By Patti Johnson

Patti has been volunteering with Care for Pastors with The Confidante for Pastors’ Wives for 7 years after she and her husband received counsel from Care for Pastors as a way to give back to the ministry. She joined the Care for Pastors staff in January 2020. Patti is one of the administrators of The Confidante Private Facebook group for pastors' wives and is a regular contributor to weekly blogs. She loves to use her gifts and abilities to support the needs of the ministry. Patti has been married to her Pastor husband Keith for 36 years. They have 3 adult children who all to their delight live in Florida.

    Quiet Places

    Monday, April 22, 2024

    “The light of God surrounds me, the love of God enfolds me, the power of God protects me, the presence of God watches over me. Wherever I am, God is.” — written on a prayer card

    This is what I have been thinking on these past months as my days are now quiet. I have recovered from an unexpected surgery, am halfway through chemo treatments, and am treasuring the unexpected moments of quiet.

    Sometimes they come when I am getting weekly bloodwork and I now recognize all the staff that have interacted with me. My quiet moment of thanks that there are people willing to serve those in vulnerable physical conditions. Doing it with skill and grace and kindness. I notice these things when I am quiet. “The power of God protects me.” 

    Sometimes it comes in mid treatment cycle (now I understand the use of cycle, as life as I know it currently plays out in 3-week intervals). The ride home after receiving a treatment, I am in my seat next to my husband as he, once again, has been there for me in this journey. I now know that a bouquet (or two) of fresh flowers will be waiting for me as he has chosen to mark another treatment day, celebrating one step closer to being through it. As I enter another week of side effects, I quietly enjoy the blooms, as I am now in the house sequestered from the outside world for a time.

    A quiet time to rest and reflect on the presence of love and care from both my husband and by God. “The presence of God watches over me.”

    Sometimes it is in the morning as I wake up, or in the last light of the evening as I prepare for a night’s sleep. The world is quiet, the house is quiet, my mind is quiet. I can hear God around me in the quietness of these times. I ponder and prepare for another day to live and reflect on the day I am leaving behind.

    That’s when in the quiet moments I feel “The light of God surrounds me.”

    Ministry life can be and is often lonely. Even surrounded by people and activity, it can be lonely.

    But, as I have discovered afresh, in times of quietly being alone, either physically or in my thoughts, through this simple writing on a prayer card, “Wherever I am…God is…”

    That has made my days thus far seem less scary, less worrisome, less lonely. Read the times in the scriptures when Jesus pulls himself away, or the disciples away to a quiet place. To rest, to restore, to refresh. It is not lonely where God is and “Wherever I am, God is.”

    There will come a time when my time of treatment is over, and I will return to a more active and busy life. But I will take with me the gift of quiet in the midst of it all. Because “Wherever I am …God is” and that is not a lonely place to be.

    Take time now to be quiet in the midst of life and treasure the gift of quiet places that God provides.



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