This last month, I’ve been reading through the book The Church Planting Wife, Help and Hope for Her Heart. Two chapters in and I’m looking in a mirror of my experiences and struggles. It’s refreshing to hear that those who have gone before have had similar feelings.
Chapter 1 speaks of the the difficulty and the rewards of church planting. I identified with the mental games and spiritual warfare that can be brutal and I’ve often asked myself; If I’m called, why the deep valleys of depression? I’m reminded: He knows. He cares.
In chapter 2, the author talks about finding place and purpose as a church planters wife. The need to KNOW what to do, what the roles are for a pastor’s wife, can take over all sanity and clear thinking. My book is all marked up in this section, here are some of the notes I’ve written in the margins:
“The search for purpose and practical is never ending. Doing replaces trusting. Being sure of the call is one thing, micro-managing God is another.”
“You cannot live or give what you don’t have. There is no faking it. Eventually, you’ll need substance. When our lives are genuine, then we have all we need.”
On the topic of letting Christ define my priorities:
“I have standards and goals I want to live up to, I also have opportunities I don’t want to pass up. Knowing the balance in these, knowing just what God has for me to do is hard to navigate.”
“Choosing to live in ravenous conditions when there is a feast at our reach is foolish and prideful.”
The valleys of discouragement, the emotional and spiritual exhaustion were all topics I identified with well. This past year has been a whirlwind of trial and heart wrenching decision making and difficulty. These weren’t all brought on by church planting, but they were all in the hand and direction of God. I know He’s taught me much this last 9 months and while I haven’t birthed a baby in that season, He’s birthed a new perspective; a different view of life. I’ve seen deep things and been through difficult experiences that I know will be used all my days. This season has been hard, but for my good.
The one, overarching theme I pulled from these two chapters was the call to love. To love my God, my family, and the church body. This has been a prayer of mine and reading it here has cemented the idea in my heart. My goal, my desire and my top pursuit in the church has to be loving the body. I wish I could say this comes naturally to me, but it doesn’t and so it will continue to be my focus before the Lord.