hands {we need each other}

"hold my hand, too."

that's what i uttered aloud as i reached for an old friend's hand and took the hand of a new friend.

in a room full of us, we didn't know where we all were from.

we didn't know if we were working women or stay-at-home moms.

we didn't know how long each other had been in ministry.

we didn't have to.

for in that moment, what we needed to know is that someone cares.

that someone else is supporting a husband in ministry and it's hard.

that someone else has hard days with kids and at work.

that someone else needs a friend too.

we needed to hold each other's hands and come before a God that sees us and knows us by name.

IMG_0533

we needed to be reminded that we are not alone.

aaron coe would have spoken the promise to us a day before that God is on our side.

jim cymbala would have told us that ministry is a fight.

we were clinging to those truths and holding tight to each other.

IMG_0532

i was surrounded by women of courage.

women of perseverance.

pioneering women venturing into the unknown of taking the Gospel to the urban and the rural.

women broken and spilled out.

women creatively putting their skills to work making jewelry to help with family income.

women with expectant wombs and expectant hearts.

women with tanks empty and lined up at the filling station.

women surrendering, forsaking it all to love a city, a people.

God hears our cries and whispers, bellows, cheers this over us:

"Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel and afterward you will receive me to Your glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is nothing on earth I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever....But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge that I may tell of all your works." Psalm 73:23-28

how to stay encouraged:

ask for cell phone numbers of sending churches' pastor's wives and ministry leaders. a phone number of someone doing the same thing you are in the same cultural context or someone who is just a few steps ahead of you.

reach out to local pastor's wives in your community. your spouse knows the other pastors. you get in touch with her.

make friends at church. yes you can have friends there too.

communicate your needs with your spouse. even if it sounds like a blubbering rabbit chase.

journal the hard days and the victorious moments.

write down promises from Scripture and post them up on the bathroom mirror, by the bedside, on the dashboard.

IMG_0534

let's link arms. share a way you stay encouraged.

i've got a call to make to the other coast. she and i need to hold hands for a few minutes. extend your hand today.

let us try and comprehend today and forever the strongest hand is upon us. {Psalm 139.5}

link up at www.flouish.me. a beautiful community that is holding hands and is extending to you.