The Jonah Effect

by S.J
(California)

Today I woke up wondering how we got here? By here I mean a place of complete loss of direction, purpose and calling.

I read your article about pastors leaving the church and changing careers and the whole time I was nodding my head in agreement saying to myself "no doubt! That is so true."

This past year watching my husband leave the church and return to a secular job has been the most painful in my life. I know he says this is what he wants, though I do not believe it for a second.

Each day I watch my husband grieve for the past life he once had and I know he regrets the decisions and choices which were made.

Being in the secular work place after 10 years in ministry is a hard place to be and of course comes with it's own set of troubles both personally and spiritually.

I can't help but to feel that the enemy has brought us to this point. Sitting back happily satisfied by yet another pastor who has bit the dust of the ministry trail.

Thinking of that frustrates me to no end and I cry out to God for help but there seems to be only silence. The depression that my husband has fallen into scares me and I question whether or not he will pull through.

My family thinks it's pride and that he just needs to get over it. Yet as a Christian wife, I know better. I know that the deep sadness and grief he feels is because he is not fulfilling the call which God has commissioned and planned in advance for us to do.

I know that things can not get better unless my husband surrenders and gets back on the path which is ordained for him to travel. If only I could help him to see that.

I admit that at times I think he got out of ministry for my sake because at times thing were hard for me and the kids like they often are for pastoral families. I can only ask God's forgivness and hope that I can do better in the future and try to be stronger and more unshakable.

I wish I could fix this and wake up Sunday morning everything would be better but that is just not possible right now.

This has been a rough year. I honestly thought that my husband being out of the paid ministry and in a secular job would be better for our family. The truth is that it has not. Yes, my husband has more time at home and more available time to spend with the kids. The trouble is that he is so down and sad over his life right now that he can not enjoy it.

Watching my husband suffer with his sadness over the loss of his ministry has been 10 times harder than any drama or problems I ever faced in the church.

I guess what I really want to say is when you have been called by God for a purpose, to not live in that purpose is to live in misery.

Only when we are on the same track as God can our lives be filled with joy and peace. I believe that now more than ever!

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