Surviving Shattered Dreams, a Story of Hope after Despair by Yvonne Partyka and Joanne Klinger, (Enumclaw, WA: WinePress Publishing: 2009), 133 pp., paper $16.95
Many who enter pastoral ministry do so with romantic and idealistic dreams that defy reality. The pressure of ministry can lead to tragic ends if responded to incorrectly. Both Partyka and Klinger experienced the shattered dreams as wives of pastors who gave into temptations which ultimately led to divorce. Along the way these men were unfaithful, abused their daughters and yet continued the façade of godly pastors and perfect home lives until all came crashing down.
Beside telling two interesting if terribly sad stories, Surviving Shattered Dreams serves notice that all is not as it seems in the family life of clergy. Good marriages do not just happen because people are in the ministry. In fact, the added expectations, temptations and tensions faced by ministers of the gospel make good marriages and family life all that more difficult. Young couples entering ministry should be made aware of this and these two women are trying to do just that.
The authors also give testimony to the faithfulness of God despite their circumstances. While pulling no punches and being transparent about their grief and struggles, both women see the love of God strengthening them throughout their ordeals. In the midst of their despair God gave them hope.
Reviewed by Gary E. Gilley, Pastor-teacher, Southern View Chapel