He makes me lie down

How do I begin. How do I tell the world of our struggles in a way that doesn’t give the enemy unnecessary air time but instead points to the maker of heaven and earth. How do I bring to light things that are often hidden in the shadows of shame and publicly declare that our strength is found only in our great Redeemer and King? Ministry life often involves lines and appropriate boundaries but here, in a genuine effort for transparency, we will let the world in on the latest with our family in the hopes that it will help someone who is hurting and will bring glory to the only One who can heal.

In November of 2014, my pastor husband, my very best friend, had a nervous breakdown.

If you know anything about our life for the past few years, its not that unexpected. Four children in 40 months. Each child admitted to the hospital for weeks at a time for different medical issues. A very difficult twin pregnancy with mommy in the hospital for weeks with a placental abruption and preterm labor. Premature twin newborns, vacation time used to go to and from home and the NICU and, as one can imagine, very little sleep. Financial resources strained to provide for all the needs of a young family and 3 little’s in diapers. Postpartum anxiety disorder. A  necessary move. A devastating flood causing a temporary relocation. Uncooperative landlords. Another move. A ministry change. Changing the structure and leadership of our church. I could go on….

We have been in survival mode and everyone has a breaking point. For my darling energetic and happy husband, this was his.

After his breakdown he began to unravel the tapestry of anxiety and depression he had been struggling with. He sought prayer support and medical help. Both have been instrumental in his healing to this point. But he has a long way to go. So at the end of January our church did the most loving thing they could do for him, they made him take a leave of absence so he could get himself well. This is something his natural instincts would have not allowed him to do. They know him well and they care deeply about his health and spiritual well being. So they insisted. And we feel incredibly supported and loved. Hear me world – The church does get it wrong with pastors. But they can also get it so right!

So we began a journey towards wellness with no end date in mind. Counselling, prayer support and medical intervention have all been utilized. Rest. A vacation. Studying of the word. And time spent in quiet before the throne are all part of our plan. We have been so blessed by our elders, our fellow pastors, ministry and support staff and our congregation. Love has been heaped on us and we covet the intercession and prayers for healing, peace, restoration and joy.

My husband is a gifted preacher with a passion to bring the word of God to his audience in accessible language with a strong focus on exegesis. Preaching the word of God brings him joy. And the enemy is salivating at the chance to sideline someone who God has so immensely gifted at sharing the gospel. But where there is light, transparency and honesty there is nowhere for darkness to hide. So there is no need for our friends and family to wonder. No need for idle gossip, speculation and even well intended curiosity.

We are not jumping ship. We are not reevaluating our place of ministry or a life given to ministry. There is no interpersonal conflict. In fact we are so humbled to be carried to the foot of the cross by servant hearted leaders who have sat with us, cried with us and prayed for us. People who I have called when I needed help and literally dropped everything for me and my family. God is humbling me as a ministry wife. I am willing to wash the feet of the saints but how I arrogantly struggle to let them wash mine.

But here, in these days of hardship I have had no choice. God has made me lie down. He has made me rest. He has forced my husband and I to take a break and refocus on our love for Him alone. And He wants me to lie down in green pastures. He wants me to rest in goodness, in lush green grass. In a place of abundance and blessing. In a place of health and restoration. He knows I am incapable of choosing what is good.

So he makes me. He leads me to where I will find rest and healing. He bends my knees and draws me to Himself.

Psalm 23

A Psalm of David.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
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Comments

  1. Beautifully written Court. Thanks for sharing something so personal. ❤

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