing the following 1. Speak 2. Be Heard and 3. Nurture and 4. Fulfill.
1. Speak ~ Give it voice
Acknowledge those God-longings that He gave you. There is a significant level of vulnerability in speaking words that mean so much to you. Start with prayer. Speak back to God what you feel He has said to you in the past. Find the quiet place in your heart to lay it once again at His feet.
2. Be Heard ~ Find a friend or spiritual director with a “non-anxious” presence
One of the greatest gifts I have received is time with a spiritual director. Spiritual Direction is a special relationship where one person intentionally listens to another and to God with the purpose of being open to the activity and presence of God. That time and sacred space is a gift that has changed my life, and it is what I am giving my life for through “Tree by Water.”
3. Nurture ~ Give it what it needs to grow
For a dream to grow and thrive, it needs attention, prayer, time, energy, and resources. Ask yourself what you need to learn and develop in this process. For many this step will take years! Years of preparation and prayer for your dream, if done with a heart of surrender, will grow your dream to a place of complete dependence on God.
~ The Action Step
I have found that once the first three steps have been done well, that God will show the way of the “action plan” and the people to join you. Start with brainstorming. Sit with a pad of paper, a cup of tea or coffee, and list out the possibilities. What is the end “goal,” and what are the steps to get you there?
I believe in you!
Ministry Wife, There is a place for you
Travel back in time with me about 10 years. I was burnt out and exhausted and in an emotional place I did not know existed. I was depleted from a colicky baby that grew to be a terribly difficult 1 year old… Out of control behavior ALL OF THE TIME (we later learned she had several food allergies).
I was married to a depressed young pastor who was working way too much. I had graduated from Bible College and Seminary, but had no place to work (who wants to hire both people, and I can’t work at another church, right?). I had very sensitive health problem from our daughter’s birth that severely affected my life. It was so embarrassing I told only my closest friends.
Adam had a great opportunity at a large church, but we had just been terribly and abusively rejected by another church and we were still healing. The move was cross-country and we were in severe culture shock.
We wanted to get “normal” jobs.
We were so alone.
And so I dutifully went to church one night where I gladly dropped our daughter off screaming her guts out in the nursery (and I wasn’t one of those moms that even pretended to feel bad).
And I walked down the hall.
And a woman said, “Ahh, honey. It can’t be that bad.”
And I smiled and ran to the bathroom, sat in a stall, and cried.
And that is one reason “Tree By Water” is here.
You can run here, and cry.
I would love to get a conversation started. Feel Free to Share your story below!