I haven't posted in a while. This is partly due to a virus which laid me off work for a week and has laid low my wife the past weekend but it is also because I have perceived, felt, sensed, imagined (?) quietness from God in terms of the direction of my life. I was going to try and write something erudite and considered as a post in reaction to this time but I am really not in a place to do so. This post is mostly for me to get my thoughts onto a firmer medium than my mind.
I was ordained as a Baptist Pastor. I am still not sure why this is such a big deal for me but, as much as I don't want it to, I believe that it still defines my identity. I'm not even sure what I'm writing but I need to start somewhere with some honesty and why not make my thoughts available to whomsoever?
A key part of my journey was a descent into chronic depression whilst working for a church post-college. I eventually left the church feeling that I was unable to continue in paid ministry. Since then I have struggled to come to terms with my mental illness and also to figure out where I am supposed to be going in my life. Earlier this year I was diagnosed with mild bi-polar disorder. I feel detached from my colleagues in ministry and I feel unemployable right now.
I know that this all sounds morbid but I am in a "down" cycle and struggling to face the immediate future. Money is tight as I am working 3 days a week in a low paid job and I am investigating post-graduate study options. I was seriously looking into a Masters of Theology until my wife asked me where it would lead and I couldn't say so I am looking into the original option of a Masters in Counseling. Then I ask if this is where I am meant to be or is it a "second best" option?
You see, I left Bible College believing that pastoral ministry was where I was headed. I had no idea that mental illness was going to blindside me derail my plans. Despite the circular, garbled nature of this blog perhaps this is my point, namely, were they only my plans and what are God's plans and where is God in the middle of my medicated, confused life and what of my "call" to ministry?
To be sure, I know that I am gifted at counseling and I certainly have insight into abuse, trauma and emotional struggle. For now, I will try and seek God. He seems to be awfully quiet but perhaps I don't want to hear what He is saying? I will go to work, look after my fantastic family and see what tomorrow brings. Don't let anyone tell you that there's a formula for knowing the will of God.