Project: Renewed, Day 1

I am in the middle of schooling my children; cleaning spaces in our house that have been neglected for too long; and making plans for Christmas – along with all the rest of normal life demands. I find my time divided unevenly between all that needs doing and what I choose to do… so I’m still working on boundaries in all areas of my life.

I have begun a devotional book that takes 40 days to complete. A sweet fellow pastor’s wife sent me a copy of Leigh Powers’ book, “Renewed: A 40 day devotional for healing from church hurt and for loving well in ministry”. Perfect.

The first section is on Lament.

I almost want to skip it to get to the 3rd week. I have too much experience with lamenting. The griefs of the past and the work that I have had to do and obviously, still need to do, tires me out just thinking about it.

But grieving is necessary.

And with our current church challenges, I have to acknowledge the pain before I can let it go. As Powers states in her introduction to Lament, “Lament does not indicate a lack of faith; it demonstrates that we take God seriously enough to grapple with the disconnect between what we believe about God and the pain of our experience. Grief and pain are a part of ministry. Lament helps us move from sorrow to hope.” (pg3.)

Accepting the anger stage of grieving, being frustrated with the current state of events and especially at the people who are responsible, that acceptance can only happen when we are honest with ourselves. Strong hearts admit they are facing hardship. Strong hearts overcome hurdles of fear, weakness, too-hard steep climbs where they plod along, one foot after another, slowly making their way heavenward.

When you are angry at God, the worst thing you can do is hide it. Like water on rock, anger has a way of wearing us down and seeping through the weak places. The solution is not to hide our anger but to let it be healed in him. We can’t adquately cope with our anger until we admit the anger is there.” (pg6,7)

In my past, holding onto anger has led me into valleys of depression.

I don’t want to head down that path right now. For the past few months, I have felt anxiety diminishing a tiny bit at a time, and have felt depression dissipate. I was feeling so strong, and even though I am feeling worn, I am not giving up. I am walking on. Walking up.

Confessions of a Pastor’s Wife: Admitting I need help is not weakness that negates God being able to use me or work in and through me. Admitting I am angry, sad, disappointed, frustrated, and wishing my path was smoother and lined with nicer people, or even wanting God to fight for me – is honest and true. To pretend anything else is false and will be used against me. If I want healing and hope and help, I have to admit my current state of helplessness and need.

Not everyone can sit with me in the dust and ashes.

That’s okay.

God is.

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