I haven’t posted in several days. I’ve been…[sigh]…just thinking, I guess. I try to keep things real here on the blog, but at the same time, it’s difficult to share my heart only to be rebuffed in the comments section by those who are “holier than thou”. Rather than face the criticism disguised as encouragement, I’ve just been silent. And sometimes, that is the best thing. God’s Word tells us that “in a multitude of words, there wanteth not sin.” (Proverbs 10:19) And, it’s a good thing that I kept silent. As I’ve meditated on things, prayed, studied and meditated some more, I’ve found the encouragement I needed. Have I “arrived”? No. Am I still struggling? A bit. Yes. But is there hope? Most definitely.
The last several days I’ve been considering the role of the pastor’s wife, since I am one and all. I’m sure there are a multitude of pastor’s wives out there that have been at it longer, who are more talented, smarter, and perhaps even a few who resemble Mary Poppins – “Practically perfect in every way.” I am not that kind of woman. I’ve heard people say, “I’m just weary in well doing.” But, I think I’m just weary in doing…I don’t know if I’m actually doing “well” or not. I feel it would be prideful to say I’m doing well. Only God can bless these feeble hands, this lisping tongue and this addled mind to make something wonderful come from any of my efforts.
During this time that I’ve felt down and out, used up and put up, I remembered what Bro. Bobby Roberson told my husband and me in a conversation over a year ago. He said that young pastor’s wives often talk to his wife when they’re feeling upset and discouraged by the ministry. Her advice? “Go home and make your children some lunch.” Her point? Only be concerned over that which you have the power to change. I cannot pastor the church, nor should I want to. I cannot carry everyone’s burden around on my back; I must leave those burdens at the feet of Jesus in prayer and move on, doing what I can, where I am.
So, I’m working on this. When Satan comes to me and says “You two are doing a horrible job leading and helping God’s people. Why don’t you tell your husband to go out and get a real job, where at least one person might like him?” First of all, I know at least one person out there likes him, so that’s a lie from the Devil. Then I pray, “Lord, it’s not within our power to change hearts or minds. Please help my husband as he carries this tremendous load.” Then, I think about reading to my children.I get a book and I read to them. I move on. I get busy.
I read a while back that “Comparison is the death of contentment.” I’m learning more each day how true that statement is! I’m usually only sad or unhappy when I’m looking over the fence at someone else’s lush lawn. (Which has weeds of its own, were I to examine it closely.) However, when I focus on my life, and my many blessings, I can’t help but feel unworthy and very contented.
The keys for me seem to be thus:
1. Stay busy.
2. Don’t compare.
Of course, Bible reading, prayer and church attendance go without saying. But when I can’t read the Bible or attend church, (I can always pray) I use these other tools during the day when my mind can easily wonder to discouraging thoughts.
If I can faithfully do these two little things, I can keep going, even when I’m weary. I can go for as long as the Lord leaves me here if I will stay busy and not compare.
As I read back over what I’ve just written, it seems so easy. But it’s a daily struggle, to keep doing these two little things.