by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges
live in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina (Ashe County) about
10 minutes from Virginia and about 20 minutes from Tennessee. My home is
a farmhouse built in 1895 with a much loved wrap-around porch, complete
with rocking chairs and porch swing, that replenishes my spirit when I
feel worn. I have three adult children in their late 20s and one
grandchild. Talk about joy! I love the dynamics that occur in a
parent-adult child relationship. Watching the fruit of my labor sweeten
the world around them is a delight of my heart. I had the honor of
serving as a pastor’s wife for 31 years. These years were some of the
most fulfilling of my life, and yet some of the most painful and
difficult, thus my book, The Perils of a Pastor’s Wife. My simple
country home wouldn’t be complete without my Mastiff, Blue—a 125 lb.
hunk of love and two country cats. When I’m not writing or preparing
messages for my speaking ministry, you’ll find me gardening, crocheting,
reading or sharing a cup of coffee with a friend.
Tell us a little bit about your book. What made you decide to write it?
served as a pastor’s wife for 31 years. These were some of the most
fulfilling and rewarding years of my life. These years were also some of
the most trying—not necessarily because of the people, but because of
the spiritual battle that raged. Our lives could be turned upside down
as quickly as the wind changes in a storm. A pastor’s wife knows what it
is to feel completely alone in the middle of a crowd. We are known to
have trust issues—wondering who we can really be ourselves with and
share our hearts with when we’re troubled. Rejection is another
deep-seeded hurt that most folks don’t think about when they consider
the lives of pastors and their wives. We love our church people like
they are family. When we are asked to leave or voted out because of the
annual confidence vote (a rural Baptist tradition) it’s like going
through a divorce. The pain is unbearable. But most people don’t think
about that. I knew that other pastors’ wives needed to know that they
were not alone in their struggles and that someone understood what they
were going through.
The Lord has taught me
so much through this journey of service to Him—lessons of His
faithfulness, lessons of His pleasure in obedient hearts, and lessons of
finding shelter beneath the shadow of His Wing. I am so thankful He
asked me to share this with His girls.
Perils of a Pastor’s Wife is written with raw, authentic emotion—no
fluff—as I share actual incidents occurring in our ministry. I want my
reader to know that I truly understand how she feels and what she’s
going through. The beauty of this book is in the illumination of God’s
presence throughout its pages. The Lord taught me to find Him in my
darkest moments and I, in turn, teach my readers the same.
That’s a good question. I honestly believe, on a personal level,
writing The Perils of a Pastor’s Wife, brought healing to many areas of
my life. It caused me to search the scriptures thoroughly to make sure
my teaching lined up with God’s Word. In so doing, God poured His Living
Water over and through my broken places and brought precious healing to
me. On a spiritual level I pressed into God like never before—I
partnered with Him to get this message before His girls. I know for a
fact this deepened our relationship.
means that I have confidence in the knowledge that nothing comes my way
without coming before the Lord first. He is aware of all that pertains
to me. Nothing catches Him by surprise. By applying this scripture to
events in my life, I can find comfort knowing that nothing will
ultimately harm me, for God is greater than any foe. I am sealed in His
Holy Spirit. I am written on the palm of His hand and I am the Apple of
His Eye. So, no matter what may come against me, it will not destroy me.
The Lord will carry me through to the other side.
written from the perspective of a pastor’s wife for other pastors’
wives. But what lessons can wives in general learn from your book that
would help them in their marriages as well?
of the chapters in The Perils of a Pastor’s Wife is titled, “Stand By
Your Man”. I think it’s easy to begin to take one another for granted,
to become so familiar with one another that the relationship can shift
onto sandy soil without realizing what is happening. I offer suggestions
on how to put some romance back into your marriage—ways to undergird
your husband to let him know that you appreciate the burdens he carries
as head of the household. I also remind the reader of the importance of
praying for her husband. Stormie Omartian is quoted in my book as
saying, “Even the most spiritual man can get overtired, burned out,
beaten down, distanced from God, confused about who he is and why he is
here, and lose his vision for the future. He can misplace his sense of
purpose and become overwhelmed and hopeless because of it. If he loses
sight of his dreams and forgets the truth about himself and his
situation, he can end up believing destructive lies about his future.”
This, in a nutshell, defines the reason we must undergird our husbands
with prayer, respect, and love.
That is so true and so needed for all of our marriages. I want to focus for a minute on the ministry of the pastor’s wife. What is, in your opinion, the hardest part of being the wife of a pastor?
suppose for me the hardest has been the trust issues. Most of the
church members are precious jewels and become like family. However,
there are always members of the congregation who are polite when people
are watching, but who will cut you to the core behind your back or when
you’re in private. That’s harsh, I know, but it’s true. I tend to relate
people who have their own agendas to the Pharisees that Jesus had to
deal with. They come across with self-righteous, pompous, and dignified
attitudes, but truth be known, there is an agenda behind their smiles.
Again, I know this sounds harsh, but it is absolutely the truth. These
are the people who want to be in control of a church. If the pastor is
not a yes man to them, they cannot be trusted. And like the Pharisees,
they are governed by religious law and will try to undercut the pastor
and his family every time on every level— anything to get an upper hand.
It’s very hard to keep this in a spiritual perspective, that we
“wrestle not with flesh and blood but with principalities of darkness,”
but it is imperative to understand this principle when under attack.
Most of us have fragile hearts that wound easily.
What encouragement do you offer to help that wife be able to live in ministry with her husband?
so glad you asked this after my last answer. The Perils of a Pastor’s
Wife gives the tools to lead her toward healing from such wounds. I
discuss our callings alongside our husband. I teach thoroughly about
spiritual warfare and how that applies to us, and how that applied to
our biblical heroes like Paul, David, Moses, and Elisha, to name a few.
Yes, even these guys wanted to give up and say, “Enough Lord!” But then
they realized the fellowship of His sufferings and how being yielded to
God’s plan for our lives and enduring suffering for His sake takes our
relationship to a deeper level. There is intimacy in suffering for His
sake. We learn the essence of who He is. There is nothing that compares
to the knowledge that “if God be for me, who can be against me?” There’s
nothing that compares to the knowledge that God is faithful and He is
with us always. There’s nothing that compares to the knowledge that God
is honored and blessed by our service to Him and joins us in our
struggles to minister comfort and peace.
Amen, yes! Amen! Before we end this time with you, will you please share an excerpt from your book with us?
Yes, it is my pleasure to…
AFTER THE FIRE, A GENTLE WHISPER
business meeting before its completion. Tempers flared. Tongues were
unleashed, and nearly three years of fruitful ministry were all but
destroyed. My heart beat madly within my chest, fighting desperately not
to break from the pain of rejection. Angry tears stung my cheeks as I
bolted from the sanctuary. I didn’t know if I could continue in this thing called ministry. God was asking too much of me.
husband, David, and I had been ministering in the small rural church
for three years. Under his leadership and the Holy Spirit’s guidance,
the church had experienced exponential growth. God’s mercy and grace
flowed into the lives of our people. Church had become a place of joy,
restoration, and refuge.
Then evil reared its ugly head.
So, last but not least, how can people best connect with you?
Blog, Morning Glory: http://morningglorylights.blogspot.com/
Facebook community page to find the nearness of God when you need Him the most: Seeing Beyond The Veil
Facebook personal page: Nan Trammell Jones
Jones is an author/speaker who uses the words of her heart to assist
fellow Christians in discovering the Presence of God in their darkest
hour. Her devotional blog, Morning Glory, has become a place of
community for Christians to find encouragement in God’s Word and comfort
in His Presence. She has been published in several anthologies as well
as the online inspirational sites Christian Devotions, and Inspire a
Fire. Nan has also had the honor of being featured as a guest blogger on
several sites. She is thrilled to announce her debut book, The Perils
of a Pastor’s Wife released June 30, 2015 by Lighthouse Publishing of
the Carolinas. When Nan is not writing, she enjoys leading prayer
retreats, bible studies or sharing God’s love as keynote speaker for
special events. She is becoming known by her brand: “Even so, I walk in
the Presence of the Lord” as she teaches her audience to go beyond the
veil to find God’s Presence. You may visit Nan at her website:
www.NanJones.com or her blog, Morning Glory:
http://morningglorylights.blogspot.com/. Nan has also created a facebook
community page, Seeing Beyond The Veil, to provide a place for folks to
go and get away from the chaos for a few moments and focus on Jesus
through scripture, worship, testimony, and inspirational quotes. For
personal communication you may email Nan at email@example.com.