Thursday, January 3, 2013

Why I Didn't Write a Review About Last Year

It is typical in the blogosphere to write a review about the year we leave behind. I tried to do that, I even included the topic for one of the writing prompts. Yet, if you read my post  you might scratch your head and wonder why I shared so little. But that is my professional writer blog, so it was all good. However, this is my personal blog, where I get more personal and sometimes a little bit raw. I didn't have the emotional energy to write a review about last year because it was hard. There is a reason why this little blog has been neglected in the last year too.

As much as I share about brokenness, there are some broken places I don't write about. Mainly because I don't know where to draw the line when it comes to writing or sharing about ministry. When your husband is a pastor, church is a big part of your life.

Church has been hard. Really hard. Maybe it is the difference between being the associate pastor to being the senior pastor, I really don't know. But I do know that it has been hard.

This summer, I was ready to walk out. Not just out of the church, but I was done with ministry for good.

We were in the pits of discouragement.

Andy and I attended a pastor's retreat at that time, and I don't know where I would be in my heart if it had not been for that time spent away and resting before the Lord.

In a small church, you end up doing all the jobs, and you also end up getting all the heat (for the things you do or the things you don't do).

Oh some things have been good, exciting even! Some new people have come and our church is now hosting a clothing give away once a month that I really love to be a part of. Yet, the ministry here has been hard and incredibly lonely.

And this is where I struggle to share more, because it is still so hard and so lonely.

Emotional distress has a way of affecting your physical health too. I've always had anxiety issues. I even joked about being hypochondriac, but these issues became very real for me. Almost a year ago, after another night of sleeplessness and realizing I could no longer function, I told my husband I was making an appointment and going to the doctor to get some meds. I have always been one to encourage women who need help to deal with depression or anxiety to do what they need to do to get rid of the veil that blinds them and keeps them from enjoying life. It was incredibly difficult to look at myself and realize that I needed help too. It was humbling to "trade places" and be in the receiving end.

It is especially hard when you see your child being so susceptible to your emotional issues that you begin to see some of those (in a smaller scale) in them too. What a wakeup call!

Although I did not end up taking regular meds, I have changed some of my diet and I take a lot of supplements because my issues are related to some significant deficiencies in my body. Adrenal fatigue and hormonal imbalance do a lot to your brain's chemistry that prevent those neurotransmitters from firing properly. Of course there are spiritual issues going on too.

It has been a slow progress, and writing this makes me feel like a failure and a whiner. But it is the truth, and it is part of my brokenness.

I also know that I have been doing this in my own strength, keeping God at arms length. Recently, I have been convicted about my prayerlessness, and the fact that if I read my Bible 10 times last year I might be pushing it. Yes, I am the pastor's wife whose Bible gathered dust throughout 2012. Because for some reason some people expect a pastor's wife to be more spiritual than your average woman. I am not, I am so broken. And this year I have done a lot of asking Him, "Are you in this? Do you care? Why did you bring us here?"

But I know God is not done with me yet, He is not done with this little church either. He has not promised that things will get better, and I am not planning on that either, but He has promised to be with us. So this year, I am clinging on tight. This year, I am getting down on my knees because I desperately need Him.

My eyes will focus on Jesus because I know it is still going to be hard, but doing it on my own was no good. I just need Him.

Whatever His plan and purpose is, He has us here now. And even if there is a storm, His mighty hands hold me tight.
(I am not looking for advice or suggestions).


  1. A very brave post. There is strength in vulnerability. In truth, too. I hope writing this has helped you feel a little freer. And know that you are not alone in your issues. I struggle with them too.

  2. Ellen, You are not alone, dear friend!! Thank you for pouring your heart out- there is so much beauty in your brokenness. I'm praying for you today!!
    Love, Jessica

  3. I love your strength and honesty. I hope 2013 is better with fewer struggles.

  4. Thank you for sharing your struggles. In a certain matter, it helped me to read about them.
    I don't know you, but I felt like giving you an encouraging hug.

  5. Ellen, I have fallen far behind on my blog-reading recently, but found myself on yours today (we just got home from Ukraine on DEC 14th with our girl who has CP). I just want to tell you how much I ADMIRE your honesty!! It is so refreshing, especially coming from a "pastor's wife" :) I also admire your faith, and the way you write about it so eloquently in the midst of brokenness. I am sure you encourage many of us (I know you have encouraged me) through your ability to share the raw things. Thank you, and I will pray that 2013 holds fewer struggles for you.

  6. Hallo Ellen. Congratulations on a very brave , very true post!!! In my opinion, probably the best- not because your other posts isn't good, but this is something many people struggle with, but we're not honest enough to share...and receive help!! I have realized that when we're at our weakest, it is when God comes through the most, because then we need Him more, or maybe we rely on Him more!!
    Blessings to you and your family for this coming year. Looking forward to read more about this journey of yours

  7. I am you! I am with you and love you and your family.

  8. I am you! Love you and your family. I want you to know I'm crying because now I know I'm not alone, but in very good company. Here for you and sorry you've had a tough year, however I know that's what draws us near to God and each other when we make the choice to be real. Thank you, Ellen. XO

  9. Thanks for sharing. I could relate and still do to some extent. It is true, a pastor's wife has real needs just like everyone else and when we go through things we just want someone to talk to who won't be surprised when we hurt or have feelings just like everyone else does and just need a place to fit in where we can be ministered to instead of being expected to do all the ministering. Hugs! I LOVE YOU! XO Feel better soon with a cherry on top! :)

  10. I know exactly what you mean. Adrenal fatigue and depression have taken a hold of my life more often than I care to admit. I get it. Most of this comes from being gifted with extra sensitivity which I wouldn't give away for the world, but sometimes it drains me and I don't function well when I am drained. Slowly I am learning to ask for help rather than assume this is simply a normal part of my existance.


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