My husband just had his first book published – Blackbird Singing in the Dead of Night: What to Do When God Won’t Answer. He’s done lots of writing through the years and has contributed to numerous books. However, this is his first full-fledged-photo-on-the-cover book. I’m very proud of him!
The book is a spiritual memoir. Which totally makes sense. If Greg’s going to write a memoir, it is going to have a strong spiritual thread running throughout. The book tells of a two-year period in which he was seeking vocational direction – and God fell completely silent.
Would we continue in the ministry, our vocation and calling for 30+ years, or would we make a clean break and plunge headfirst into the nonprofit we had created eight years previously? Would we take a step of faith into a largely unknown future? (For me, this translated will we give up a perfectly fine salary with benefits in order to pursue a dream that may or may not pan out – much less put food on the table?).
Now, don’t think this didn’t impact things at home!
Greg was senior pastor of a large, influential, wealthy church in the South. He was on television every week. He was actively involved and recognized in the community. As a minister, he was “on call” 24/7. He was constantly putting out fires in the church (a church, after all, is a complex institutional machine) and counseling/supporting individuals, couples and families who were putting out various personal fires of their own.
AND he was experiencing his own spiritual crisis.
While he was waging a spiritual battle, I was focused on day-in-day-out activities to keep the home and family running somewhat smoothly. My motto is, “when there’s something I need to do, tell me. Until then, I’ve got life to live.”
It’s not that I’m not supportive. I believe Greg would say that I am very supportive. It’s just that after 35 years together, I understand that we often experience life on two different planes. Greg would admit that he largely lives life between his ears and in his heart. He’s a big picture kind of guy, optimistic and given to dreams. I live life with both feet firmly planted in the here and now and facing life head-on. He calls me “earthy”.
Our saving grace through that 2-year experience was that we were consistently finding ways to have fun and to affirm life. As has been true in our marriage, we’ve lived life and faced problems with a collaborative attitude. Even though it was Greg’s vocational crisis, it was our life and our future.