Today we are excited to continue our conversation with Heather Platt about how God used Hurricane Katrina to bring the Platts to Brook Hills, and about adoption, being a mom, and helping her husband. (If you are just joining us, read Heather’s girl~to~girltalk profile and part one of our three-part interview.)
After the devastation of Katrina, how did God lead you and David to The Church at Brook Hills?
We were not able to return to New Orleans till about 2 months later and found very few things salvageable. I wasn’t able to get anything out of my school classroom. I of course lost my job, David began teaching seminary classes online, and he continued to travel and speak at various churches and events. The first few months we spent trying to figure out what in the world to do with ourselves. Ironically, we had been trying for years to have kids and during this time of complete uncertainty began the adoption process! It was amazing how the Lord opened our hearts to adoption during such an interesting time. I figured, no home, no job, hey, let’s adopt! Seriously, the Lord had been changing my heart to see that He was calling us to this blessing of adoption and that this was how he was going to expand our family. We started the adoption process to Kazakhstan, lived in a condo that my brother in law owned, a church donated two rooms of furniture, and we completed our homestudy! The Lord was so gracious to provide in every way.
Around the beginning of January, David was asked to speak at Brook Hills. It was only for “one time” while the church was without a pastor. After he spoke the first time, they kept inviting him back until finally one day the pastor search team contacted him and asked if we would meet with them. We were pretty set on going back to New Orleans, so David assured me that this was no big deal. At the end of the meeting, they looked at us and said, “We think you are going to be our next pastor.” I cried! Not tears of joy, but tears of sadness and fear. We wrestled with the decision for many weeks, our hearts torn, wanting to go back to New Orleans but wondering if this was a new direction the Lord was leading us. As always, the Lord was so gracious to make us ready for a new adventure! We moved to Birmingham in June of 2006 and have been at Brook Hills for 6 years. The Lord has done far more than we could ask or imagine. It’s not been easy, but wonderfully worth it.
You and David now have two sons, and just recently adopted your little girl from China (Congratulations!), but you faced setbacks and delays along the way. What is one lesson God taught you through that process and how would you encourage other couples currently pursuing adoption?
Adoption is not for the faint-hearted. There are always many ups and downs and twists and turns in the process. We started an adoption to Nepal about 4 years ago that never came to fruition due to the country closing to international adoptions. Along the way, the Lord changed our direction to China where we went this last fall and adopted a 16 month old girl. She is thriving beautifully in a family and is loved dearly by her older brothers. Adoption has taught me many things about the heart of God. In His strength, adoption is not easy, but it’s worth it.
What is one of the greatest challenges being a mother of young children and having a husband who pastors a large church?
Brook Hills has been an amazing encouragement to David and me from the beginning. They have allowed me as a mom and wife to fulfill my roles at home with little pressure to “be at everything” or “do everything” that is on the church calendar. I am grateful for that. Any family in ministry knows the tension that is there between your husband’s demands at work and the need to be available for family. We are constantly working on that balance and asking the Lord for wisdom and grace. Our family is young right now and has many needs. Brook Hills has been incredibly gracious to allow us to embrace these crazy “younger” years, and they are cheering us on along the way!
What is one piece of advice would you give to other pastors’ wives on loving and helping their husband?
Be available. He needs your love, your words of affirmation, and most of all your unconditional support. Be there when he needs to talk, when he needs some TLC and even when he needs to simply veg out and do nothing! He wants to know that you will follow his lead, no matter what. Not easy as a wife, but absolutely essential. We are in a fight for our marriages and husbands, and our husbands are worth fighting for! God’s name and glory are worth it!