By Gladys Bell
I was never looking to become a pastor’s wife. That was not my chosen pathway. However, it was the pathway my future husband chose, so it became my future as well.
But where can I go with this pain? The hurt? The anger? As a pastor’s wife I learned early on that I can’t confide in just anyone.
My response to becoming a pastor’s wife was to read books on the subject. A common thread among many sources rose to the top of the list of cautions. The pastor and pastor’s spouse should carefully choose friends and confidants from outside their congregation. Why? Leadership is a strange animal that solicits interesting and diverse input from congregants. Sometimes these responses are borne of personal needs and not concern for the wellbeing of the pastor’s family.
My mom, at the time of her passing, was a member of the church where my husband served as an associate pastor and lead Bible study teacher. While I am convinced all congregant intentions were out of love, some of the “comforting comments” just did not feel comforting.
People said things such as, “You need to move on with your life,” “It’s not healthy to be so sad all the time,” “She’s in a better place,” or “There’s no more suffering, pain, or worries.” While much of that may be true, these sentiments fell on numb ears.
I never interrupted my regular church attendance but avoided lengthy, lingering conversations. After service, I made a hasty retreat to the car. My church, a safe-haven for most people, was my glass house. There was pain from an abrupt severance of my daily communications, dinners and hugs from my mom. The hurt and anger arose from what I perceived as an insensitivity to the need for space to grieve and heal at my individual pace. I felt the pressure of exhibiting a consistently positive outlook on a solid Christian homegoing. Although I know where she is spending eternity and that she was welcomed “home,” the little girl missed her mommy.
Everyone needs a place to vent thoughts, feelings, and the pain of grief to begin the healing process. It needs to be a safe environment where you feel validated at each step of your healing process. A “glass house” is NOT one of those places.
While you may not be living in a “glass house,” if you’ve lost your mother, your need is the same as mine. The Motherless Daughters Ministry is a safe haven. In this ministry you will receive validation for your experience and your feelings. You can be a part of this family whether it is through the website, Facebook, or in person.
You are welcomed into this sisterhood. Come join us.