What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Random Journal Day-Teach Me Lord, To Wait! UPDATED FROM 5/2/2013

SEE THE UPDATE AT THE END OF THIS POST.   Originally posted on 5/2/2013, updated 5/9/2014 and AGAIN ON 5/9/2015:

Random Journal Day is a day when we pull out our old journals and share something from our past...hopefully something that reminds us of how far we've come in life...where we once were...and if we are able...we can see the way God was preparing us for our future today...at least that's what I've noticed from my former writings.  Sometimes I discover that the dreams I had twenty years ago are actually coming true today...like this one, written on July 1, 1990! 23 years ago? Can that be possible? Wow...

I wrote this during a time when we were serving in a metropolitan church way up north.  I was having a difficult time adjusting to my role as Pastor's Wife in this particular congregation...and also trying to adjust to life in the suburbs of a large city...a place I really did not like much at all. It was a struggle for our complete family the whole time we were there. It seems as though we were all a bit like fish out of water.  Here's what I wrote on that Sunday evening:

"I seem to be having some troubles adjusting here-more than usual.  I find myself wanting to 'withdraw' from people more and more.  I'm lonely for a real friend-but I'm afraid to even try to find one.  I just don't feel accepted or a part of things.  Even though people are very nice to me, it seems so superficial...no one seems to care about me.  I know I shouldn't be so sensitive--I should be the one caring about others.  But I'm having a real struggle in even being around people."  

(NOTE: We had just moved there a few months previous to this writing...and I had left behind a very active women's ministry in which I was a Bible study leader and had many good friends...so this was a big change).

I went on to say:  "I find myself really wanting to retreat-to hide-to withdraw-to insulate myself from the outside world.  This isn't me~I've always been a 'people person'.  But now I'm afraid to reach out-afraid of rejection-afraid of being inadequate-not having anything to say or contribute.  Not having anything in common with anyone-not even my own family. (? Not sure where that came from, but it's how I felt at the time).  I feel so isolated-cut off--out of sinc."

Sounds like I was depressed now that I look back!  I didn't realize that at the time...depression is something for other people...not me! At least that's what I've always thought!  But now, in hindsight, I can see where I probably was depressed and just didn't recognize the symptoms.  It's strange, but this was written just a few months before our middle son, Matthew, was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of 18. That started a major time of testing, total dependence on the Lord, and a huge amount of questioning as well. It also started a period of new growth...spiritually. I didn't realize THAT at the time either. Oftentimes we don't comprehend what God is truly doing inside our hearts and minds while we are in the middle of the battle.  We just put on our combat gear and start headlong into the fray. Especially when one of our children is at risk.

That's what I did. I jumped in and started fighting the unseen enemies of fear, anguish, and yes, anger. Anger that my son was suffering and fighting for his own life at the age of 18...right when he was supposed to be enjoying his senior year of high school, preparing for graduation and going off to college in a few months. Doubts assailed me...why was this happening to us? And yet, God, in His mercy, reached down and showed us His mercy and love. He became the Comforter in our time of sorrow and uncertainty. He became my best friend.  And best of all...He became the Healer...miraculously, mysteriously, and wonderfully! Not only did He heal our son, He healed my soul from it's depression.

I wish I could say that everything was wonderful from that day forth...but it wasn't exactly. Not too many months after all of this turmoil we were on the move again...and my journey in search of a place of peace and retreat continued to grow in my heart.  As I look back I realize now that the seeds for where I am today were planted back then.  Little by little we are developing our home into the kind of "retreat" I once dreamed of...but not just for me.  My dream is to share this place with others who need a place of comfort, rest and retreat from the world for a while...so they will be better prepared to face the world again when the time is right.  God does work in mysterious ways.

Isaiah 40:31 is a favorite verse of mine...and probably yours too:

"But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint."

"Teach me Lord, Teach me Lord~ to wait..."

What's YOUR dream today? What are your fears, anxieties?  Turn them over to the Lord...He is ready to carry you through to the next place...He will not let you down. You just may be surprised at the way He chooses to lead you through...but He WILL lead you through. Trust me. I know.

Oh, By the Way:  This is a picture of the Mother's Day Card my son Matthew made for me around the time of this journal entry...I thought this would be a good time to share it with you....it's pretty special to me....

Happy Mother's Day to all!

UPDATE: 5/9/14:  I posted this last year just before Mother's Day.  Some things have changed since then...as most of you know.  My son Matthew, who created this lovely Mother's Day Card, may soon be leaving this earth for his heavenly home, after a lengthy battle with cancer. Makes this card even more a treasure to me than even before, realizing that I may never receive another from him.  But I have so many priceless memories stored in my heart that nothing can take away from me.  Important message here: Mothers and Fathers, be sure to take the time to create special memories with your children while you are able.  Don't waste time pursuing things that cannot ever be more important than the time you spend with your family.  We never know how many days we will have together. Make every day count.

UPDATE 5/9/2015:  I can't believe I wrote this last update exactly one year ago.  In just a couple of weeks from that day, our precious Matthew left this earth for heaven.  Tomorrow, May 10, 2015, will be the very first Mother's Day that I will not hear his voice wishing me a Happy Mother's day.  I will miss that sweetness more than I can imagine right now.  So thankful for the time we had together just prior to his passing away. I will treasure those memories forever.


  1. What a precious share. THank you for picking up and joining in so quick. I feel like your words here from this time remind me how often people are struggling with these same symptoms, even if for only a season.I have battled depression on and off for years, but the Lord truly has healed and sustained me - The Mother's Day card is beautiful. Not so easy being a Pastor's Wife either, ay?

    1. Being a pastor's wife is one of the most difficult "callings" a woman can choose. Or perhaps, she didn't choose it herself...her husband chose it for her...in our case, the Lord called my husband to the ministry after we had been married a few years...and I believed then and still do today that God called me at the same time. I loved being a Pastor's wife, most of the time...but it was often a serious struggle for me. Especially when it came to making "friends". I often felt I could not trust any of the women of the church to be my friend. However, I must say that God provided for me at least one good friend everywhere we went...sometimes from the church, sometimes not. Many of those true friends are still my friends today, even though we may live many miles apart. Even one special lady from that particular church. We still communicate frequently, either via email or phone call...or even written letters/cards. She is still way up north,(but in a different state than before) and I am way down south, but the "twain" does meet once in a while!

  2. Pam: This is a truly heartfelt journal entry. I understand the dilemma of being a pastor's wife. I have seen different pastor's wives as they have dealt with personal issues.
    I have dealt with depression several times in my life. When I went off to college(My mother thought I was homesick.), a little bit of 'baby blues', when events seemed to crowd in around me, when my dad died.

    1. Thank you for your kind thoughts. Depression is something that can hit us at different times of life, sometimes even when things appear on the surface to be going just fine. That is probably when we need to seek help for our depression the most. Unfortunately, too many of us deny that we could be depressed and try to fight our own battles alone. They say recognizing the symptoms and being able to admit that we are suffering depression is the first step to healing. But that is when we need true friends the most.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  3. This is a beautiful post Pamela. I cannot imagine what a horror it would be to receive such an awful diagnosis for a child of your own! Isn't it odd that you were already experiencing signs of depression even before such bad news arrived? And then it ignited your anger and made you battle-ready to fight for your child.
    I think that I have been walking through some serious depression this last year, as I'm sure you were able to detect. Your words of encouragement and strength have made a huge difference for me Pam. Thank you for your lovely friendship, I know it is a God-thing.

    1. You and I share a common thread that others may not be able to comprehend. I know what it feels like to be a pastor's wife, and I know what if feels like when the "ministry" is over and we are left to figure out where we belong and what our new mission is supposed to be. I never realized how much my identity was tied up in being "The Pastor's Wife" until we lost our place...and I've been trying to find myself ever since. I know you have been doing much the same thing...and here we are...this must be our new ministry...even to minister to one another! Thank God for how He draws us together even across continents! (((HUGS)))) to you my dear sister in the Lord. Someday we will hug for real and weep tears of joy together.

  4. Wow, the transparency of this post. Thanks for that. Though I haven't dealt with my own depression, I live with a son who battles mental illness, and have seen deep, clinical depression up close and personal and it's a hard, hard thing. And to see your child suffer is even harder. Maybe the worst fire a parent lives in on this earth. And...you're still in it. I can see how you've grown in that fire, though. How you've seen the Lord walking around in it with you. Being on the front lines of ministry as you began this journey meant you were in a fishbowl for it all. So much to face at once. Looking back, you can see His faithfulness, and sometimes that's the only way we know He'll be faithful in the presence. Thank God He's been with you. I continue to pray for your son and his family.

    1. Depression is one of those things that creeps up on us sometimes when we are not aware and don't believe it could happening to us. I rarely am ever what I would call "depressed" either, but have certainly gone through many difficult, heart breaking situations that left me stunned and perhaps in shock. For those who deal with depression on a regular basis, and find it difficult to ever pull out of it, they definitely need extra help...and the love and understanding of friends, family, and even church people. Christians DO suffer with depression from time to time, and it should not be considered a lack of faith or spiritual maturity to experience it. There is not enough understanding "out there" for those who are truly depressed. Thank you for your prayers for our son and his family. I will also pray for your son as well. It is so difficult for us as parents to see our children suffering, not matter what the reason.

  5. What a precious post, Pam. You know how I love your random journal entries...this was no exception! I always stand amazed at how the Lord prepares us for the things that are coming up. And I love what you said about God being your best friend. I realize that He should be, but it isn't often these days that it is expressed in such a sweet manner.

    Love you!

    1. "What a friend we have in Jesus...all our sins and griefs to bear...what a privilege to carry...everything to God in prayer..." What a privilege we have to be able to approach the King of Kings with our concerns and know that we will always have an audience with Him. "In His arms He'll take and shield thee, thou wilt find a solace there..."


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