We recently had our 4th Confidante Retreat this year titled “Better Together.” I would like to share a testimony from one of the wives who attended for the first time.
I am a newbie to this Pastor’s Wife thing. We recently celebrated our first year. As if simply becoming a PW wasn’t fearful and intimidating enough, along comes 2020.
When I saw the advertisement for the “Better Together” Retreat, I thought it would be an experience to help me meet a few people and possibly learn a thing or two about the PW life. But then I saw it went through Sunday. Immediately my excitement turned to doubt and fear. “How could I take a Sunday off? Sunday is my place. My Husband needs me. Who will sing a special if I’m not there? What will the church think of me not being there to be “relaxed” on the Lord’s day? I haven’t even been at this long enough to need a Retreat. The expense. It seems selfish of me.”
Fear. I decided it was not for me. I did not mention it to my husband or church and ignored all the other posts regarding the Retreat.
Months went by when an opportunity opened up just two weeks before the start date. Another PW had to back out but wanted to offer her deposit. I was asked. I spoke to my husband and he agreed God was obviously opening a door and that I should go. I accepted the blessing. My church was accepting and gracious and even took up a small offering to help cover the weekend.
I arrived at the hotel early and ran directly into the Care for Pastors’ team in the hallway. Their greeting was warm and friendly. I felt like I had always known them. I felt loved.
But, by the time dinner came and I walked into the banquet room, all of my doubts and fears had surfaced and I felt like a little fish in the wrong side of the ocean. Everything in me screamed RETREAT! I felt safe in my hotel room, but in the midst of these other women I felt fear, doubt and misplaced.
That’s my struggle. Who am I? What is my place? What is the act? What is the reality?
As the night and coming days went on, all those fears quickly crumbled as I listened to very normal women I was surrounded by open up about their lives, insecurities and fears, many of which are relatable, even though I felt I’d have nothing in common. I began to realize that I am not defined by what others think of me, or others’ definitions of what a PW looks like, or what my job is supposed to be, or how perfect I wanted to be.
Through my weekend at the “Better Together” Retreat, God reminded me He chose ME too. It wasn’t just my husband, the Pastor. He knew who I was (am) and wanted me too. And if I will let Him do the work in me I’ll be okay. My fears often cause me to forget this.
Jesus created me on purpose and it isn’t defined by this person I think I’m supposed to be, or who I am for others.
Fears and doubts will surely come again, but I left Orlando knowing I have a family of women, who just a few weeks ago were fish in a sea of fear and doubts too, who I can depend on for encouragement, support and friendship!
I wish that all pastors’ wives could experience a “Better Together” Retreat, no matter how new or how seasoned their ministry may be. Each PW was needed and had a purpose there.
The Retreat was absolutely wonderful and these ladies bonded and shared with one another about things they have never been able to share publicly anywhere else. I would encourage you to join us at one of our Retreats next year.