Pastors’ wives and depression is a
reality for many women married to senior pastors.
“I just feel so forgotten and alone.“
My heart sank as I listened to my dear, dear friend share how “down” she felt. She shared how she just felt empty inside. “Teri, I just give and give while people take and take.”
She was not clinically depressed or anything. She was just down.
On the other end of the phone call, I felt tears stinging my eyes…itching to roll down my cheeks. I love my friend so much. We have wonderful history and we have known one another through many dress sizes, lots of kids and a thousand hair colors. Although hundreds of miles separate us, no matter how long it has been since we’ve chatted, we always pick up right where we left off. It’s as though no time has passed at all. Do you have a friend like that?
Well, I sighed as she shared her personal struggle. I wanted to help, but honestly, I didn’t know what to say.
My human side wanted to say, “Girl! You live in one of the most beautiful parts of the country and you have a wonderful home, a loving husband, an amazing ministry and great children.” But, that is not what she needed to hear and the truth is that is not what I really wanted to say. What I wanted to say is exactly what I said: “I know how you feel. I’ve been there. A lot of pastor’s wives have too. Don’t worry, God has got you”. You’re not forsaken.
Then I asked how her prayer life was. Was it consistent? Was it precious time with just she and God alone in a room … or just alone? Her answer did not surprise me in the least.
I wasn’t surprised because during my most “heavy” spiritual moments there is one common denominator: a neglected prayer life.
When we neglect that time alone with the Lord, our resources (patience, longsuffering, love, hope, etc.) are exhausted – used up. We begin to run on fumes. After a while, an emotional and spiritual crash is inevitable. Not long after the “crash”, we begin pondering, seeking and searching for the cause. The cause is us. We moved from the Lord. He didn’t. We did. Read my GodsyGirl post about just this topic.
Do not neglect your time alone, set aside, all by yourself, concentrating only on Him time.
If my prayer life passes the test, then I simply need to think about how blessed I am. I need to meditate on it; recall it. Usually, there are blessings just happening all around me and I miss them because I’m so focused on what I’m not getting.
The Holy Spirit brings blessings to my memory. That helps me a lot.
For example, he reminds me of my sister at church who spoils our family rotten with yummies and lots of love. Or maybe he reminds me of my technology sister who acts as a pseudo auntie to my little boy and always looks out for him. My mind may go toward my best friend of 22 years. Somehow, He always finds a way to remind me that He loves me.
Think on these types of things when you feel down.
Well, I jumped topics a bit, but you get my point. If you missed it, here is what I’m putting down:
If you’re feeling low
1) assess your prayer life (there is usually a connection your sadness and lack of time with the Lord, and
2) peep out the blessings in your life. Making them part of your awareness.
Remember, you cannot be a good help meet to your husband when you’re running on fumes. Nor can you be an encouragement to the women in your congregation when you’re depressed.
Fill your tank and be grateful for the blessings in your life – thank Him even for the struggle -because God has a plan. Although some days just stink, remember, your best days are ahead of you and no devil in hell can stop it. Hang in there. Amen?
My friend is taking life one day at a time, she’s prayerful and grateful. Plus, she gave me permission to blog about this. This is her wilderness season; mine may be next. Either way, I know we’ll be there for each other as we have for years and she’ll remind me to read the blog post. I will be happy when she does.
Thanks for reading! Share with another pastor’s wife in your world. 🙂
|Sacred Privilege: The Life and Ministry of a Pastor’s Wife – eBook
By Kay Warren / Revell