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Showing posts with label friendship. Show all posts
Showing posts with label friendship. Show all posts

20 March


And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken,” (Eccl. 4:12 ESV).

She tried to hold her emotions in check but it wasn’t long before the sobs escaped and traveled across the airwaves through our phones. Her heart was broken and I wanted to be there for her. Earlier that same day I received a text from another friend who was on hold with her bank as she proceeded to file a fraud claim. I wanted to be there for her too, if not in person at least to be praying for her and offer her emotional support.

Life is hard. We need people who will walk with us and be there for us. The only problem is we have a tendency to think we have to face life all by ourselves. Peter tells us in I Peter 5:8 that our adversary, the devil, “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” If we are trying to face life alone, then we are setting ourselves up as an easy target.

He is a subtle enemy. One of the ways he works is by using the power of suggestion—planting a negative thought in our mind or a lie, especially when we are going through a difficult situation—and then he just lets us run with it. Other ways in which he works is by making us think no one cares and by taking our joy away. Yes, he is waiting.

But, if we surround ourselves with others who will encourage us, friends who can and will shed the light of truth on the lies we have believed, and pray for us, the enemy won't be able to hold us in his grasp.

I love the scripture found in Ecclesiastes that says “And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken,” (Eccl. 4:12 ESV). Keeping this scripture in mind I reached out to two dear friends who I knew would love, support, and encourage me. They are my bookends. Both of them in their own way walk with me and help me to see and embrace truths not lies from the enemy.

As I look around my home I see a number of different pairs of bookends nestled in with our books. Some are ornate, some colorful, and others are simple. I have heavy ones for larger books, ornate ones that compliment some of our older editions, and some fun ones like Winnie the Pooh that hang out with my children’s books. They all have a purpose.

It’s the same with our bookends. We may want to have more than one pair for the different areas of our lives. I now have bookends to walk with me in my writing world, in my ministry, in my family, and some bookends that I have known for years that I couldn’t imagine life without them standing beside me.

With these confidants by my side I put the enemy on notice by saying, "I am NOT alone and you CANNOT overpower me, for two can resist you, but a cord of three strands IS NOT quickly torn apart . . . I now have my bookends!!!"

Are you walking this journey called life alone? Did you feel like no one cares about you? Are the voices and the lies of the enemy taking away your joy? Well . . . go get your bookends! These will be your sturdy friends who will hold you up as you add chapter after chapter to your book of life.

You don't want to live without them!

About the Author:

The hats I wear are many but with each one brings an opportunity to share heart, humor, and hope. My day job is with a ministry in Greenville, SC but my other hours I fill with writing, speaking, teaching Bible Studies, leading our women's ministry, designing landscape/gardens, rowing at Greenville Indoor Rowing and answering to Beth, mama, and grandmommy. Serving alongside my husband, who is a pastor, for over twenty years, I can say without a doubt that as difficult as it is at times, it's also a great honor. They say that with age comes wisdom, I'm not sure about the wisdom part, but I do know that with age comes the realization that no matter what I go through God is always there with His overwhelming love and grace. 

Connect With Beth:

20 December

Embracing the Gift of PW Friendships

“My best friend is a pastor’s wife so I know exactly how you feel,” Gina said to me one Sunday morning before church. She continued on in conversation about what her friend had shared with her but my mind stayed locked on her first sentence, and while I smiled and nodded anger was growing inside me. I spent the rest of the service distracted by her words.

When I shared our interaction with my husband, he assured me she was only trying to find common ground on which to converse. I’ve replayed the moment in my mind and still feel the same as I did then.

To say she knows what it’s like to be a PW because her BFF is one is like saying I know what the ocean is like because I’ve seen it on TV. But until I smell the sea air, taste the saltwater on my lips, feel the way the sand changes as I step from hot and dry to wet and sloppy, step on a crab or another unseen creature beneath the surface, get knocked over by a wave I’d under estimated, experience the tide rushing in and out, or feel the breeze through my hair there is no way for me to know what it’s like. Not. At. All.

No matter how many times Gina’s friend has shared with her what it’s like to be married to a pastor, Gina will never know the reality of it because she hasn’t experienced it herself. Only another PW knows how it really is. That's why it’s important to find friendship in like-minded women. We need each other. We struggle with things that few others do. We can laugh about things that many people in our churches wouldn’t understand. We can shoulder one another when things get ugly.

In this season of thankfulness and gift-giving let’s remember to be thankful for the gift we have of each other. Some of my closest friends are PWs, many of whom I’ve not met face to face. Online communities can be safe havens for us, such as the message boards at PastorsWives.com In the fishbowl we find acceptance without pressure, love without judgment, and fellowship without fellows. What we go through on a weekly basis can be shared with women who have experienced the same thing. And that is the greatest gift of all.

If you are a pastor’s wife I encourage you to find friendship in another pastor’s wife. Whether in your community or out, in your denomination or across line, we need the support we can get from each other. I can (and do) share things with my closest friends and they offer the words I want to hear, but when I share with another PW words aren’t needed. A hand on my shoulder or a hug can give more encouragement than words because it means she’s been there. If you prefer to share in a more intimate setting then I encourage you to find an online group you can participate in. There are many, from Facebook groups to message boards. I was an active member of such a group for over a decade until social media changed the way we shared with one another. Over the years I’ve been blessed to be able to meet some of these ladies as I’ve traveled the country. Their hugs have been some of the sweetest I’ve known, alongside the ones I receive from the ladies in my denomination during our yearly retreats and other ministry meetings.

Do not take these friendships for granted.
For me, they are one of life’s greatest gifts.

Merry Christmas my sweet sisters. 

About the Author:

Suzanne Schaffer has been in full-time ministry with her husband Wayne since 1992, pastoring in Pennsylvania and Illinois. She has two grown children and spends most of her days either writing or reading with a cup of tea close by. She enjoys attending auctions and sometimes brings home more stuff than she knows what to do with. She believes life is too short for mediocre food and insists on having good chocolate in the house at all times. You can connect with Suzanne at her blog, www.notenoughchocolate.blogspot.com

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