Wednesday, August 10, 2011

It's Good To Be The Preacher's Wife

Once or twice a year, a group of about twelve pastors from different churches and different denominations in Austin come together for a retreat.

This is unique in and of itself simply because most pastors of different denominations are not always willing to set aside theological differences to work together toward a common goal.  Heck, pastors of the same denomination can have that problem!

But this is a special group of men who have made a conscious decision to work together to make a difference in the city of Austin, Texas.

So anyway, this group of pastors met together on Monday and Tuesday of this week.

This year, they decided to do something a little different and they invited the wives to join them Tuesday night for supper and a time of prayer.

I'll be honest.  My first reaction was not - "Woohoo!  Pastors' retreat!  Can't wait to go to that!!"

But it should have been.

Because last night was just what I needed.

Oh, I enjoyed supper.  Anytime I don't have to cook is a reason to get happy.  And the conversation was great.  And getting to know the wives was a treat.

But the prayer time.... wow.

Now, I'll be honest again.  I'm not one who loves to pray out loud in front of people.  Shocking, I know. I'm a little on the shy side when it comes to that and I find it stressful trying to come up with something "good" to pray.

I want you to know that I drove to that retreat feeling better than I felt Monday, but still with a weight on my shoulders.  Well, after spending about an hour in prayer with these pastors and their sweet wives, my soul was totally refreshed and my shoulders were no longer sagging.  I actually felt like I had lost weight!  (It was totally a false feeling as I weighed myself this morning and the number had not changed one tiny bit - a little bit of a letdown, I'm not gonna lie.)

We prayed together as a group and then we broke into couples to do a little more intimate prayer.

Ryan and I found ourselves in a group with the Wilkersons and the Clarks, two sweet couples who just happen to be African-American.

And I have to tell you - those ladies and gentlemen don't just pray.  They PRAY.

I mean, I would totally not have been surprised if the Lord Himself had just shown up in person in that room with us and said, "Bishop Wilkerson and Pastor Clark - I couldn't stand to just listen anymore.  I had to come join your prayer circle right here in the flesh.  So here I am!"

There was such a powerful connection.  And I learned that I want these men and their wives praying for me every single day.

In fact, Bishop Wilkerson said something that I loved.  He said, "Lord, we are going to pray for Lily every day.  We are going to keep praying.  In fact, we are going to annoy you with our prayers for a blessing for that baby girl."

I loved it. I wished I had recorded it.

And while I know that the Lord never really gets annoyed with our continued prayers, I just might annoy the Wilkersons and the Clarks to pray a blessing for me every day.  I have them on speed dial.

And despite all that "good praying", I found myself not the least bit intimidated to pray all by myself in front of them.  Shocking, yet again.

It was a good night, to say the least.  In fact, after it was over, I asked if we could do this again next week.  They thought I was joking.

So why am I sharing this with you?  Because I want to remind you (and myself!) of a couple things:

  • Sometimes, the thing we least want to do is the very thing we most need to do.
  • While support from online friends is wonderful, there is nothing like good old-fashioned real-life supportive people that you can get your hands on.  Talk to someone.
  • Talk to God.  Even if you're mad at Him.  Even if you haven't talked to Him in years.  Even if you don't understand what He's doing.  Even if you don't like one bit of what's going on in your life.  Tell Him.  Don't sugarcoat it, either.  Get it out there so you can move forward.
  • If you talk to God, tell me about it.  If you don't want to leave a comment, email me.  You know how to pray for me - let me pray for you.  Let me help support you and you can help support me - is it a deal?
Have a good Wednesday.


  1. AWESOME! I prayed for you to have a time of refreshing of spirit!! Sounds exciting as well. God is good ALL THE TIME! PTL!

  2. Pray for my brother-law, Charles Bullock, pastor of church up in Burleson, Texas. Found out yesterday he has liver cancer. They don't know if it is primary liver cancer or if the cancer masticized somewhere else and spread to liver. The family is pretty numb right now with the news. Running tests to find out more and seeing an oncology asap as well. Pray for my sister as she has a lot on her plate right now. They will be making a lot of decisions in the next month and I pray for grace and discernment for them as they begin this journey. We are asking for healing.

  3. I needed to say that this morning, I did have that hard talk with God. And yes, I am mad and at him and told him. And im honestly unsure If he cares about it. And one thing I prayed for you that while I know very little about you at all, you do seem to take on well beyond more for your daughter than any other based on what you've shared here. But, I also think this is a tine where it may be easier to fight for while she is so young and is less able to communicate and and may be more adaptable to you than when she starts getting older so I hope you will have that same drive 5, 10, 20 etc years from now assuming God will not do something else like allow a miracle and completely mend your daughter. Thank you for the advice and taking the time for sharing part of your experiences. Its been encouraging to me others are out there.

  4. Oh Anonymous - God does care! I'm so glad you got good and mad and told Him so. If you feel comfortable, I really wish you would email me so we can talk more privately. I would love to hear more of your story if you felt ok sharing it with me.

    And yes, I get totally worn out and I do wonder how long I can keep the pace sometimes. Everyone keeps telling me early intervention is crucial so that's why I push so hard right now.

    I think hearing from people like you is what helps me know one small reason of why I have a child like Lily. If my story is helping others in some way, then I can let go of some of my anger and frustration. Sharing stories with each other is all part of the healing process.

    I just heard a wonderful pastor say this - "What if my MESS is actually my MESSAGE?" I'm willing to allow my mess to be used if it's helping others.

    Thank you for your prayers on my behalf. I will be praying for you, too.

    Please think about emailing me! It's so simple - just click on that little red email button. I would love to hear from you!

  5. Laughing at your comment that you aren't much for praying aloud in a group. Last night, I must have been missing BBC pretty badly, b/c I dreamed I was singing in the choir. Then, you got up from your usual spot about three rows back with a microphone in hand and sang one of the verses of the song we were singing as a SOLO. You even did a really growly, bluesy thing with your voice on one of the phrases as you came up the steps to the stage. I told the kids about the dream at lunch today, and we we had a good laugh. You may have a perfectly lovely voice (I have no idea), but I'm pretty sure you'd rather eat a tube of diaper rash ointment than sing a solo in front of the church. Oh, Lana, we miss y'all. Can you tell?

    I loved the MESSAGE of your message, too, but I had to share this. I hope it tickles you just a little in the middle of your busy, busy day.

  6. Amy - I do not have a perfectly lovely voice. I have a wonderful memory for words of songs (better than the singers in my family, to tell the truth!) so I really wish I could sing well. You are right - I can't think of anything much worse than singing by myself. I guess I'll have to wait for Heaven to sing a solo that sounds good! I miss you!


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