I posted this on my personal blog a couple of weeks ago. I debated whether to post it here or not, because it feels so…well… personal. However, ever since I shared with you why I write, I felt like I was cheating by not sharing here too, and being real. So today, you get to see into a very vulnerable place, because this is part of my brokenness.
As much as I share about brokenness, there are some broken places I don’t write about. Mainly because I don’t know where to draw the line when it comes to writing or sharing about ministry. When your husband is a pastor, church is a big part of your life.
Church has been hard. Really hard. Maybe it is the difference between being the associate pastor to being the senior pastor, I really don’t know. But I do know that it has been hard.
This summer, I was ready to walk out. Not just out of the church, but I was done with ministry for good.
We were in the pits of discouragement.
Andy and I attended a pastor’s retreat at that time, and I don’t know where I would be in my heart if it had not been for that time spent away and resting before the Lord.
In a small church, you end up doing all the jobs, and you also end up getting all the heat (for the things you do or the things you don’t do).
Oh some things have been good, exciting even! Some new people have come and our church is now hosting a clothing give away once a month that I really love to be a part of. Yet, the ministry here has been hard and incredibly lonely.
And this is where I struggle to share more, because it is still so hard and so lonely.
Emotional distress has a way of affecting your physical health too. I’ve always had anxiety issues. I even joked about being hypochondriac, but these issues became very real for me. Almost a year ago, after another night of sleeplessness and realizing I could no longer function, I told my husband I was making an appointment and going to the doctor to get some meds. I have always been one to encourage women who need help to deal with depression or anxiety to do what they need to do to get rid of the veil that blinds them and keeps them from enjoying life. It was incredibly difficult to look at myself and realize that I needed help too. It was humbling to “trade places” and be in the receiving end.
It is especially hard when you see your child being so susceptible to your emotional issues that you begin to see some of those (in a smaller scale) in them too. What a wakeup call!
Although I did not take meds for long, I found some other supplements that worked well to keep my anxiety manageable. I have changed my diet and I take a lot of supplements because my issues are also related to some significant deficiencies in my body. Adrenal fatigue and hormonal imbalance do a lot to your brain’s chemistry that prevent those neurotransmitters from firing properly. Of course there are spiritual issues going on too.
It has been a slow progress, and writing this makes me feel like a failure and a whiner. But it is the truth, and it is part of my brokenness.
I also know that I have been doing this in my own strength, keeping God at arms length. Recently, I have been convicted about my prayerlessness, and the fact that if I read my Bible 10 times last year I might be pushing it. Yes, I am the pastor’s wife whose Bible gathered dust throughout 2012. Because for some reason some people expect a pastor’s wife to be more spiritual than your average woman. I am not, I am so broken. And this year I have done a lot of asking Him, “Are you in this? Do you care? Why did you bring us here?”
But I know God is not done with me yet, He is not done with this little church either. He has not promised that things will get better, and I am not planning on that either, but He has promised to be with us. So this year, I am clinging on tight. This year, I am getting down on my knees because I desperately need Him.
My eyes will focus on Jesus because I know it is still going to be hard, but doing it on my own was no good. I just need Him.
Whatever His plan and purpose is, He has us here now. And even if there is a storm, His mighty hands hold me tight.
We have had some conversations on the church front, and we are beginning to feel encouraged. However, if you think about us, will you pray?
I am not sure how much I will be talking about issues of anxiety, but I might start talking about this more. I think we need to talk about this, encourage one another, and remind each other that we are not alone.