Earlier this week I had a chance to talk to a pastor's wife who is more experienced than I. Her husband has retired now and she has the long view of the challenges they faced together during a career in ministry. I asked her, in particular, what to do when I feel like my husband is being tortured. I feel so powerless, so hurt because he is hurt. She told me about times she'd felt the same way. She affirmed that there is nothing for me to *do* about it - no political action to take, no intervention I should stage. She encouraged me to pray for my husband, for peace and some comfort.
I pray for him, for all of us, though certainly not as much as I could. Praying is painful. It reminds me that God is faithful to His promises and it reminds me that right now He seems to be absent from this situation. I try to keep this misery tucked in a box, and talking or praying about it requires opening the box and walking around in it.
Talking with another woman who has gone through similar things was so comforting. I felt like she understood me and cares for me. I was happy, lighter when we parted; three hours later I was on my couch, immobilized. The dull ache of my soul had turned into an acute pain that I could not handle.