I used to love going to doctor’s offices with aquariums in the waiting room. I would stand next to them and look at all the fish inside, sometimes making fishy faces at them, and watch them swim around and go about their normal lives. Now that my husband is a pastor and I’ve been labeled with the official title of “pastor’s wife,” I wish I could go back to those fish and apologize for my invasion of their privacy. I have something in common with those fish now—I too live my life behind glass.
Ministry life is a wonderful experience and I am so blessed to have been called to partner with my husband in what is his life’s calling. I thank God for the opportunities He gives us to share our lives and our faith with people and I wouldn’t trade this adventure He’s got us on for the world.
Sometimes it’s challenging, though. Sometimes it feels like no one else really understands—except for other pastors wives, and sometimes it seems like I can’t talk to them either. I’m worried admitting my imperfections won’t spur the same kind of honesty in them and that I’ll come away feeling just as alone as I did before. Vulnerability isn’t easy for anyone.
Jennifer AILee made my life a little easier a few months ago. She’s an author, not a pastors wife, but somehow she managed to look right into my world (I know, the glass makes that easier) and imagine what it would be like to be in the fishbowl with me. Her new book The Pastor’s Wife is a great look inside the ministry and gives anyone who reads it a new understanding of that enigma who probably sits near the front of your church, smiling up at her husband as he preaches every Sunday.
The main character of The Pastor’s Wife is Maura Sullivan. She and her husband Nick have been separated for six years. They’re brought back together because one of Nick’s congregation members has passed away and remembered both Mara and her estranged husband in her will. The conditions to receive their inheritance are more than either of them thinks they can handle: Mara must move back into the parsonage for a minimum of six months. Even though she and Nick are still technically married, she hesitates to fulfill this condition of the will, but she is determined to receive her inheritance—an old theater in desperate need of love—so she does what she has to do and moves back in.
The storyline of The Pastor’s Wife is engaging and the reader won’t be able to put the book down until he or she has experienced all the trials and triumphs of ministry life along with Nick and Maura. Behind the whole plot is the obvious hand of a loving God who wants what’s best for his people, and a beautiful love story that will leave the reader with a contented smile.
*I'm legally supposed to tell you that I received a reviewers copy of this book for free, but if I hadn't, I would have bought it. It was great!*