Where I Unsuccessfully Try to Fake Not Being Sad
I think one of the hardest things about blogging – aside from writing regularly which I obviously stink at – is holding sacred those things that just aren’t appropriate to share in a public forum while at the same time not appearing as if I am not deeply grieved and affected by them. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve felt like a fake for writing about something as trivial as the size of my laundry pile when people I love are experiencing the unimaginable and wishing the only thing they had to worry about was there being no clean underwear in the house. This is one of those times except today I’m just going to put it out there. The truth, not the underwear.
You know, I’m not sure we realize what people are requesting when they ask, “Will you pray for _________ ?” I used to think that people believed God would relent and bend to our will if enough individuals asked it of Him. That He would give us what we wanted based on the quantity of the pray-ers. But I’ve changed my mind about that. Not that the first option isn’t viable or biblical because we are invited into the process of God’s deliverances through intercession. But, in addition to this I’ve concluded that when I ask people to pray it isn’t because I believe I need “x” number of people or the Lord will not act. There are some things for which I need prayer that cannot be fixed by anything but time. What I’m really asking is for someone to care. Like mine, I wonder if your “prayer requests” are really “care requests”?
In addition to the grief upon grief our own family has experienced recently, there are many people I love who are in great despair, who are suffering greatly, and are doing all they can to find sure ground because their earth has been moved from its axis. They are asking for prayer as evidence that someone will give them the second thought that calling out their names to God demands. And as much as I wanted to write some light-hearted follow-up to disinfecting the house after Syd’s bout with the stomach virus, the truth is I’m just too sad and I don’t have the energy to pretend I’m not. Profound concern demands that we push “pause” on the trivial and hit our faces on behalf of those whose battles are anything but. C.S. Lewis said of prayer, “The position of their bodies affects their souls”. Time out, face down prayer marks us. It marks us.
I feel compelled today to provide a forum for “care requests”. You can post anonymously if you wish but the question to answer is: “What thing in my life do I want someone to care about enough to mention it to the God of the Universe?” And if you feel so led, you may reply to those entries where the Lord moves you to respond. Consider this a blog altar call.*slight grin*
I will begin:
Today, I ask that you care about our Uncle Dave who is dearly loved and suffering complications from chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer and heart disease. He is a brilliant, interesting, gentle, lively, energetic Georgia Bulldog fan who loves his family and whose family adores him. It pains us to see him so sick and our great desire is to see him take up his mat and walk out of that hospital. I also ask for three matters that are either private or I have no permission to share but are the source of many, many tears.
I would like prayer/care for myself and my friend as we begin teaching a 9 week course on Parenting. This will be humbling and challenging for us. I am praying for those who will come to this class (please send someone, lol) and for us as we teach them about Jesus’ plan for families.
Praying for your Uncle Dave.
I am sure you inspire all those people by writing in your blog, giving them hope.
You gave me.
Thank you for doing this. First of all, I am praying for Uncle Dave and the 3 private matters.
I have family members who have wandered from God. Please pray for them.
For our family. Still waiting on God as to where He is leading us. To stay where we are and if that’s the case we need to find a new home and its hard to find a home in our area.
I also have 2 unspoken prayer requests.
Thanks for being real. I think for those of us struggling it helps so much to know others grief & struggle too. Jesus calls us to Rejoice with those that rejoice and mourn with those that mourn.
My struggle is my dad committed suicide 4 months ago. He lived with us & we were incredibly close. My mom died in a car accident 6 years ago (they had been divorced for many, many years) and I am stil missing my dad so! It has been the hardest 4 months of my life. It has torn my family apart and my only sibling immediately cut me, and my young two kids, out of her life. This has been so hard for both them (14 & 6). Thanks for your prayers – and for caring.
January 21st, 2012 at 6:51 am
I’m so sorry for your pain. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family. May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. ~Tammy
My prayers also for Uncle Dave, those that are mentioned, and also the non-mentionable ones. I am asking for prayer for an income. We have none. There is no congregation to help support us – there is nothing coming in. There are only 2 websites one of which is live on the internet that we’re praying daily that God uses to help support us, but if people don’t “join”, there is still no income. The other website is being developed further but should go live within the next week or so. Again, if they don’t “join”, there is no income.
Blessings to you all,
First Thank you for being real-in this day we sometimes wonder what is true and what is made up because people have become used to putting their best out there. But bad and sad stuff happens to people who believe in God too.
Second-My Dad 91 years old always independent suffered stroke and now shows signs of Alzheimer wants to return to states to live alone-sister who is caring for him is at her breaking point. I’m praying God will calm this situation.
Peace be with you
First of all, Lord, comfort this family, and the three quiet requests. May You grant Uncle Dave a special blessing today, especially in the area of health. Thank you, Lord, for the times of our lives that we draw closer to you.
Second, Lisa, thank you for your gut-wrenching honesty. It is hard to be so open about things that pain us.
Third, please pray for my niece: her husband who has spent the last 6 years in jail for rape is being released on parole and she’s not sure what role he will play in their lives. Pray for their salvation – none of the family knows the Lord. In addition to her and her husband there are two wonderful children, ages 9 and 6. Please pray for an upcoming retreat (Jan. 20-22) where I’m speaking for the first time. Pray for my study time to be undistracted and meaningful. Pray for God’s Word to flow – not my words and thoughts.
We have a 24 year old daughter who is in rebellion from the Lord and is making poor choices. It is killing us and hurting our family. Please pray for us. I’m praying for your Uncle. Thank you.
Lisa, I’m praying for your Uncle & the 2 unspoken.
Please pray for a friend of mine. Her husband left her 2 weeks before Christmas & filed for divorce last week. They have an 11 yr old boy & 8 yr old girl. They are members of our former church & we helped them walk thru so many troubles in their marriage in the years past but now we live an hour away & it’s so hard. I talk to her every few days but her husband doesn’t answer my husband’s calls.
For our family- we’re currently renting & we need God’s wisdom on buying a house or purchasing the one we’re in. It’s a little complicated but God knows the details!
I love you dearly, sweet friend. I loved what you said about Luke on FB the other day but honestly, as a PW, it made but wonder if something is going on. Maybe I’m just hyper-sensitive about church life. :) Just know I’ve been praying for y’all.
am praying right now in Italy that God surrounds you with people who can help and support you, for the unexpected peace that you’ll all recognise coming only from Him, that all the details are taken care of, much love an appreciation for all you do, Lu
You are so darned sweet! I love your take on prayer as CARE REQUESTS! Seriously, that’s really how it feels sometimes. We just need someone else to help carry it and if we share it…..that lightens the load.
I’m ashamed to admit that I need an attitude adjustment. This wknd was the worst wknd I’ve had…ever! The silly part? It was over 2 stupid Poinsettias!
I was weak (dang hormones) and went right along with satan to let the fellowship with my husband be broken! He was a jerk and instead of me “handling” it with the love of a Christike wife—I ended up jerkier!
So, falling on my sword here…..I need restoration (in my own head & heart) and with my man! ;) Jesus knows, I’m sorry!
Happy to pray for your requests.
wow, I am so glad I came across your blog today!! I desperately need some “care” and being a minister’s wife I feel I can’t share my heart as much as I have longed to. My husband and I have decided it’s about time to move on from our current ministry. He’s ready to get out of youth and get into an associate position. However, God hasn’t opened that door for us yet so we sit in wait. Meanwhile, we just had our second baby and even with me working full time, we are not sure how we’ll make ends meet. I know God is here but it’s so lonely sometimes. Prayer for all decisions that we need to make, for open doors, strength (us, our current church, our future church, and our small kids), and peace. Thank you!
I am so sorry to hear about your Uncle Dave and will be praying for you and the whole family.
I have a good friend – her husband was recently diagnosed with throat cancer. He is self employed and if he doesn’t work, there is no pay check. Things are going to be tight as they head into chemo and then radiation.
Also, please pray for a family I am very close to- their Mom (my very,very good friend) passed away last April. Husband and 5 children, the youngest is 17 yrs old, so most of them are grown ad out of he house, the first year is hard.. it’s ALL hard.. please pray for them as they grieve.
Thank you, this is a beautiful post by the way… thank you for being transparent and real.
thank you for encouraging all of us ministering to others to share our care requests. so often those in ministry feel the need to keep our “chin up” when it is literally dragging the ground. i will certainly raise your care requests to the One who truly cares for them.
Thanks everyone for sharing and being so open! I am in a Beth Moore Bible Study (awesome!) with three lovely ladies from my church. I am finding even with our authencity and committment, the pastor’s wife thing still holds me back at times and has made things complicated in various moments. I’ve tried to befriend other PW’s in my area (we’ve lived here six years) and it just hasn’t worked out. I’m grateful for this blog and looking into a PW group in my area if one even exists.
Please pray for volunteer youth leaders like myself and my fellow volunteers. Youth ministry is absolutely rewarding and rocks! I love working with kids. It can be super discouraging–lack of parental support, lack of church support, kids making dumb decision, meetings that don’t go as well as you thought etc. I feel like I need an extra boost of encouragment these days. :)
Praying for your family, all of them, and the struggles. Keep my pastor, my best friend, my husband in your prayers. So much tragedy weighs heavily on his heart and mine. Sometimes it nearly paralyzes me when I see him hurting so deeply for others hurting in our church.
I want to thank each of you for interceding for us. I am so humbled as I read through all of your requests. Life is just stinkin’ hard isn’t it? I want you to know that I’m praying over each and every one. And, I care. Deeply.
Much love to each of you…xoxo
Thank you for this blog! I also love the take on prayer requests as “care” requests! My prayer request is this: I am sad because I am a Pastor’s wife. And today I am feeling that I really don’t want to be one. My husband wants me to call this elderly lady in our church who I don’t know that well and haven’t seen in months. I told him that I don’t feel like I have any type of relationship with this woman and that me calling her would be “weird.” (I am very young and she is much, much older and I haven’t been the new second pastor’s wife on the scene but a couple of years and that is why I feel weird)
He said that if I don’t feel I have relationships good enough to call people that I need to get relationships good enough to call people. Ouch. I’m thinking this role really isn’t for me. I am feeling like it requires much energy to develop relationships like that with everyone in our church-energy that I, as a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of four kids, don’t have. Maybe I’m just being a sour apple here and I just need to buck up! But I submit it as a care request!
–Pastor’s wife trying to find her role
January 21st, 2012 at 7:03 am
Just wanted you to know that I stopped to pray for you after I read your comment. I remember when I was a new PW at the age of 30 with three young children I was homeschooling. I felt very overwhelmed at times. Looking back now things are much clearer – aren’t they always?! I have one suggestion…DON’T STRESS over it. Just be you. Love God, spend time with Him, and let what He is doing in your life pour out onto others. This week I received a message from someone we ministered to some years back. You know what he said blessed him? BANANA BREAD. Yep, something as simple as banana bread can be a blessing and show someone you care. Maybe you don’t know what to say to this older lady, but you and your kids can make some “love” treats and take them over. Just start there. I know you can do a great job in your role as a PW because you can do all things through CHRIST who will give you the strength! ~Tammy
The question that I have come to hate the MOST in the last few months is “How are ya’ll doing”? I HATE it, because the answer I always give is, “we are doing fine…..”. I hate lying, but people really don’t want to hear the truth. They don’t want to hear how we just left our church of 10 years, they don’t want to hear that our income has been cut in half and that I’m scared to death of my husband never finding a job. They don’t want to hear how wounded my heart is, how I have lost some VERY, VERY dear friends because church politics finally got to them. They don’t want to hear how everything makes me cry. They don’t want to hear how worried I am over my husband.
We spent 2011 fighting for our church and it’s been 2 months since we left and it feels like we have been wandering in the desert since then. What the heck did we do? We left because we felt like God was done with us there, now I’m wondering was he done with us altogether, did he even forget us? Some days I get so tired of holding on and believing. We are SO discouraged. He NEEDS a job, we NEED to move, we NEED to know that God has a plan for us and what that plan is! I feel so lost!!!
Lisa Kirkes Reply:
January 17th, 2012 at 1:18 pm
Dear Sister in Christ,
I am so sorry for what you’re going through. Your post resonated with me and I could feel your pain. I want you to know that I am praying for you. I hate that “lost” feeling and have felt it many times, even while serving at our church, not in a transition time.
Sometimes it helps to be able to “talk” to someone who doesn’t know us and who we won’t run into at the grocery store and feel vulnerable and worried she might say something to someone else, etc. I want you to know that I am available to you. My name is Lisa, I’m 42 years old and we have been at our current church just a few months shy of 10 years. In fact, this March, the church gets to give a vote of confidence to extend another 4 year call to us. Oh how I love hearing the result of those votes, knowing there are 3-4 anonymous people voting against us. *sarcasm* I feel like I’m in high school all over again! *sigh*
Just know you are NOT alone. Please remember God promises to never leave us and to never forsake us. He is with us, even when it feels like He isn’t. He can be trusted. Praying for you now . . .
Okay, so I read this post a couple of days ago and started to comment then but decided against it. I haven’t been able to keep nagging thought of these words from intruding though. Somehow I feel like “care request” cheapens asking for prayer. I take prayer very serious as I am sure do you. When someone asks for prayer and I respond to their request. I do what I say and “take it to the Lord in prayer”. I don’t just leave it there though. I have faith that in His own way and in His own time He will answer that prayer. I’ve lived enough to know that He does not always answer our prayers in the exact way in which we ask them. His way is always infinitely better…even when we don’t understand. Scripture says, “Where two or more are gathered together in My name, there will I be also.” Even though He knows how He will ultimately answer our prayers, He wants us to come to Him. He wants that in the relationship we have with Him. I do not feel that when most people ask for us to join in prayer they are hoping for God to bend to our request. I just think that they…we are taking the bible at face value and asking two or more to come together in anticipation that He will be there also.
These are just my thoughts and they are just that…my thoughts.
Blessings to you,
My prayer request is for wisdom and strength as my husband and I make decisions about treatment for my breast cancer which was just recently diagnosed.