"I'm sorry. I'm a little too overwhelmed with a church situation today to get back to you. No, you don't know anything about it, and I'm not at liberty to share it. Yes, I've prayed about it and given it to the Lord, but still it occupies my thoughts, and my spirit is heavy. Emails that require more detailed responses are too much for me today. Phone messages seem too difficult for me to return. My heart is with this situation and those involved, and I hope you can understand if I don't respond immediately. It's not that I don't desire to respond, it's just that I don't have it in me today. I can't handle that and still be the wife and mother I need to be. I know I am not meeting your expectations or desires, but I am assured that God knows and approves of what I am, and am not, doing today, even if you might not."
I guess that's what I want to say today. I sometimes feel that people think they know what my life is like (isn't it peaceful, pretty, and perfect?), but unless you are a ministry wife, you don't. Even if you've been in church a long time, although you might be more aware of some of the requirements/expectations of vocational ministry, you still can't fully understand what I (and my husband, like all pastoral couples) have to carry at times. We do it gladly because that's what the Lord has called us to, but that doesn't mean that weight is something that is easily thrown off or forgotten. That burden is carried with us throughout the day as we pray and listen. That weight makes us feel isolated; this knowledge that we have been trusted with separates us from others because we cannot share it.
So please, don't take my failure to respond right away personally or read something into it that isn't there. And sometimes, one more thing to deal with in a day, is one more thing too much on top of what we are already carrying. I need to set up certain boundaries so that I can retain enough energy to be there for my husband and my children. I need boundaries so that I can simply get my laundry done and the dishes put away. Sometimes, I need to circle the wagons so that our family can feel safe, protected, and loved. So.....thank you for honoring and respecting our need today.