Question Submitted: As a pastor’s wife, who do you talk to when you are going through your lowest parts of barrenness?
I talk to God. I talk to my husband. I talk to my parents. I talk to my friends (many are fellow pastors’ wives, but some are not). I talk to other barren women.
Sometimes, because of the nature of what I’ve chosen to do with my free time, I talk to hundreds of women from behind a podium. Grief is obstinate that way. It doesn’t stay home just because I have a gig. (I keep a tissue tucked in my presentation binder for this very reason.)
More recently, I talk to women at my church. Perhaps this openness comes with my growing more comfortable (less vulnerable?) in my barrenness as I age, or maybe it is because my sisters in Christ at my church keep showing a genuine interest in bearing my perpetual burden. Whatever the reason, I find myself talking more freely with these women about my fears, my pain, my sin, my grief, my joy, my contentment, the discipline of the Lord, His abundant mercies, and so much more.
I wish I could say that no woman ever makes the mistake of pointing me to the work of my own hands to achieve a child, but here’s what I can say: most of the women I talk to listen to my confession and let it stand. Namely, they let me remain (even rejoice in) the way God has made me today, hug me when I am sad about what He has not given me, and point me to the promises in His Word for comfort and joy. They bear, even share, my grief, and they invite me to bear and share their own.
That rich, Christian fellowship, in my humble opinion, is worth the risk of encountering a few theologians of glory in the parish hall.