Friday, October 17, 2008

"I Used to Be"

A few years ago I went to visit a pastor’s wife who was in jail….she eventually went to trial for murdering her pastor-husband. I did not want to go see her….God made me go!! I had a burning in my heart for her. Why was life so terrible for her? Did she want “out” of the whole minister’s wife role so desperately?

While I was there, another lady came in to see the same woman. Why was she there, I wondered? I looked deep into her eyes and asked “Are you a pastor’s wife?” She said, “I used to be”. God had compelled both of us to drive from two different parts of the state to go and see this minister’s wife. Why? Because we know what it is like to be a minister’s wife? Because we know that it can be challenging?

Before we left the jail that day, my new friend and I sat down and she began to share with me her story of abuse and pain and betrayal at the hand of her minister husband, and then, eventually, death.

A few months later I received a phone call from another woman that I had never met, who through tears and torment, began to share with me her devastating story. She was divorced from her minister husband….but no one at the church knew they were divorced...they were still living together. She was having an affair with a man from another state….and her minister husband not only approved of it, but encouraged it. Ladies, I am just touching the tip of the iceberg of her story of sin and destruction and pain.

We must realize that not all minister’s families have these perfect, Godly marriages and homes. Not all homes are wrapped up and tied with the perfect matching ribbon. That underneath the wrappings and ribbons, there is much pain and hurt and sin in our homes. We carefully, meticulously put on our happy faces and make sure the church thinks that all is well….when all is not well!!

I could share with you many other stories of adultery, thievery, pride, divorce, homosexuality, etc....all going on in the minister’s family. And I am sure you can too. Am I talking to you? Are you suffering? How can we help you? How can I help you?

Many of you “used to be” a minister’s wife. You have experienced the pain of divorce or the ache of death or the challenge of retirement or the confusion and fear of changing careers. Many of us who are now minister’s wives might one day say I “used to be” a minister’s wife.

Ladies, if we are not careful, our identity and worth can be wrapped up in what we do or who our children are or being married to a minister. I exhort you, sister, do NOT get caught in that trap. You are a precious, beloved, gifted woman….created for a purpose to bring glory to God. And praise Him….once we are His we will NEVER be able to say “I used to be His!!!"

Father, I pray for my sister who is suffering now. Who desperately needs help. I ask that You would provide her with Godly council. I pray for her husband and their marriage. That they would repent of their sin, that they enemy would be defeated and that restoration would come. Bring them to You....anoint them with Your power and forgiveness and strength. I also pray for Shari and any others who are searching for a Church to serve You and be served. Lead them, Lord. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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