Today I am full.
I've just returned from a trip to Nashville, Tennessee, where my husband Anthony and I lived for nearly ten years. I experienced an incredible amount of growth and adventure during my years in Nashville. My husband began his ministry career there at Strong Tower Bible Church, so that's where I became an official PW (pastor's wife).
Our family increased quite a bit while in Nashville too. We adopted two of our children and I gave birth to our baby girl while living there.
And I enjoyed so many wonderful friendships there.
So this weekend was like a family reunion, talking to girlfriends into the wee hours of the morning. You know, the kinds of conversations where you move from insignificant small talk to deep heart conversation in less than five minutes.
That kind of conversation fills me to the brim.
That kind of conversation is rare.
And so are deep relationships.
In this fast-paced, social media, virtual culture, people rarely take the time to develop deep, authentic relationships. In a day where we're more connected than ever -- through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and so on and so on -- we are actually lonelier and more detached than ever before. Throughout the day we post the cute things our children say, our dinner menus and pics of the adorable platforms pumps we found for a steal at T.J. Maxx.
But where do we post our heartbreaks?
Where do we share our failures and sins?
Where do we pin our rejections and disappointments?
There's absolutely nothing wrong with Facebooking, tweeting or LinkingIn. I'm personally a fan of each. But along with Facebook, why not share a meal with a girlfriend face to face? In addition to LinkedIn, why not link up with another lady at work, church or in your neighborhood? Alongside Pinterest, why not take interest in a woman that's very different from yourself, be she of a different race, culture or socio-economic background?
You might find that lady as starved for genuine, heartwarming relationship as the rest of us are.
See, we minister's wives know a little something about loneliness. Because we're married to the guy who stands in the pulpit each Sunday, we tend to be rather popular at church. But often that popularity resembles that of the prettiest girl in high school. Everybody knows her, but few move close enough to really know her. A few zealous souls attempt to win the title of that girl's BFF, but the girl's always left wondering, "Would she want to be my friend if I wasn't the prettiest girl in school?"
But then a real gem of a girl comes along that likes the girl for who she is. The girl relaxes and opens her heart. And true friendship begins.
We ministry wives need those gems in our lives. We women need those gems in our lives.
So let me encourage you to prayerfully seek out the gems around you. The "Son" shines through women like that. Open your heart to them. And by all means, nurture those precious gems that you've known for years, decades even.
And most importantly, be a gem in someone else's life.
The dividends are priceless.
Carla is a pastor's wife, writer and adoption/foster care advocate. Understanding the unique challenges that pastor's wives face, she created A Pastor's Wife's Garden to encourage ministry wives of diverse ethnicities and backgrounds. Visit the Garden here every Monday morning to hear from a diverse, passionate group of ministry wives and visit Carla's personal blog at www.carlaadairhendricks.blogspot.com.