The Lonely Fall

The Fall of 2006 was a lonely time for me…

I ran into the living room a little shocked, but mostly excited.  I had taken three pregnancy tests and all of them came back positive.  It was true, I was going to be a mom…we were going to be parents.  After 4 years of marriage Barry and I desperately wanted to start a family.  There was this feeling of hope and a sense that all was okay in the world.  We called our family and began telling friends…it was time to celebrate.  But soon our excitement was replaced with tears, doctor visits and fear.  I went home in a daze and in pain.  I blamed myself, I yelled at Barry, I cried myself to sleep.  I felt alone…

The next day was the canoe trip.  We were college pastors at the time and this had been on the calendar for weeks.  There was no getting out of it.  I buried my head in the pillow when I heard the alarm.  I wasn’t going, I couldn’t go, but Barry was and that meant I would be by myself until evening.  A hug, prayer and kiss goodbye and he was out the door.  I laid in bed, still cramping, bleeding and trying make sense of the last 24 hours, but more than anything I was lonely.

Looking back on this season still brings a twinge of pain to my heart.  Aside from the miscarriage, it was just a difficult time in my life.  I was surrounded by people who loved me, I had a good support system but I didn’t truly understand how to have friends while in the ministry.  I knew how to have leaders, pastors and mentors.  But to have genuine friends…in the same church…that seemed completely out of reach. 

When Barry and I prepared for our big move to California two years ago my main prayer was that God would give me a friend in our church.  Aside from our pastors and staff, I needed a best friend.  I needed someone on the outside of ministry.  Someone who could see my house when it’s all messy or hear my husband and I argue over something stupid and not think any less of me.  A friend who could know that I really do enjoy a great glass of wine, I love spending an entire day watching TV and I don’t like to cook. I prayed for a woman who would let me be a friend to her too.  Not someone to lead and disciple, but someone to walk beside and enjoy life with.

It’s now 2010, I have a beautiful baby boy and AMAZING friendships.  God answered the cry of my heart a began the process of healing my soul.  Over the last few years I have seen first hand that life in the ministry can be tough, but life in the ministry alone can be devastating.  The lonely leader often falls.  I fell into depression, other’s may fall into sin.  We aren’t meant to go through life alone.  Friendship is a priceless gift and it is one worth fighting and believing for!

11 thoughts on “The Lonely Fall

  1. Jana,
    I am blown away! I am so grateful for every word. We need more bold women like you! Keep doing what you’re doing!

    Love, Miss, and Praying for you and Barry’s best!


  2. As a woman who is where you were, I appreciate this post. I’m preparing to move a mere 2 hours away; but I am so plugged in to my current church and community so well. As much as I’m looking forward to seeing my honey on a regular basis, I’m avidly praying for friends within his congregations and friends outside of them. It’s comforting to read of another woman’s experience and God’s provisions.

    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  3. This is my first time to see your blog — and I LOVE it! Jana you’re a great writter/blogger. What a blessing your gift is to others.

  4. I think that as a pastor’s wife there are seasons that we go through. There are times when close friendships seem to elude us but it is in those times that our reliance on God grows. There are times when God brings people into our lives for only a short time – people walk in and out of our lives – some leave their footprints all over our hearts and others can find us breathing a sigh of relief as they fade into the shadows.
    I am blessed to have some very close friends at our church – yet even in those friendships they can’t really understand what it is like to be the pastor’s wife. Yet their friendship is very valuable to me.

  5. Wow.. Love it Jana! So true for so many pastors wives. I’ve def. prayed that same prayer more than a time or two. Gods plan is for us to have and enjoy friends. We all need friends that we can let our hair down with and not feel that we might dissapoint them!!! Lord knows Nobody’s perfect:). Thanks for being real! Miss you guys!

  6. Jana you always have been an amazing woman to me without even knowing you but after reading your nakedness it just confirms in my spirit that you truly are one of a kind. Thank you so much for sharing and especially for being real! I do pray that God continues to bless you abundantly and gives back to you and Barry what you have given just by being yourselves!!

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