Being a pastor’s wife is not for the faint of heart.
While it is a wonderful calling that brings me much joy, the responsibilities of it are downright sobering.
Take this week, for instance.
In the space of three days, I was involved in three separate counseling sessions involving serious challenges in marriages. As Steve and I were heading into the third session last night I said to him, “You know, it’s really a huge responsibility to be counseling a married couple. There is so much at stake— two people who are hurting, their children, the whole future of a marriage.
Steve’s and my words have to be weighed so carefully, we have to think hard and pray harder and hope that something we say sheds light on dark places.
And the responsibilities of ministry don’t end with marriage counseling.
Very early this morning we got word that the husband of a long time church member passed away. Billy Brown was a NC History teacher in Manteo for many years and was also an artist and an author; he was well-known, well-admired and well-loved.
In a couple of minutes, Steve and I will go to visit Billy’s new widow, our sweet friend, Linda. Then we will spend the next several days fulfilling our roles as comforters and as tender shepherds to hurting sheep. I consider this to be one of the greatest honors of ministry—being invited into people’s pain and, along with Steve, getting the chance to pour out our prayers, our hugs, and our tears.
And I love what I do. It is an incredible privilege.
But it is sobering. And sometimes it’s scary. And often, I don’t know what to say, don’t know what to pray, don’t know what to do. Sometimes the problems seem too big, and the heartache seems too overwhelming, and my words seem so small in the face of it all.
It seems that I come to the end of myself and my own resources pretty often. And when my wisdom and my words run out, that’s when God’s wisdom and words come through. That is when I see the light of understanding come on behind eyes that were once clouded and confused. When I pray for someone, even out of my own lack of words, I find that I can hear God’s heart coming through my prayers.
And I am comforted to remember that it’s not all about me, it’s not all about Steve—we don’t need to have all the answers. We are here as conduits of God’s grace and God’s healing.
So this morning, I sit in my peaceful place and look ahead to the challenges of the coming days as we help a family lay a beloved member to rest.
I look back at the past few days and pray for those couples who just needed someone to listen to their worries, their hurts, and their questions.
And I look up to my Source of peace and my Source of wisdom.
I’m so thankful I get to be a pastor’s wife. And I’m even more thankful I don’t have to do it on my own.