Wife of a Tentmaker

Growing up in South Carolina, She never imagined she’d spend her adulthood living overseas. “I thought I would stay in Charleston and live there forever, to be honest,” she said. “I thought we’d have kids there. It’s been so funny how God just had different plans that I never dreamed of.”  Those plans included following her husband as he pursued professional opportunities in South Africa and, more recently, Canada.  A stay at home mom of three sons (ages 7, 5, and 2), She is involved in small groups and ladies Bible studies and assists with children’s Sunday school classes at her church in Calgary.  She’s also found herself engaged in another type of service – one much closer to home.

“Our neighbors have been a big thing here that we’ve really tried to view as ministry,” she said, mentioning, among others, a house-bound neighbor and a friend of her sons who is unchurched.  “We have just come into contact with so many who know nothing about God, and He has opened a lot of doors in conversations where we feel like we’ve almost been able to minister even more that way than in our church.”

This family has been out of the States for over five years now. Though as the wife of a Tentmaker, she is happily settled in her Canadian home, she admits that being away from her family and friends hasn’t always been easy.

“I’m so far removed from everything I’ve ever known and done,” she said.  “When we first left the States, I went through a bit of depression and anger, and God really dealt on my heart, and I learned so much about relying on Him.  That’s why I wouldn’t trade the opportunities we’ve had.”

Another way in which God has strengthened her walk with Him is in teaching her to trust His control.  Proverbs 3:5-6 (“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths”) is one of her favorite passages. Another is Psalm 3:3 (“But You, O Lord, are a Shield about me, my Glory, and the Lifter of my head”).

In addition to these passages that keep her grounded in her faith, she also points out several things that keep her connected to her family and friends.  Skype makes regular conversations possible, and social networks, such as Facebook, make it easy to exchange messages and pictures. She is a big proponent of these technologies.

She also offers other advice to wives of would-be Tentmakers:

“Trust in God,” she said. “Stay grounded. It’s okay to have your bad days. Just allow yourself to know that you’re going to have them, and they can sneak up on you out of nowhere.   And it’s really important to stay in communication with your husband.  Finally, if you know what area you’re going into, research it; read about it.  Try to get an idea of what you’re going into, how to prepare for it. Don’t be scared to ask questions.”

Five years into her family’s Tentmaking tenure, She wouldn’t change a thing.  She’s come to appreciate the experiences it’s allowed her children (“It’s amazing what our kids have already been able to see and do,” she said. “It’s been so good for them. I think it’ll help them to find it easier to talk with a lot of different people and cultures”), and, most importantly, she’s grown in her dependence on God. As she put it,  “When He gets you through the hard times, and you see it, you wouldn’t trade the experience for anything else.”

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