We each face challenges through out our week that keep us from entering into worship with God. For the ministry spouse it could play out a little like this…
Moments before worship begins each Sunday the role and expectations of the pastor’s spouse can be all over the map. People approaching wanting something out of you as if you were an extension of the pastoral staff, or you might find yourself being ignored because your spouse is so over the top important in that moment it’s like you don’t even exist. Either end of the spectrum or somewhere in-between many times you must sit in that front pew so that your spouse isn’t judged for your lack of attendance. Maybe, you are the one that has to make sure the kids are ready for church. Maybe your heart hurts, but you cannot say because you are married to the pastor.
As you make your way to your assigned seat in that front pew it’s likely many thoughts and emotions are swirling in your head and your heart.
For the seminary spouse the burden could come from having just left ministry and not knowing what your new place is, or feeling isolated and lonely because you said yes to God and now find yourself in a new city and haven’t found your support network yet. Further still for the spouse of the distance learner who gets the brunt of both worlds, ministry spouse by day and seminary student spouse by night. Either way it’s a potentially lonely road you walk.
What does all this mean? It means you are human! Just like everyone else in the room, but for some reason there are higher expectations on you because you are the pastor’s spouse and all this because at some point in your life you decided to marry a pastor.
So… What do you do? How can you settle yourself long enough and fast enough to find God?
I’d like to introduce you to a way of praying we call Palms Up, Palms Down.
Here’s how you do it:
As you sit plant both feet on the ground in front of you. Close your eyes so people know you are praying. Place both hands in your lap one on each knee. As your hands are Palms Down release any stress, hurt or anxieties into the hands of Christ. Picture yourself letting go of all the things that are distracting you from the presence of God. Relax and even picture yourself dropping these things at the foot of the cross for Jesus to take care of for you. After you have let go of these things flip your hands over, Palms Up, facing the sky. At this moment let God know that you want to receive what He has to offer you. Flip your hands back and forth as many times as you need to release all that people have put on you or that you have put on yourself. Prepare yourself to receive from God.
This practice can be done as long as you would like, 30 seconds or an hour if you need. Take your time and lean into what God has for you.
Let’s learn more from each other: If you tried this in any shape or form let us know where you did it, and how it worked! If you have children give it a try with them. Share with us in the comment section!