I’ve been quiet for awhile. Life has a way of winding and unwinding itself.
I wrote this a month back. I decided to post this because this situation is too common! It’s a story repeated over and over in the church. If you are in ministry, be careful. If you are a church member, be loving. Satan is alive and well and destroying the visible representation of Christ, The Church, from the inside out.
We have been in full-time ministry for almost 20 years. Without warning, after 11 years the Board reacted to financial problems by voting to release my husband as Sr. Pastor. No discussion, no notice, no prayer or seeking God’s wisdom, of which we were a part. Thankfully one elder suggested they move the weekly prayer time to someone’s home to tell my husband the news. Otherwise, he would have been given his notice at the local Starbucks.
Here’s the thing. It’s been
three four months. In that time we have received letters and texts and phone calls that range from “we are so sorry” , “we don’t understand what happened” to “when are you going to get over your pity party?”. A three page letter came in the mail using personal information about my husband to justify him being let go and at the same time suggest that we had had some type of obligation to the new Sr. Pastor. (Whose wife, btw, was on the group that voted to oust my husband.) A group of ladies went to a Women’s Conference, Leading and Loving It, right after this all went down. They used the spot that I had paid for and took someone else. They could not understand why I didn’t want to go with them. They somehow feel justified in their own minds that because of our seemingly unchristian like response, we are at fault. (Our response being that we need to distance ourselves and move on with what God has for our lives)
If you are a pastor’s wife There is no figuring this stuff out. Only God knows. Take care of yourself emotionally, physically and spiritually. Don’t let ministry be the first priority of your family. It’s insidious how we think just one more event, bible study or dinner won’t make a difference and that we can handle it. That one more thing you think you should do really won’t matter in the end.
What matters is telling yourself that You are enough, just as you are, to God, your husband, and your family. God is not depending on you to do more than your mind, body and soul can withstand. Rest, still your soul, hug your kids, plan a date night, read a book, create something, talk to an old friend. Take time to remember the person that you are and that God is your biggest fan. He loves you. A.Men! Preaching to myself!
February 28, 2015 at 3:16 pm
Dottie, both you & Steve played a crucial role in preparing me & Susan to lead small groups. Years later, we could have both been very hurt by a situation in a small group in another church. We remembered what you taught us about being “facilitators” and not leaders. God eventually used that small group issue to teach us more about His love, grace and forgiveness. Thank you for pouring into our lives and for being honest. We love you guys, Danny & Susan
February 28, 2015 at 3:25 pm
Thank you so much Danny. Your words are healing. We love you and Susan!
February 28, 2015 at 3:33 pm
Dottie , you are awesome and I miss you very much. I love you and Steve both and you mean so much to me.
February 28, 2015 at 3:50 pm
Thanks Wendy, I miss you too. You are a dear friend. I hope that you are staying healthy and close to God. Dottie
March 2, 2015 at 7:01 pm
Dottie, I feel so sorry for your situation. The church is the one of the few places that we “shoot the wounded” I realize that being a pastor and especially a pastor’s wife can be a lonely place, sometimes. I hope the love of Christ will help fill some of the grief, emptiness and bewilderment you both must feel. I feel so bad that you were blind-sided, so to speak. I will pray that God uplifts your spirit and helps you to see a brighter day. I am praying God’s best for you. I wish I could be with you two to pray and support you, but alas, must do it from afar. Rest assured that I will pray much for you two. If there is anything that I can do, really, please don’t hesitate to ask.