My husband and I have been at our two-church district for six years, and we have been blessed serving in this community. However, I made the mistake when we first arrived at this church of taking on too many responsibilities way too quickly. I didn’t know any better, and it seemed harmless at the time, but my duties increased more and more. Over the years, the members have come to expect things from me and have even become quite demanding.
When I do say no to something, I hear, “But you are the pastor’s wife,” as they smile. Honestly, I am burned out, frustrated, and overwhelmed. I feel as if my back is against a wall with no escape. I know it is my fault for getting into this mess, but where do I go from here?
I’m Not Superwoman
Dear I’m Not Superwoman,
I recently heard a speaker share a sobering quote. He said, “If it isn’t light, it isn’t right.” Simply meaning, most of us carry around more burdens than we should. It doesn’t mean you are doing anything wrong; rather, it is just time to rearrange priorities and set some new boundaries. We’ve all been there at some point in ministry.
Take some time for a season of peace and solitude. You’ll find no better way to start than with the comforting words of Jesus: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:28-30, KJV).
Pray about sharing your concerns with the church leaders; write a letter if that is more comfortable for you. A common mistake that anyone can make is assuming that everything is okay when a person is silent on a particular subject. Voicing your current state of “burn-out” and your need to share responsibilities with others should help you make the necessary adjustments. My experience is that people will let you do all you are willing to take on. Be honest, and you will be pleasantly surprised at the support you receive.
Praying for you,