My heart as a pastor's wife is a normal heart; it's just like yours. Oh, there may be more people crowded in there, but that's to be expected. You see those folks jumped in one by one as they entered the doors of our church. Some came as a result of coming to Christ. What a joy! Some came because they moved into the area. Others came because they were looking for a church that took a stand on the fundamentals on the Word of God. I'm sure some came because they were unhappy with something that happened in their former church. No matter, my husband and I opened our hearts and loved each one. They came into the church doors and entered our heart doors all at the same time.
We've spent more time with some than others. There were family hurts that needed biblical counsel. We cried with them over the trial and difficulties. We rejoiced when things were made right. There were physical issues, like surgeries and long recuperation that drew us to others' hospital rooms or homes so that we might pray and encourage with Scripture. We've had sweet fellowship with many - either at church as we worked on projects together, at a restaurant after a service or in our home. We've prayed for revival, for their particular ministry, and their families' needs. Our hearts were knit with theirs. You see, we have a heart, like yours, that loves those that we minister with and for.
A heart for the Church is what the Lord has given me in these 30 some years as a pastor's wife. Though I entered this role scared half to death and unsure of what to do, the Lord has taught me..."Just love people." Those are the words of encouragement He's given time and again when I didn't know what to do for them. However, there's a risk in that. The risk lies in being misunderstood, or of being misjudged. There's the risk of those that we love being misled and turning away from the Church and from us as a couple. Our hearts are at risk, and when folks walk out, it is painful. Some leave without ever coming and talking to us face to face. They "hear something" that is spread. They believe it. They never question it. They're gone - like a tumbleweed in a desert dust storm.
How painful that is. Today that pain led me to the cross (always the best place to take hurts). I was reminded that ALL forsook the Lord when He went to Calvary. We haven't been forsaken by all. Hardly. We have a wonderful group of people that are standing beside us, praying and interceding on our behalf. I am blessed.
This pain runs me to my Savior (always the best person with whom to share hurts). He understands being misjudged. He understands words being twisted. He understands friends forsaking friends. I am loved.
I nestle up close to Him and He reminds me of His steadfast love with the words of this song:
"I'll never forsake you, this pain will not break you,
For I will remake you for unending joy;
My promise is faithful though now it is painful;
No power can trample my covenant love."
Remember your Savior– His grief and His pain,
The lonely affliction, unmerited shame.
Though you had betrayed Him, He died in your place;
The joy set before Him He offers by grace.
Remember Your father– His promise, His love:
So, welcome to my heart today, but before you got here the Lord has been here, comforting and encouraging. I'm okay. I'm really okay... because I'm remembering His promise, His love!
To each of you, near and far, if you're a church member, please take special note to give your pastor and his wife the benefit of the doubt that you would want, if someone were talking about you. Go to your pastor - whoever he is and speak with him before you decide to leave. We don't deserve anything, but why not at least share what's on your heart to make sure it's accurate? They are FAR FROM PERFECT, but your pastor and his wife love you. You entered their hearts when you came. They'd love the chance to speak with you about whatever is on your heart.
A last reminder -
Proverbs 24:17 -
Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth.
With a bandaged, but healing heart,