This post is part of a series celebrating our pastors’ wives — godly women who play the role of a shepherdess in our lives, taking care of our shepherds and becoming like second mothers to so many of us. Today we’re talking to Sis. Esmeralda Sanchez, pastor’s wife at Iglesia Torre Fuerte in Edinburg, TX, and Spanish ladies president of SCTX District UPCI.
Sis. Sanchez, thank you so much for taking the time to share with us! Where does your family pastor, and how long have you been there?
We pastor at Iglesia Torre Fuerte in Edinburg, Texas. We are deep in the southern part of Texas, and our church is a Spanish work. We have been pastoring for 21 years.
What are some things you love about being a pastor’s wife?
Serving. Serving right alongside my husband and family . . . Serving others!
Growing up, what did you imagine yourself doing with your life? Would you ever have imagined yourself being a pastor’s wife?
Growing up, I never dreamed or imagined I’d become a pastor’s wife. I always thought I’d be a lawyer or end up working in an office setting. I am so thankful His plans and will unfolded in my life.
If you could go back in time and give your younger self a piece of wisdom, what would that be?
Find a godly mentor to speak into your life. Enjoy every season in your life! Don’t get impatient.
What is your favorite Bible scripture?
Psalms 34:1: “I will bless the LORD at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth” and Psalm 103:2: “Bless the LORD, o my soul, and forget not all his benefits.”
What one piece of advice would you pass on to a new pastor’s wife?
Don’t be scared, afraid, or ashamed to be yourself. You are exactly who the Lord wants you to be, and you’re exactly what your church needs. Try not to take everything so personal, and as hard as it is sometimes, try not to respond right away to things that happen or that you may hear.
Remember it’s about His kingdom; it will always be about His Kingdom. He is the One who has called and chosen you and your husband to do His work. Concentrate on that, and always seek to see the positive in your church and church family.
Are there any successes, struggles, or defeats you’ve faced as a pastor’s wife that you feel our readers could learn from?
I am, by the mercy and grace of the Lord, a breast cancer survivor. This trial took place right into our third year of pastoring. I was so new and inexperienced as a pastor’s wife and as a mother. Our children were 6, 4, and 1-1/2 years old. It was a time of Him molding me and my will to become more like Him. I really learned to depend on the Lord with literally my whole life.
Do you ever get tired or burned out from ministry? If so, how do you handle that?
We ALL get tired and burned out at some point. It happens to everyone, even if you’re not in the ministry — but much more so for us in the ministry who are constantly giving and sacrificing. But I feel that if it happens a lot or too often, we need to take a step back and reevaluate our heart. Why are we doing what we are doing? And with what intentions? It’s easy to feel burned out if our hearts aren’t in it.
There’s a saying in the workplace: “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never work a day in your life.” I think we can apply it to our ministry as well. If we love what we are doing, then it isn’t hard or burdensome.
Learn to delegate, and allow others to help! We can’t do everything on our own. And during the times of getting burned out, remember to refreshen yourself in His Presence. Even if I am not okay, it’s going to be okay. Go to conferences where you can get spiritually fed and take some time either by yourself or with your family to rest. We all need it.
Are there any books (besides the Bible) that you’ve found helpful as a pastor’s wife or in your walk with God?
The Nitty-Gritty for Ministers’ Wives by Bonnie Markham
The Front Row by Gwyn Oakes
Notable Women of Scripture by Ken Gurley
The Role of the Shepherdess by Roffie Ensey
If you had a day free where you could do anything you wanted, what would that be?
It would definitely be with my little family. We have a daughter in college up in San Antonio, so my free day would be to have her with us. It would start with brunch, trying out new coffee shops throughout the day, then a little bit of shopping, then we’d finish off the day with a nice dinner, and of course, a delicious dessert.
Tell us a few of your favorite things!
I am an absolute chocolate-lover! Any kind, flavor, or form that it comes in — and I am convinced that chocolate loves me too. We have a great relationship! Everywhere I go, I order a tea to drink. I love to bake. When I have some free time (which isn’t often . . . haha), I enjoy reading Christian fiction books.