Sometimes I struggle with what to write. No wonder…when I review my “tags” I see things like joy, life, light, love, and blessed. It’s like a photo album with only the good shots from life; smiles, hugs, and silly faces. Rarely do you see photo albums with sad faces, mourning, or crying. I think I’ve built up some sense of pressure to only highlight the good things in life, especially when it comes to ministry related matters. There’s obviously some need to maintain professional standards, some confidentiality obligations to keep, and a strong desire not to dishonor anyone. But there’s also a sense of wanting to keep things positive, light, crisp, and refreshing.

Yet I wonder if that’s exactly what keeps me from writing about certain topics. Because some things…I dare say, many things in ministry and in life are unsettling and disruptive; things that we’d rather not talk about or read about…or deal with at all.

Tonight as I’m preparing to enter back in the routine of work after five glorious days of fun and relaxation, I’m feeling scattered and unsettled. I have some exciting things to prepare for this summer. I’m looking forward to getting back into our routines, getting to know our new church secretary, and putting together our summer ministry stuff. Yet, I can’t seem to shake this uneasy feeling.

Sometimes I wonder if what I do really means anything, if my ministry actually makes any difference. I wonder if people will actually show up or participate in the stuff we’re planning or if I’m just wasting my time and energy. Discouragement from over the years seems to come flooding back all at once. Feelings of insecurity declare war on my confidence and call. It’s an overwhelming mess of unsettled irritation, and it’s tough to overcome.

There are healthy ways to process these tough feelings, but when they first attack, it is a real struggle that people don’t seem to really talk about much. And, of course, then, we feel guilty or defeated for feeling this way, and alone, because we assume that no one else goes through this. So I’m writing tonight to share that it does happen and that it’s a lot more normal than we think.

I have a toolbox of methods to help me deal with these feelings when they come. Sometimes I go for a walk or workout. Sometimes I talk to a friend/mentor. Sometimes I listen to music, play piano, paint, or write.

For now, I’ll do some stress relieving breathing technique that’ll help me get to sleep…and I pray that the morning sun will bring new life and light to comfort the weary soul. Praise be to God for this journey.