Monday, September 6, 2010

Experimental Honesty

The last time my husband took a call, our three children were between 6 months and 3 yrs. old. We were in the midwest and it was the middle of winter. I didn't get out too much.

I assumed that people in our new church would understand that managing my little gang was a full-time task and it would take me a while to get to know them. We went to worship on Sunday morning and tried to stay for some of the fellowship time, but it was intimidating to be in a crowd of people I didn't know while my children wandered off.

I fretted about the tension between parenting and being involved in church as I thought a pastor's wife *should*. Once or twice my husband told me that some people seemed confused about why they never saw me. SERIOUSLY? It doesn't take much creativity to imagine that a new community, a bunch of little kids, and a husband with a new job = all I can take.

Now, my husband has taken a new call once again and I am in a compromised position once again. This time it's cancer treatment, and it seems like everyone would know because they've been praying for me all summer and are bringing me meals every couple of weeks. But I have learned not to assume. So I wrote this for the church newsletter:

Dear [church] friends,

What a blessing it is for us to be here with you! You have shown us such kindness and care. I am thankful for you.

Thank you especially for your prayers, concern and thoughtfulness for me during my cancer treatment. I have finished 3 of 12 bi-weekly chemotherapy treatments. On the weeks that I have treatment I tend to feel very tired. On those Sundays I love to be in worship but may not have the energy to visit much. Your prayers and patience during these months are a generous gift.

With praise to God for His ministry here,


Nobody has said anything to me about it, and I don't really expect that they will. I feel more at ease just knowing I've made an effort to let them know. It's awkward to tell a couple hundred people I just met about a part of my life that makes me feel so compromised, so distant from the self I know. I've tried fear and anxiety with a congregation and that turned out badly, so this time I'll try trust and see how things go.

1 comment:

  1. First - 25% done!!! That's worth celebrating!!!

    I know I've shared some before about the awful situation we were in the last time. I had a feeling things would be different here, but I told people when we were first visiting (after my husband accepted the call) that I wasn't going to be throwing myself headlong into everything here right away. I admitted up front that I was quite guarded over the last few church experiences we as a family and I personally as a pastor's wife have gone through. And they were very respectful of that. And now I'm involved again because I'm a member that wants to be - not because I'm a pastor's wife that's "supposed" to be. I hope the same will be true for you.


Thanks for using this space to share your encouraging words.