Ministry can be tough and especially for pastors’ wives. As we wives make the changes necessary for new assignments, it can leave us feeling very alone and even depressed at times. I would like to share a blog one of our pastors’ wives, and staff member here at Care for Pastors, recently wrote.
When we first moved to this church 7 1/2 years ago I was not happy. In fact I was straight up depressed. I prayed and prayed for God to help me deal with his plan for our lives. I felt like I was put on display by living in a parsonage, on a very busy road, on the church property. I decided I needed to know if God had placed us here for a lengthy time or a short time, so I would know how to react and mostly so I could somehow settle in to this uncomfortable place.
I went to Wal-Mart and bought a package of sunflower seeds. I went outside and planted the seeds one by one along a chain link fence that runs along the backyard property. I was quite embarrassed to be out there in the open on my hands and knees, planting the seeds in the ground, with tears in my eyes and a prayer in my heart. All while too many cars to count passed by. Many of them honked their horns at me which I so did not like or appreciate. I’m guessing that they were church people. As I planted the seeds I prayed to God and asked Him to give me a sign. It was kind of like putting my fleece out. I asked Him to not let the sunflowers come up if our time here was short. I also asked Him to let them grow without me tending to them or watering them if it was His will to keep us here for a while. I kept watch out the kitchen window.
Weeks later I saw little signs of growth from the ground. I wasn’t sure if it was the sunflowers or not. I was kind of hoping my husband would whack them with the weed eater. He didn’t know what I had done. Nearly every day I would tilt my head towards the fence line to look and see if there was any sign of yellow. Before long I did see bright yellow, beautiful sunflowers (much to my dismay). This was the one time I was not happy about flowers springing up. But they were growing just as I had prayed they would if we were to settle in here. I must admit- I didn’t want them to come up. I didn’t want to call this Home. But I knew in my heart that I needed to settle in and trust God. Not only was transitioning to a new place with new people hard on me it was just as hard on my kids. All of our lives we had lived down a dirt road, in a nice house, on at least 5 acres, usually of our choosing, but here- I would’ve never picked this house or the location. It took all I could do to survive those first few months. Because I was not happy, nor the kids, needless to say, neither was Pastor Hubby. And here we are (still), seven and 1/2 years later, same house, same church, and the road has grown even busier.
This past Spring, for some odd reason, I bought another pack of sunflower seeds. I just laughed at the thought of my past prayers and the planting of those seeds many years ago. I didn’t think much of it as I planted the sunflower seeds around the fence in the backyard this time. I will say I thank the Lord we now have a privacy fence around the backyard. Can you imagine that many church people didn’t like it? One sweet older lady even said she couldn’t stand not being able to see in the backyard now. I know many of y’all can relate to that! Anyway, those seeds that I planted- none of them came up. Not one. And here we are at the end of summer and I haven’t even thought about those seeds – not one time. I didn’t pray and ask for a sign this time as I planted them. I didn’t cry out to God or feel the heaviness of heart and like I didn’t belong in this place. Those feelings of despair were all a thing of the past. PTL!
Anyway, guess what? This morning, just shortly ago, I looked out the kitchen window and what do I see? Something yellow by the big tree in the middle of the backyard. I did not plant any sunflower seeds in this particular location. But somehow, someway, God saw fit to make one grow here- bright and yellow, beautiful and strong! Oh, how this blessed my soul! What does this mean? I’m not sure. I know one thing that it means to me- that if you wait on the Lord, be patient with yourself and with others, accept what you’ve been given, and continue fighting the good fight of faith – God will bless you in ways you never imagined! I’m growing. I’ve been growing through these past 7 1/2 years. This sunflower reminds me of that too.
I pray that wherever you are on your ministry journey what Christy shared has blessed you and will be something you can go back to when you are in a tough spot.
We are here to come alongside you in any way we can.