Wednesday, February 24, 2010

burnout (3) it's not over yet, baby!

This post has been a long time in coming. I've wanted to write about this for so long, but the words haven't been coming together!

How do you write about something when you're in the middle of it, and your emotions are raw and your thoughts confused? How do you write about something when you're not sure how to write anything helpful? How do you write about something when you think it should be over by now?

The last 6 months haven't been easy. The hole called "burnout", which I dug myself into last year - or rather, which I dug gradually over several years, and fell into all of a sudden on the 19th of July last year (see, I remember the date!) - takes a long time to climb out of.

I thought 2 months of low-grade depression would do it: yes, I've payed my dues, now it's time to move on. But I continued to feel pretty depressed during much of the summer holidays. I'm still experiencing the repercussions in my emotions and energy levels. I'm still a little unclear about things, unsure of myself, uncertain of the future.

Things are much better now (so please don't worry about me!). I'm feeling happier and less anxious. I'm gradually finding a workable way to manage life and ministry. I'm trying to build on a firmer foundation: less pride and selfish ambition, more love and service of the people God has given me.

Like all of God's severe mercies, this has taught me a huge amount: about myself, about God, about obedience and ministry and service. I've learned about the disaster we can prepare for ourselves when we passionately serve our idols, about my frailty and humanness, about the gradual stages of healing. Most of all, I've learned about God's grace: the grace that awaits us on the other side of sin, regret, failure and weakness.

I'd like to share what I've learned with you. So as I have time and feel able, I'll write more about this in the weeks ahead.

image is from rachel_titiriga at flickr

1 comment:

Violet said...

I look forward to your posts. The Lord took me through something very similar 20 + years ago, and I'm still learning! I pray that your "learner" works quicker than mine. On the other hand, I wouldn't trade what I have learned of Him for anything. Grace is definitely the operative word.