an open letter to pastor’s/elder’s wives and other women of the church…

Hello friend.

It’s hard. Your vocation/calling/obedience has found you in one of the toughest places to be. You are wife, confident, referee, organizer, encourager, scheduler, teacher, counselor…add in daughter, sister, mother, aunt and you have a job that demands much and pays little. There is so very much we can’t talk about… things said in confidence over coffee or in a meeting. We won’t talk about those hard things, raw things, unreal things. They will stay tucked in deep.

Instead, let’s talk about you.

Strange, isn’t it? I’m wondering how many times someone has asked about you. When do you get to talk about yourself… who you are and what makes you tick? How often do you get to share your accomplishments or your struggles? Do you get a chance to share your fears and failures as well as your goals and ambitions? It’s not narcissistic, it’s vital.

I wish we could sit together. I’d pour you a cup of coffee and offer you lots of cream. Or tea with honey, if you’d rather. I would ask you these questions, maybe more, and give you a chance to talk about yourself. I want to know about you. What I’d really ask is this… how are you?

When was the last time someone asked?

You are an amazing woman! Really. You are. Sometimes it’s hard to see yourself through the forest of the church. You get lost in the shuffle of meeting needs and deadlines, budgets and bulletin boards. You willingly give of yourself day in and day out. Have you sometimes wondered if you’ve given yourself away?

It gets overwhelming at times, doesn’t it? Often the very ones you serve are the ones whose tongues cut the deepest. Those who expect you to love with grace and kindness can cut you to your core and not demand the same of themselves. Do you sometimes wonder if they even know?

Then, there are those who bring their drama to your doorstep because they cannot carry it anymore. Do you sometimes wonder how they expect you to carry it?

What about the times that the disgruntled come to you instead of to your husband expecting you to fix an issue that is not yours to mend? Or the friends that leave your congregation without a word and the gossip finds its way back to you?

It might take more than a cup of coffee to find yourself again.

Just don’t stop looking.

I promise you this. You haven’t lost yourself to your church or congregation. You haven’t given yourself away to those who sit in chairs or pews of the building in which you meet. Though it may seem like it in the moment, the moment is bigger than we can see. What is done for Christ has significance seen through eternal eyes.

Look to Jesus. Find yourself there. All that you have given of yourself, you’ve given to Him. He knows and sees it all. He sees you. Even better, He has you safely tucked in the palm of His hand.

We might not get to have coffee and conversation in real life. It sounds like a great plan but I’m not sure it would work out. I probably won’t get to ask you… how are you? I can’t do anything to make it better for you. And, truly, I might forget I’m listening to you and start talking about myself.

But you don’t need me.

You need Him.

The best part? You can pour yourself a cup right now and sit with Him. He’s asking and He wants to know. Tell Him your hard, your hurts. Pour out your fears and failures. Share your dreams and aspirations. Sometimes you simply need Someone to perfectly listen. You don’t have to keep it to yourself any longer.

Take it from a friend who knows

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