I felt anxiety rush over me this morning. I was reading the words from the comment section of a post I had done for my cousin’s blog.* Actually, I might not be able to say I was reading the words. I mean, I was reading the words, but in the transmission from my eyes to my brain the words changed from what they actually said to a jumble of words and a very strong sensation: pressure- chest constricting, pulse quickening pressure.

Here is what the comment said:

“Thank you Rebecca. You have much on your plate, and being a runner, too. Your husband’s success as a pastor depends largely upon you (Pr 31:23).”

I am certain the reader was intending to encourage me. However, the crazy in my head read this instead:

“Rebecca, if you fail, your husband and his ministry will fail. Have a great day.”

In defense of my crazy, the title of my post was “When Leaders Fail.”

Maybe the intent of the text I read was:

“Thank you, Rebecca. Even though you are so busy, I’m sure your husband’s success has a lot to do with you.”


“Thank you, Rebecca. I know you have a lot going on. It’s cool that you find time to run. Oh, and your husband will succeed because he has you.”

Honestly, I think he meant me to read it like this:

“Thank you Rebecca. You have much on your plate, and being a runner, too. Your husband’s success as a pastor depends largely upon you (Pr 31:23).”

This comment is largely why I went through a period in which I did not want my husband to lead a church. It is not because people make comments like this one. It is because the comment is true. Much of my husband’s success depends on me. If I fail, it causes his ministry problems.

Guess what, people? I fail. I do. If you know me, you are probably nodding your head with enthusiasm. Yes, she does fail. I’ve seen it. 

Shortly after reading the comment on the blog, the panic passed. I do fail, and my husband’s success is, in some ways, tied to me. However, I am not alone. My success, in some ways, is tied to my husband. I can depend on him just as he depends on me.

Because so much depends on me, I have to rely on the grace of God. I believe that I have a God willing to love me through the mess and help me start again. I try to remember this when I feel like a failure.

I see this in relationship to a famous poem:

so much depends 


a red wheel


glazed with rain


beside the white


-William Carlos Williams

I am a red wheelbarrow, but wheelbarrows can only fulfill their purpose when they are placed in the hands of someone else. There is a lot that depends on me, and I am grateful to be able to put myself into the hands of someone much more dependable than myself.

*My cousin’s blog is He has over 13,000 followers, and he produces excellent daily devotions. Check him out if you get a chance. On Fridays, I write on his blog as a guest.)


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