At the end of a long day and a long ministry week, a Texas pastor's wife finished dinner with her family and hopped in her truck heading to Walmart. The florescent lights, smiley-faced price-cuts, and kind front door greeters of that Walmart were the last to see her that Friday night. She disappeared. Two days later, she was found in a motel in Fort Worth.
Her husband issued the following statement after the return of his wife: “My wife became overwhelmed from the pressures we carry for so many. This was my failing for paying so much attention to the needs of others and not noticing the signals in my own home.”
And our hearts were broken for her. Broken because we, too, had been overwhelmed by the expectations of many, and criticism had worn us paper thin. Broken because loneliness had gnawed away at us, and because we were weary of every-watchful eyes. Broken because, while we had never hopped in the truck, we had certainly had plenty of moments in our years of ministry that some time of escape had sounded like a great option. Broken.
Being a pastor’s wife or a woman in leadership is a privilege and honor. But let’s be honest for a moment, there are so many challenges that can suck the joy right out of our ministry calling. So many difficulties that, if we don’t learn how to navigate them well, they will make us want to hop in the truck and escape.
Over the next ten days, we are going to look at some of the joy stealers we face when we are in ministry. We will have daily action steps that will move us closer to the joy God holds out for us in this calling and move us further from those trucks that tempt us to jump on in and escape.
Before you get in the truck: Evaluate where you are right now. Are you lacking joy? Are you on the verge of a breakdown? Ask God to breathe new life into your soul as you take this journey with us.