When She Crosses the Finish Line First

I was the slowest runner in junior high P.E. class. With my giraffe-like legs I should’ve been able to power past at least most of the girls my age. Instead, my body tromped around the track with no speed whatsoever. The coach would yell, “You’re bringin’ up the rear again!” And all I could think was, I’m moving as fast as I can.

My athletic ability didn’t change much beyond the teen years. But as an adult I found other women who would trot along beside me, content with keeping an even pace. One friend in particular joined with me and became a welcome addition to my journey.

Our strides complemented each other’s. Sometimes distance formed between us, but just for a short time. Before long we’d call out to each other to either slow down or pick up the pace. It was much easier to keep up the consistency with someone by my side.

We enjoy this life trek more when we run it together.

 

We kept in perfect sync. Until one day I looked to my left and noticed she was gone. Somehow she’d made it to the finish line before me. She reached the ultimate destination, eternity with Jesus. The grief took away the joy of ever reaching the destination. I wanted to stop running.

My pace slowed and all I could see was the quick flicks of the feet in front of me. A memory came flooding back and that voice cried out once more, “You’re bringin’ up the rear again!” And all I could think was, I’m moving as fast as I can.

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV

I used to see life as the women’s 400-meter dash individual event. That is, until I discovered the power of encouragement. Now I realize we are many women running at different paces, but all part of the same cross country team.

Some may be up ahead, and some behind. Others will stay right alongside us, swapping stories and sharing jokes to keep our minds off the pain in our shins and ankles. When one member of the team finishes the race, the other members don’t quit. They keep going.

If she crosses the finish line before me, my job is to keep running.

It’s been two years since my friend finished the race. I imagine her cheering us on as we gaze ahead unable to see all that waits for us there. So as we continue pounding our sneakers on the hot pavement today, could we swap stories and tell some jokes? Oh, and let’s all wear the same color jerseys. If I could pick, I’d choose purple.

And when we see someone losing momentum, let’s slow down a bit and jog along beside her for a while. It may be just the motivation she needs to stay in the race. Because even though our running styles may be different, we definitely have more fun running together.

 

 

5 Things Your Pastor’s Wife Needs from You Right Now

5 Things Your Pastor’s Wife Needs from You Right Now

She calls your name in prayer every night before she attempts to sleep. She lifts your family up to God in the most difficult times of your life. She faithfully attends every church event. (She plans most of them, anyway.) You never see her without a smile on her face.



All the while her husband and family are prime targets of attack.



Beside every pastor is a woman willing to walk with him through the uncertainties that come with the profession. No other job relies so heavily on faith and offers so little worldly reward. Pastors are under scrutiny now more than ever. Because of this, the pastor’s wife is bearing a heavy weight. So what can we do to ease her burden?


As the women of her congregation, there is something we can do.



What can I do to help my pastor’s wife?



During my time as a pastor’s wife, many women have blessed me with exactly what I needed to press on when all I wanted to do was give up.

Allow me to share from my experience 5 things your pastor’s wife needs from you right now. Prayerfully consider how you might follow these tips to help ease her burden today.


“For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people and his incomparable great power for us who believe.” Ephesians 1:15-19 NIV

 

Prayer Covering


I know this one should be a given. That’s why it’s number one! Even though our intentions are noble, I am the first to admit falling short in my commitment to pray for my church leaders. Make no mistake, the pastor’s wife fits into the category of Church Leadership.

She may remain silent most of the time, but consider the many people she ministers to each day. And she does it all with love. We have no idea what the people in our church family may be going through, but she does. Every single one. Let’s pray for wisdom and revelation on her behalf, as Paul says in verse 17. God will give her strength as we intercede for her in prayer.


Positive Communication


“I have not stopped giving thanks for you…”

Nothing says I appreciate you like a word of gratitude. Whether in person or in a hand-written note, a simple thank you will lift her spirit like nothing else.

I recall a time of discouragement in our ministry. All pastors have them now and then. At just the right moment I received a thank you card from a dear woman in our church. I will never forget her sincere gesture. We cannot underestimate the power of a kind word.

Steadfast Commitment


Sometimes your pastor’s wife may ask for a time commitment from you. Let me just tell you; she hates to ask. She knows you are busy and wouldn’t ask without prayerful consideration. But be honest with her and yourself about what you are able to do.

Pastor’s wives need us to serve. Let’s look for ways to help while remaining realistic with our commitments.


A Stand Against Criticism


When someone criticizes her, speak out against the criticism. Then walk away.


A Good Casserole


This one’s my favorite, probably because cooking’s not my gifting! Want to bless her socks off? Cook a casserole and surprise her family with a yummy dinner.

You don’t have to be an amazing cook to bless the pastor’s family with a meal. A sweet friend at church used to pick up a bucket of bar-b-que, a package of buns, and a bag of chips for us once in a while. What a treat that was! I didn’t have to cook, and I could enjoy time with my family. Yes, food is a sure-fire way to show your love and concern for her.

We can rest assured that our pastor’s wife loves us more than she can express with words. Trust me on this one. We shouldn’t feel overlooked or forgotten if she hasn’t talked to us in a while. We must remember how overwhelming her role can be.


Let’s commit today to lift her up, just as she does for us. Putting these five steps into action will give us a fresh beginning. Our efforts will make a difference in her life and in our church.

Blessings,

Kristine

For more encouragement for your pastor’s wife, click here to find out about the book, Over It. Conquering Comparison to Live Out God’s Plan.