Behind Closed Doors

What is your life like behind closed doors? Our congregants only see what we want them to see for the most part. Your life may look perfect from the outside looking in, but you know the truth. You don’t have an angel that shows up and cleans your home for you. (But if by some chance you do, could you send her to my house next?) That handsome preacher husband of yours, yep, he gets sweaty, dirty, and stinky, and even gets grouchy at times. Your “angelic” kids get bad attitudes and even say things like, “Why do I have to go to church today? I don’t want to go.” or “Why do I have to be a pastor’s kid? I just wish I was like everybody else.”

What you and I both know is … our families are made up of ordinary people just like the Smiths and the Joneses. Some people seem to think just because we’re the “pastor’s family,” we are the exception to real life. If only that were true! Of course if it was, we wouldn’t really understand what our people are going through and we couldn’t minister to them on a deeper level.

Is it tough being a pastor’s family? Sometimes, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I know God has called me to this and the older I get, the more I realize that I just need to be me and allow my family to be a real family. Besides, our people are looking for authenticity.

I’d love to hear from you. What are your thoughts on this?

The Problem with Assuming

Image by Khusen Rustamov from Pixabay

Have you ever assumed something about someone later to find out you were wrong? Me too! I’ve read that statistically, most assumptions are wrong. You might assume that a lady in your church didn’t text you back because she doesn’t like you and later find out she never received your text. Something similar happened to me.

A few months ago, I texted my neighbor about two different things and she never texted me back. One day I stopped by to chat and we were talking about the subjects I had texted her about and come to find out she hadn’t received the texts and had even sent me one that I never received.

Assuming things about people and/or situations can take you down into a negative pit. Our enemy, Satan, loves to confuse us and he will use whatever tactics he can. Even something as simple as a text.

When someone walks past you and doesn’t speak to you, don’t assume they are stuck up or don’t like you. They are most likely in their own world trying to figure out what they need to do next.

If someone looks right past you, chances are, they don’t see you. There is no telling what they are going through. Maybe they are just too busy. Maybe they need to work on their people skills. But can I encourage you my friend, don’t take it personally.

Guard your thoughts. They will determine where you go and what you do. When you start feeling down, encourage yourself out loud. I created my own mantra after hearing something similar from Pastor Craig Groeschel many years ago. It begins with, “Because I know God’s Word is true, I am a faith filled, life speaking, God honoring, fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ. I can do whatever I need to do, because the joy of the Lord is my strength. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I choose wisely who I spend my time with, etc.” It really does change my focus and mood. Try writing your own. I think you’ll be glad you did!

When you don’t understand why someone is acting a particular way, instead of assuming you know why, pray for them. Do the hard thing and have an honest conversation with them. But do it lovingly. You could say something like, “You seem to be lost in your own world today. Is everything okay?” Isn’t that so much nicer than “You didn’t even speak to me”?

If we are going to assume, let’s assume the best about others. This is an area I am continually having to work on. What are your thoughts on this subject?

Designed to Need Each Other

Are you feeling lonely? Feeling like no body understands what you are going through? Girl, I get it. You aren’t alone in this. In fact, many of us pastors’ wives feel this way or have felt this way at some time. I think it’s one of the biggest tactics the devil uses to distract us. So what’s the answer?

Ask God to give you a pastor’s wife that you can become friends with. Pray for that special lady that will love you right where you are. Ask God for an “iron sharpening iron” kind of friend. Maybe a pastor’s wife that has a few years on you that will have great wisdom to share with you. Then, you be that kind of friend to her and to someone else.

We pastors’ wives need to stick together. It’s time we realize we aren’t in competition with one another. We are on the same team. If each of us would be real with other pastors’ wives, I think it would give them permission to be real too.

What are we afraid of? That someone might actually find out we are human? Hello! We are stinky flesh and blood just like our congregants. We need Jesus too.

What if I reach out to a pastor’s wife and she doesn’t want to be my friend? Then she isn’t the right one for you, at least at this time. Keep praying and seeking God for just the right friend. Consider reaching out to pastors’ wives in your community. They don’t have to be of the same denomination as you. Let them know you don’t sell anything, you just want to get to know them.

If you are on Facebook, feel free to look us up and join our private group. It’s a safe place that is drama free. We share funny things, prayer requests, and encouragement. Look for us at Silently Bleeding: Hope for the Pastor’s Wife. We have plenty of room for you!

Want to hear more on this subject? Click here to listen to this video.

Do you have suggestions on how to connect with other pastors’ wives? I’d love to hear from you!

When God Disappoints

Have you ever prayed desperate prayers and felt as though God wasn’t listening? I know I have. Today I want to share with you a little of Esther’s story. Esther has a Master’s in piano performance. She is a piano professor at Drury University and her husband is a college and young adults pastor.

In 2012, right after getting her Master’s in piano performance, Esther was diagnosed with Lupus. All of a sudden she couldn’t move, let alone play the piano. Esther said she saw God amazingly show up in her life day after day. She knew every morning she needed Jesus in order to be able to even get out of bed. Esther said there is no logical reason her hands can do what they do on the piano except that Jesus does a miracle every time she plays.

Esther knew what is was like to see miracles in her life and she knew how to hear from God… until she didn’t.

Esther and her husband walked the difficult path called infertility. After 15 years of marriage and still no children, she said, “God, I need you to show up again.” She went through surgeries and a lot of poking and prodding. Esther was on fertility meds and they began to mess with her hormones and she became so depressed. Every single month she was disappointed. It became harder to pray because the disappointments kept mounting.

In the midst of this, when they started the process, the doctor told Esther had little to no chance of getting pregnant. After her last surgery, she had a slight chance. The doctor said, “If this doesn’t work, we can keep going and try other things, but I don’t want to keep subjecting you to this forever. So you will need to determine your cutoff point.

They decided to do six rounds of a specific treatment. On round six, Esther prayed all the faith-filled prayers she could. Her body began to show signs of a possible pregnancy. Ladies at her church had shared their miracle baby stories with Esther and told her that God was going to give her a miracle baby too. She had high hopes.

Early one morning, a few days before Mother’s Day, Esther took the pregnancy test, and it was negative. She crawled back in bed and told her husband she wasn’t pregnant and wept and wept. It felt like God didn’t show up. She asked, “God where are you?” Esther said it felt like a sick cosmic joke.

Esther determined to be strong and go to the Mother’s Day event at her church. They had a guest singer and she shared Psalm 84:11 about the Lord not withholding any good thing from those who’s walk is blameless. Can you imagine how confusing that must have been for Esther? She thought, “God you have withheld good from me.”

Esther began to question if she had done something wrong. She was a good Christian girl and had always tried to do everything she knew to please God. And yet, she didn’t get her miracle baby like many told her she would. She determined to be strong and hold on to the scripture that says God won’t withhold good. In this, Esther suppressed a lot of emotion and she didn’t bring her true feelings to God because she wanted to be reverent. In doing this, it became very hard for her to pray and read her Bible. She went months where she would even try to touch her Bible and it was too painful. A good prayer for Esther was, “God, I just can’t today.” There were some Sundays that she couldn’t even go to church. She felt she was failing as a Christian.

After several months of being fed up with feeling the way she did and being fed up with God, she woke up one morning and said, “I want a break through today, I don’t care what needs to happen, I’m getting my breakthrough today!”

Esther began to pray and read her Bible that day. Finally, she gave herself permission to tell God, “God, you disappointed me.” She told Him over and over. She also told him how He had disappointed her husband and all the people that had prayed for her miracle baby. She let God know about all of her fury, her anger, and all the dark thoughts she had been harboring in her heart for all of those months until she had nothing left to say. Then she sat in silence. For the first time in a long time, she began to feel God’s comfort, not His anger. She was afraid God was going to reprimand her. He spoke to her heart to reread 2 Corinthians 1:3-7. These scriptures talk about God being the God of all comfort and how He comforts us so that we may comfort others. That day, Esther not only found comfort from God, but He gave her a plan as to how to move forward.

Does God really disappoint? At times, He does. If you are walking through a dark and desperate time, you are not alone. Tell God exactly how you feel. He already knows, but it will help you to express your thoughts and feelings to Him. His shoulders are big enough to handle whatever it is you tell Him. And He won’t reprimand you. He will comfort you my friend.

If you would like to listen to the video where Esther shares her story, click here.

For more from Esther you can check out her blog site at: estherguy.com

Depression and the Pastor’s Wife

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I will never forget a particular Sunday I was feeling so anxious and peopled out. At the time, we only had one car so I asked a young lady to take me home. I know she had to be wondering what in the world was wrong with me. I am usually the social butterfly and I couldn’t wait to get out of there!

Nothing major had happened. I didn’t understand what was going on. I wanted to crawl in bed and die. Literally die. I am not one that struggles much with depression so this really took me by surprise. I had suicidal thoughts and this went on for several hours. Finally, after many tears and crying out to God, I asked Him to please take this feeling away. Finally…peace came.

I realize many struggle with depression for days, weeks, and even months on end. What I went through was nothing compared to those that struggle for long periods of time. I asked God why He allowed this to happen to me. He spoke to my heart and said it would give me a tiny glimpse into what others that really battle depression might face. I won’t pretend that I understand all that you may be going through, but I really do care.

If you’re a pastor’s wife and you are struggling with depression, you’re not alone my friend. You and I both know that being a pastor’s wife doesn’t keep us from facing struggles in every day life. We all have struggles from time to time.

Your depression may be caused from a recent loss of a family member or close friend, conflict in the church, a big change in your life, a reaction to a new medicine, a chemical imbalance in your brain, or many other reasons. Sometimes it doesn’t even make sense. Depression doesn’t make you a bad person. You don’t need to feel shame. Give yourself the same grace you would give the lady in your church that is struggling with depression or some other difficult issue. God has given us doctors and therapists for a reason. There is no shame in getting help.

If you want to learn more click here. Teri Herndon shares her experience with depression and how God brought her through.

Check out the Christmas devotional that Teri wrote by clicking on the link below.

https://amzn.to/3mAduUT

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Amazon affiliate links have the potential to earn me a small commission which is what helps to keep the channel running and helps me have the opportunity to continue making videos such as this one. Thank you so much for your support.

Overwhelmed

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Are you struggling my friend? Me too! There is so much going on in our world between COVID, world crises, natural disasters, you name it. How are we supposed to handle all of this? Some days it feels too much.

The Bible says in Psalm 61: “1 O God, listen to my cry! Hear my prayer!
2 From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety, 3 for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me. 4 Let me live forever in your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of your wings!”(NLT)

I am so thankful that no matter what you or I face, we can go to God. He is our safe place. And the Holy Spirit is our Comforter. I’ve experienced His comfort more in 2021 than ever before. God has given me supernatural strength as I faced the death of my parents in January and in July when we lost my sister-in-law and niece in a car accident. I never dreamed we would have two double funerals in our family.

What are some practical things we can do when feeling overwhelmed? One of the things I purposely choose to do is walk away from social media and anything that might cause anxiety. I replace it by playing a game with my husband, or watching a light hearted movie, reading a fun book* or simply soaking in the tub.

I have to be honest though. Sometimes I feel a little guilty for walking away from all that is going on. I bet you can relate. However, I’m learning if I don’t take time away, then I’m not much good to anyone. So let go of the guilt my friend and take some “me time” so that you can be there for your family, friends, and church family when they need you most.

Another thing I do, is tell God how I really feel. Just this week I said, “God, I don’t understand why You’re allowing so many pastors and their families to suffer and die from COVID. I don’t get it! You can stop this! But God, no matter what, I choose to trust You!

God’s shoulders are big enough to handle our doubts and questions. I am so grateful He allows us to be real with Him and He still loves us and comforts us.

My prayer for you today is for God to give you supernatural strength and peace as you navigate through this difficult season.

What are things you do to take a break from the stress of the world? Weigh in on this subject in the comments below!

*A book that I recently read (written by a friend of mine) is The Sahar of Zanzibar by Shirley Gould.

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Amazon affiliate links have the potential to earn me a small commission. Thank you so much for your support.

Letting Go of Offense

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If you’ve been a pastor’s wife for very long, chances are you have had some hurtful things said to you. Sometimes it may feel as though you’re a target for people to tell you what they really think. I’ve had women criticize my clothes, my children, you name it. I even had one lady tell me that I keep my house too clean. Imagine that!

I will never understand why some people feel it’s okay to say whatever they feel like to the pastor’s wife and she is supposed to be fine with it. I’ve often thought to myself, “Honey if I talked to you the way you talk to me, you’d leave the church and never come back.” As a pastor’s wife my friend, you get it.

We must choose how to handle offense so it doesn’t handle us. Have you ever seen a duck go under water? What does it do when it comes up out of the water? Yep, you know it! It shakes the water right off it’s back. That’s what we need to do when someone says something rude or uncalled for. Refuse to own it. Don’t dwell on it. Let it go my friend. I’ve found one of the best responses to give someone is simply, “I’m sorry you feel this way.” If we try to defend ourselves, it can make matters worse. When we refuse to entertain their rudeness, it’s like throwing water on a fire.

In this video, I share a few more thoughts on what to do when someone says or does something that is offensive.

How do you handle when someone is rude or criticizes you or your family? Weigh in on this subject in the comments below!

It’s Almost Our Birthday!

Although God laid the idea on our founder’s heart many years ago, it didn’t come to fruition until last year. In April 2020, Silently Bleeding: Finding Hope for the Pastor’s Wife was born.

We still have a lot of room to grow, but we have already come so far!

Our Facebook group has over 250 members, our Instagram account is up and starting to gain momentum, and we have over 40 videos on our YouTube channel.

Here at Silently Bleeding, we know that if we aren’t growing, we’re stagnating. So as we prepare to celebrate our first birthday, we wanted to reach out to you.

What drew you to Silently Bleeding?

What videos have blessed or inspired you?

What topics would you like to see us cover?

Feel free to leave any other suggestions in the comments below.

Expectations of the Pastor’s Wife

Many times a pastor’s wife is expected to do it all. If there are positions that need filled, she is the one to fill them. This can lead to burn out and breakdown if it is not remedied.

In this candid interview, Jelly Jordan Valimont shares some of her experiences with expectations. She shares how juggling it all is not always a God thing, and how she would do things differently if she the opportunity to do it over.

Jelly also offers advice to women who are just starting out as pastors’ wives regarding how to deal with difficult expectations. Her wisdom and compassion in this interview are such a blessing.

Don’t have time to watch? Most Silently Bleeding videos are non-interactive, meaning you can listen to them without missing anything. Whether you are driving, washing dishes, going for a walk, or completing other daily tasks, you can still be encouraged by these videos simply by listening.

You can find this interview, Expectations of the Pastor’s Wife, and more on our Silently Bleeding YouTube channel.

Have you ever felt like you were under the weight of too many expectations? How did you find balance? What helped you determine which expectations were from God and which were from man?

The Balancing Act

Shirley Gould, author and ministry veteran, has been involved in many areas of ministry over the course of her life. In this interview, she discusses the importance of being yourself while also remaining teachable.

None of us are perfect, but God designed each of us perfectly. While we always have room to grow, it’s important that we choose not to give in to the pressure to change who we are at our core.

Ultimately, God is the only One whose opinion truly matters, but sometimes He places people in our lives to help us become the person He wants us to be.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”


Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)

Becoming more like Jesus – both in our personal lives and in ministry – should be our number one goal. Check out The Balancing Act interview to hear Shirley’s practical advice on the subject.

Don’t forget that most of our interviews do not require you to actively watch them, so if it works better for you to listen in while you do other things, you won’t miss a thing.

You can find other helpful and inspiring interviews on our Silently Bleeding YouTube Channel.

If you are a pastor’s wife or a female pastor, feel free to search for our Silently Bleeding support group on Facebook. We’d love to have you join us!

What are some practical ways you’ve been able to grow while staying true to the woman God created you to be? Weigh in on this topic in the comments below!