It happened last spring too. In fact, about this time last year I started anti-depressants. I felt I had lost my resiliency: things that would not normally get me down got me down and kept me there. I couldn’t find my joy. I couldn’t connect with my loves. (of ministry, family, God…)
I’m there again. I am constantly behind on everything. I am so behind on pastoral calls and caring that it is literally shameful. I started today by writing a hard email to someone who I should have called weeks ago. I literally don’t know where the time goes. I feel like I am working as hard as I can and still can’t make the deadlines or meet all the needs of the congregation, my family, and my heart. All of it gets done halfway and none of it is enough. I’m not a good enough partner, dad, or minister. I’m not a good friend.
Eek. In the middle of writing this my partner called. His dad, who fell again this week, has to go to a rehabilitation center in hopes he will become strong enough to return to his assisted living facility. If he doesn’t, it will be a nursing home. He wants me to get ahold of some people and get referrals. Eek. One more thing to do. And it’s time critical. Sigh.
And it reminds me that I haven’t called someone else I should have called. And it gives me the sinking feeling I will never, ever catch up. I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know how to be there for all these people. There is just one me. Is this how Jesus felt when the crowds were pushing and shoving and shouting? I suppose this isn’t that dramatic, but it feels overwhelming. I want to yell, “Heal thyself!” to both family and church.
How does this happen? I’ve spent years trying to empower and inspire the congregation. We’ve built systems and created small group ministries. Still, when it comes down to it, there are just too many times when “only the minister will do.” This year I have help–a wonderful intern who has developed great pastoral relationships with many people. What will I do next year? What will the congregation do?
Yikes. Is it me? Am I inadequate? Is it the system? What is the healthy response to this? The right one? Help!