Monday, July 6, 2015

A CONVERSATION WITH NAN JONES ~ Author of The Perils of a Pastor's Wife

by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges


What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Romans 8:31

Dear Friends, I have waited so, so long to have the privilege of sharing my dear friend Nan Jones with you and her debut book, The Perils of a Pastor's Wife. I've benefited immensely from the wisdom she shares in this book, and, I can also tell you that she really does live this faith out loud. Nan's faith is so real, and so vibrant, I know her words will be an encouragement and blessing to you. (Stay tuned for how 2 of you can get a free copy of her book!)
Tweet: @NanJonesAuthor shares with us her story The Perils of a Pastor's Wife http://ctt.ec/0dwWU+ #pastorswife #help #hope
 So without further ado, 
Nan, 
Welcome to Heart Thoughts today! 


So, Nan, first, please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I live in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina (Ashe County) about 10 minutes from Virginia and about 20 minutes from Tennessee. My home is a farmhouse built in 1895 with a much loved wrap-around porch, complete with rocking chairs and porch swing, that replenishes my spirit when I feel worn. I have three adult children in their late 20s and one grandchild. Talk about joy! I love the dynamics that occur in a parent-adult child relationship. Watching the fruit of my labor sweeten the world around them is a delight of my heart. I had the honor of serving as a pastor's wife for 31 years. These years were some of the most fulfilling of my life, and yet some of the most painful and difficult, thus my book, The Perils of a Pastor's Wife. My simple country home wouldn't be complete without my Mastiff, Blue—a 125 lb. hunk of love and two country cats. When I'm not writing or preparing messages for my speaking ministry, you'll find me gardening, crocheting, reading or sharing a cup of coffee with a friend.


That sounds like a beautiful house and wonderful relationships and you keep quite busy! Let's transition to your book Tell us a little bit about your book. What made you decide to write it?
I served as a pastor's wife for 31 years. These were some of the most fulfilling and rewarding years of my life. These years were also some of the most trying—not necessarily because of the people, but because of the spiritual battle that raged. Our lives could be turned upside down as quickly as the wind changes in a storm. A pastor's wife knows what it is to feel completely alone in the middle of a crowd. We are known to have trust issues—wondering who we can really be ourselves with and share our hearts with when we're troubled. Rejection is another deep-seeded hurt that most folks don't think about when they consider the lives of pastors and their wives. We love our church people like they are family. When we are asked to leave or voted out because of the annual confidence vote (a rural Baptist tradition) it's like going through a divorce. The pain is unbearable. But most people don't think about that. I knew that other pastors' wives needed to know that they were not alone in their struggles and that someone understood what they were going through.

The Lord has taught me so much through this journey of service to Him—lessons of His faithfulness, lessons of His pleasure in obedient hearts, and lessons of finding shelter beneath the shadow of His Wing. I am so thankful He asked me to share this with His girls.

The Perils of a Pastor's Wife is written with raw, authentic emotion—no fluff—as I share actual incidents occurring in our ministry. I want my reader to know that I truly understand how she feels and what she's going through. The beauty of this book is in the illumination of God's presence throughout its pages. The Lord taught me to find Him in my darkest moments and I, in turn, teach my readers the same.

You do a phenomenal job of showing your reader's that you know how they feel and you've been in their shoes so I wonder, how has writing this book impacted your life on both a personal and spiritual level?

Wow! That's a good question. I honestly believe, on a personal level, writing The Perils of a Pastor's Wife, brought healing to many areas of my life. It caused me to search the scriptures thoroughly to make sure my teaching lined up with God's Word. In so doing, God poured His Living Water over and through my broken places and brought precious healing to me. On a spiritual level I pressed into God like never before—I partnered with Him to get this message before His girls. I know for a fact this deepened our relationship.

Mmmm yes, I hear that passion in your voice and throughout your book which leads me to a question I've meant to ask you and I think is so important to your ministry and book. Your key verse (and subtitle) in the book is, "If God be for us, who can be against us?" What does this verse mean to you?

 It means that I have confidence in the knowledge that nothing comes my way without coming before the Lord first. He is aware of all that pertains to me. Nothing catches Him by surprise. By applying this scripture to events in my life, I can find comfort knowing that nothing will ultimately harm me, for God is greater than any foe. I am sealed in His Holy Spirit. I am written on the palm of His hand and I am the Apple of His Eye. So, no matter what may come against me, it will not destroy me. The Lord will carry me through to the other side.

I love that! It sure does bring things into focus doesn't it because we do feel destroyed otherwise, don't we? This book is written from the perspective of a pastor's wife for other pastors' wives. But what lessons can wives in general learn from your book that would help them in their marriages as well?

One of the chapters in The Perils of a Pastor's Wife is titled, "Stand By Your Man". I think it's easy to begin to take one another for granted, to become so familiar with one another that the relationship can shift onto sandy soil without realizing what is happening. I offer suggestions on how to put some romance back into your marriage—ways to undergird your husband to let him know that you appreciate the burdens he carries as head of the household. I also remind the reader of the importance of praying for her husband. Stormie Omartian is quoted in my book as saying, "Even the most spiritual man can get overtired, burned out, beaten down, distanced from God, confused about who he is and why he is here, and lose his vision for the future. He can misplace his sense of purpose and become overwhelmed and hopeless because of it. If he loses sight of his dreams and forgets the truth about himself and his situation, he can end up believing destructive lies about his future." This, in a nutshell, defines the reason we must undergird our husbands with prayer, respect, and love.

That is so true and so needed for all of our marriages. I want to focus for a minute on the ministry of the pastor's wife. What is, in your opinion, the hardest part of being the wife of a pastor?

I suppose for me the hardest has been the trust issues. Most of the church members are precious jewels and become like family. However, there are always members of the congregation who are polite when people are watching, but who will cut you to the core behind your back or when you're in private. That's harsh, I know, but it's true. I tend to relate people who have their own agendas to the Pharisees that Jesus had to deal with. They come across with self-righteous, pompous, and dignified attitudes, but truth be known, there is an agenda behind their smiles. Again, I know this sounds harsh, but it is absolutely the truth. These are the people who want to be in control of a church. If the pastor is not a yes man to them, they cannot be trusted. And like the Pharisees, they are governed by religious law and will try to undercut the pastor and his family every time on every level— anything to get an upper hand. It's very hard to keep this in a spiritual perspective, that we "wrestle not with flesh and blood but with principalities of darkness," but it is imperative to understand this principle when under attack. Most of us have fragile hearts that wound easily.

What encouragement do you offer to help that wife be able to live in ministry with her husband?
I'm so glad you asked this after my last answer. The Perils of a Pastor's Wife gives the tools to lead her toward healing from such wounds. I discuss our callings alongside our husband. I teach thoroughly about spiritual warfare and how that applies to us, and how that applied to our biblical heroes like Paul, David, Moses, and Elisha, to name a few. Yes, even these guys wanted to give up and say, "Enough Lord!" But then they realized the fellowship of His sufferings and how being yielded to God's plan for our lives and enduring suffering for His sake takes our relationship to a deeper level. There is intimacy in suffering for His sake. We learn the essence of who He is. There is nothing that compares to the knowledge that "if God be for me, who can be against me?" There's nothing that compares to the knowledge that God is faithful and He is with us always. There's nothing that compares to the knowledge that God is honored and blessed by our service to Him and joins us in our struggles to minister comfort and peace.

Amen, yes! Amen! Before we end this time with you, will you please share an excerpt from your book with us? 

Yes, it is my pleasure to...

CHAPTER ONE
AFTER THE FIRE, A GENTLE WHISPER
ONLY GOD KNEW where my husband was. I had run from the business meeting before its completion. Tempers flared. Tongues were unleashed, and nearly three years of fruitful ministry were all but destroyed. My heart beat madly within my chest, fighting desperately not to break from the pain of rejection. Angry tears stung my cheeks as I bolted from the sanctuary. I didn’t know if I could continue in this thing called ministry. God was asking too much of me.

My husband, David, and I had been ministering in the small rural church for three years. Under his leadership and the Holy Spirit’s guidance, the church had experienced exponential growth. God’s mercy and grace flowed into the lives of our people. Church had become a place of joy, restoration, and refuge.
 
Then evil reared its ugly head.

************************************************************************
Wow! What a beginning to your story! Nan, thank you for sharing your heart with us, you've been such a blessing to me and to all of us. 

So, last but not least, how can people best connect with you?

Website: www.NanJones.com
Blog, Morning Glory: http://morningglorylights.blogspot.com/
email: nan@jubilantlight.com 

Facebook community page to find the nearness of God when you need Him the most: Seeing Beyond The Veil 
Facebook personal page: Nan Trammell Jones
Twitter: @NanJonesAuthor


A Little Bit More About Nan Jones:

Nan Jones is an author/speaker who uses the words of her heart to assist fellow Christians in discovering the Presence of God in their darkest hour. Her devotional blog, Morning Glory, has become a place of community for Christians to find encouragement in God’s Word and comfort in His Presence. She has been published in several anthologies as well as the online inspirational sites Christian Devotions, and Inspire a Fire. Nan has also had the honor of being featured as a guest blogger on several sites. She is thrilled to announce her debut book, The Perils of a Pastor's Wife released June 30, 2015 by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. When Nan is not writing, she enjoys leading prayer retreats, bible studies or sharing God’s love as keynote speaker for special events. She is becoming known by her brand: "Even so, I walk in the Presence of the Lord" as she teaches her audience to go beyond the veil to find God's Presence. You may visit Nan at her website: www.NanJones.com or her blog, Morning Glory: http://morningglorylights.blogspot.com/. Nan has also created a facebook community page, Seeing Beyond The Veil, to provide a place for folks to go and get away from the chaos for a few moments and focus on Jesus through scripture, worship, testimony, and inspirational quotes. For personal communication you may email Nan at nan@jubilantlight.com.

The Perils of a Pastor's Wife is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble 

Tweet This! Coffee and Conversation with Author Nan Jones






©Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2015

4 comments:

  1. Marcie, this is beautiful. Thank you for honoring me in this way. I love you <3

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  2. Carolyn Dyson has asked me to share this with you (since she cannot get it to work on her end): When I first met Nan, it was at the ER, she was there supporting her husband and the family. I didn't know that she was a writer and speaker at the time. I just thought she was a really nice Christian lady! She has really been such a inspiration to me. I just know in my heart and soul that this book will be a success.

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    Replies
    1. Carolyn, you are so precious. Thank you for your kind words. You are such a wonderful cheerleader. It's my prayer that the Lord will use the words of my heart to minister to His girls, to strengthen them in their journeys, and bring them to a place of healing when the wounds run deep. God is faithful and He is able as we learn to trust Him. Sweet blessings to you, Nan

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