Some thoughts are too personal to profess; some fears too frightening to express. If spoken aloud, all of a sudden the innermost part – exposed. The hopes or disappointments seem all the more intimate and the fears loom larger than life once released from deep down inside. It takes a special person, a profoundly trustworthy soul, to hear the depths of my heart. I'm blessed when I discover such a friend that can handle the bare, ugly truth of my humanity and love me in spite of myself and all the baggage.
It's tough sometimes being the preacher's wife. We are busy listening and loving on everybody else and forget to tend to our own temples and tents. Fielding phone calls, praying for the saints, hostess to any and all who drop in and right-hand gal to the shepherd who pastors a flock, who often turns to the shepherdess as often as they turn to the shepherd. Truly, I do not begrudge any of it. I'm a born rescuer and problem solver. I count it a holy honor to stand in the gap as prayer warrior. I love entertaining and hospitality is my middle name! I love caring for people.
Frankly, it's not just being a pastor's wife. It's just life! I'm the radar for all things lost within and without my humble abode. From within the refrigerator to the file cabinet, barn lot, backseat of the car or bed of a pick up truck, I'm supposed to know where every jot and tittle is kept. And at a moment's notice. No matter how long my day or how hard I work, it is not over until the family is fed and the dishes and laundry stowed and my deadlines are met.
I'm called upon to be herdsman, landscape artist, vet, physician, accountant, chef and spell checker all rolled into one. I open gates and roll bale rings, haul buckets of feed and pull up fence posts. So tell me, where is my unpaid hired hand when it's time to fry a hamburger, mop the floor or do the dishes? When it's all said and done, it's not even actually the physical labor that exhausts me as much as the mental wear and tear of not having the time to deal with things on my mind. It's the negative press and worldly nonsense. It's my own aches and pains or the disconcerting word of a friend who's critically sick.
The breaking point of accumulated weariness causes me to long for someone who'll share my overload by simply letting me vent. And not judge me for it. One who has walked this same road. A person who can take it with a grain of grace when I spew and spill it all over her. Unfortunately, I fail miserably at calling on others when I'm the one in need of encouragement or help. When I'm feeling defeated or weak in my walk, when I'm weary of just about every little thing that trickles down the stream of my life, I confess, I'm lousy at seeking solace from someone else.
I stash it down, deal with it by grit and determination. I ignore it or dwell on it. I ponder it, pray about it, even deny it. But over the course of time, I find the same cycle revolving full circle. I can't take IT anymore! I feel isolated and worn to a frazzle. I feel misunderstood and taken for granted. And I need someone to just hear my heart and tolerate my hurt and fill my head with positive words. I need a faithful friend.
The Lord has given me a select few over the years, with whom I can be real. One most recently pulled the pressures from me until I felt a sweet release. She patiently listened to whining in the midst of justified worry. She sorted through my sinful contributions and acknowledged the areas I was managing properly. My friend heard my heart, felt my fears, tempered my anger and subdued my anxiety over things only God could handle.
Most importantly: she prayed for me and pointed me to Christ. Yep, the preacher's wife needs shepherding too. I'm thankful for the comfort of such a confidant and count her among God's greatest blessings in my life. Why do I wait so long to be transparent when the love of a godly friend is one of the Lord's most kind and incredible ways He has of reaching into our lives and showing us we never walk alone.
“The purposes of a man's heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.” (Proverbs 20:5)
copyright 2012 - The Word's Out-Brenda Black