FINALLY, THIS NEEDS TO BE SAID
This is the first time I have written about this publicly. When I was a talk show host, I addressed it on-air but never in writing. But, I saw a post on Facebook this week and that post has prompted this piece:
It has been almost thirteen years since I became a widow. Prior to that I was a pastor’s wife, very much involved in the ministry and very much connected, because of the ministry, to other ministries and ministry families. Who knew that once my husband was gone those circles would disappear as well, that I would become one of the “Whatever happened to?” It took me a minute to adjust to, and realize, that I could be so easily be forgotten, that apparently my identity was so inextricably tied to that of my pastor/ husband I too would be laid to rest in the hearts and minds of the people we both loved and cherished so dearly. It was, and still, is mind boggling how the “saints of God” can so easily walk away from heart connections without a backwards glance. I do not think my experience is unique but those stories are for another time, another post.
Now, lest you think I am feeling sorry for myself, I am not. I know God’s plan for me is still in place. I know I am now connected to people I would never have met had I stayed tethered to the familiar. I have done things I probably would have never done had I not been free to make choices without concern about the opinions of those who knew me when. I am in an assembly where I am known as Donna and am accepted just as I am. You have to have been a pastor’s wife to understand thisblessing.
No, I do not write this post for me but for the wife who has been silenced, erased from the hearts of an assembly because she no longer is accepted or acceptable. I write for the fired pastor’s wife who never expected and still has a hard time grasping that she has been devalued and “demoted” to “the Other.” I write for that woman who gave her all to the support of a ministry as wife and helpmeet and unpaid ministry worker only to be kicked to the curb and marked as persona non grata by the pulpit and pew. I write for that one who never hears from anyone who knew and supposedly loved her “When” but whenever she runs into one of them today they are always “so happy to see you!” I write for that woman who is silent in her grief lest she be marked as bitter. I write for her.
But, no worries. In time, this woman will rediscover her own voice. She will tap into a strength she did not know she had. She will grow and flourish and thrive until the memory of the pain of yesterday will fade and the promise of tomorrow will beckon with bright hope because she is still God’s treasure and He still cares for her.
FOR MY SISTER: Please do not buy into the hype! You still have value! God’s plan for you has not been thwarted! You have not been uprooted. You have been transplanted. He has not revoked salvation because you are no longer called “First Lady.” You have been transplanted to a more fertile soil and the “dung” of yesterday’s trial is the fertilizer for tomorrow’s victory. You are still the apple of God’s eye. Your name us still written on His hand. He has caught your tears in a bottle and will use them to refresh you. God has not forgotten your name or your place!
Trust Him in the dark. He knows the way!