If you are like me, a Pastors wife who has tried to look for encouragement online from other Pastor’s wives, it can be few and far between. It can be a bit depressing by the time you are done with your search unless you run upon a blog like “I Sleep with The Pastor” from Jessica who keeps it real but encourages us to continue in the faith. (Love the Name! I need the T shirt!)
Ministry can be tough, it can place a big shiny target on our backs as well as place us on the front line so to speak. Being exposed to all of the heartaches, tragedies, disappointments, sicknesses, as well as the issues that people deal with over a period of time, can leave us with little to see that is positive. And did I forget to mention all of the opinions that somehow seem to surface while you and your husband are just trying to take care of that which God has given? I must say being exposed to a lot of those things has the potential to leave us empty and just plum wore out with a little bit of bitterness to spare.
I never knew that I would end up being a Pastors wife, so it was never something I strived for. It makes me chuckle to think that if someone would have told me that over 10 years ago that I would be here, I would not have believed it simply because we were just busy doing whatever was in front of us to do at the time. What an honor it is serving God in this way but at the same time it can be one of lives biggest challenges. Of course marriage and parenting can have the same kind of challenges as well. Keeping our eyes on the purpose can be an exercise that leaves plenty of room for dependence on God’s ability and strength, which is this not where we are to be anyway?
After almost 22 years in some form of ministry and the last 10 being the wife of a lead pastor, I am learning to accept the things that happen in ministry or life a little more gracefully. Ecclesiastes 3 says, “There is a time for everything”. People change and so do the circumstances of life and we are not exempt from change ourselves either. In saying that, one thing that can remain through time is a committed heart to God and to the assignment He has for each one of our lives. God is faithful to bless the work of our hands and He sees all that we do to help support our husbands in what they do. What an important and honorable role we as Pastor’s wives have. It is quite humbling for me to say the least because I am just Jennifer, very ordinary, one who needs an extra ordinary God to help me with life.
If I could say anything, I would like to encourage you to remain faithful to what is front of you today, at this moment in life. I once heard a minister say that how you leave is how you enter. If where you are at is not where you want to be, be determined to dedicate each hard day to being thankful and faithful in trusting God to lead you with where you are at this time, at this very hour. This leaves room for God to open the doors that He wants opened and for the character to be built in you that you need for the next place He has for you. Luke 9:62 talks about “Putting our hand to the plow and not looking back”. This scripture makes me think that today’s work takes enough energy and motivation of its own without the worry about what is behind us or in front of us. God provided the Israelites with just enough manna for the day at hand and it could not be carried over to the next. Looking back or being consumed with the future can distract, hinder, or keep what is ahead from happening, it keeps us from being ﬁt enough to do the work He has for us. I have seen ﬁrst hand, how in my struggle to remain where I was at different times in everyday life or ministry, God has been able to refresh, strengthen and keep me as well as open the doors that only He could as I would surrender it to Him once again.
xo Jennifer Davis (Cookeville, TN)
(Thanks Jennifer, for that amazing encouragement. You can find her husband, Bobby Davis' new book, Saved But Still Enslaved here. I highly recommend reading it, and letting it breathe hope, encourage, and break strongholds you may have in your life.)