By Patti Johnson
My eyes, mind and heart are always drawn to a book that may tell me what exactly it is I am supposed to be as a pastor’s wife…always!!
One such book ended up on my bookshelf to read. With anticipation I picked up the book to begin reading searching to find a kindred heart, to find some answers from someone walking the same path, to find a grid, a list, an instruction manual to do this role called the pastor’s wife.
The book I found and have read is called The Minister’s Wife, a memoir written by one of our “tribe” of pastors’ wives. On the pages of this book between the prologue and the acknowledgments I have found a woman on the same pursuit to find answers. But what I also found was an answer to the bigger question…How does being a pastor’s wife fit into all of who I am? Did God really prepare me for this or am I on my own???
Karen Stiller takes the reader on a journey through her own questions as she reveals her life plans that did not include being a pastor’s wife, to her spiritual journey to find fellowship with Jesus who walks beside her, to the practical side of carrying out life with this role as a major component of her days.
She takes us to the living room where she sat and pondered these questions of faith in this role, to the places in her life when she was called on to display her faith in a very public way, to encourage those who doubted. Like it or not, we are called to be a role model, an example and an inspiration to those God has placed around us.
While I did not find an instruction manual that I would love to neatly pack in my toolbox of how to be a pastor’s wife, I did find a warm, open, sweet-spirited pastor’s wife who desires to bring others along on the journey. Her first-person stories of how she faces funerals, family and fury and many other topics in our lives that also intersect with everyone else’s, is a comforting read that tells us we are not alone.
This will be a book that I continue to read excerpts from, to highlight helpful phrases to remember, to share with others on the journey. It is on my nightstand instead of on the bookshelf, because it is indeed now in the toolbox of my heart as I serve as a pastor’s wife.