By Christy Watson
I am a Pastor’s wife and an Admin for a Facebook page called The Confidante, a ministry of Care for Pastors. It has over 2,000 Pastors’ wives from all over the country and world. I am seeing firsthand how the ministry family is being affected by the COVID-19 and how they’re struggling to stay connected with their congregation and be there for everyone during this crisis, along with maintaining good family relationships at home.
Here are some of the things that have been posted in our group in the last several weeks and I have gotten permission from them to share, of course without their real name.
“I have been struggling these past several days as the wife of a new and overwhelmed bi-vocational pastor. I have been trying very hard to have a good attitude over the past few months with everything going on. I feel our family, and our marriage slipping down on the list of my husband’s priorities and I’m struggling with that. I admire and support the work he is doing and I am doing my best to be a good helpmate, but I am struggling and growing weary. This feels like such a small prayer request next to the others but I really don’t have anywhere else to talk about these things.”
“I’d appreciate prayer as I need God’s help in balancing priorities….church needs, family needs and responsibilities (especially overseeing the schooling of my children). Also that God will continue to strengthen our marriage during this marathon season of our lives. Pray for my husband and I. Our church has let us go. We have been working hard to work things out but they just wanted us gone and did it last Tuesday while my husband and I were leading and loving our people thru this pandemic. It has hurt our church body because there wasn’t a reason for this to happen right now. Just the board wanted their way and didn’t want my husband to lead. We come from a large church that was thriving and the people are hurting and we are hurting. Thank you ladies who understand and praying!”
“Would you please say a prayer for my husband this morning? He is getting ready to go to the funeral home to do a Facebook live funeral for someone from our congregation, also pray for the family. Most can’t attend due to “ten or less gathering.” Ladies, can we just take a moment and lift up all of our pastor hubbies in prayer?”
“We just got a call that one of the members who has been rushed to the ER in critical condition (Not COVID related) His wife cannot even go with him to the hospital (she could not even ride in the ambulance) hubby was in tears when he told me that he feels helpless and defeated. Please pray, this is so hard for pastors. They cannot even be with members like they need to. When our church has had to cancel in the past, our members don’t give. I’m worried because we don’t know how long to expect to be closed and our house and salary are both based on members giving. I’m due in four weeks and so that just adds more stress to have another baby on the way in the midst of all the unknown.”
“I was just thinking today that our husbands are truly First Responders for the spiritual life of so many. It’s not just the sick. It’s the ones who are anxious and depressed, overwhelmed, lonely, confused. Let’s pray for our pastor/husbands! God promises to provide exactly what they need. We have a member with serious lung issues having emergency surgery tomorrow. His wife cannot be with him. My husband cannot meet either of them. It is tearing our hearts out.”
“We were let go in January and all of this has really slowed down the job hunt. Plus not having community and a church to stay connected with has made it pretty lonely. Our church is refusing to abide by government order and accusing us of not having faith while we made the decision to worship at home. I just feel a bit lost and I’m super tired all the time. I struggle with insomnia normally anyway and I would say I’m not fearful or overly worried, but maybe subconsciously it’s making my insomnia worse? Also feeling a tremendous weight of pressure to be original and creative as pastors, navigating effective ministry methods right now. We are being forcefully pushed into a realm of online church, when neither my husband nor I are at all tech savvy. I’m just exhausted, physically and mentally. Somehow my husband is gone more now than before. So I’m home alone with my 5 and 2-year-old. My anxiety level is through the roof and I can’t sleep.”
As we continue going through the phases of this pandemic let’s pray for our nation, our churches and especially our pastors as they lead.