So it's been a while since I shared my thoughts on anything. My last blog post, back in September 2020, came soon after finishing as a pastor and then I pulled the plug on my 40th celebrations at the last minute due to poor mental health at the time. And I think since then it has been giving myself time to process. At Christmas we ended up moving on from the church community I had been helping shape for the past six years, leaving a place filled with people we loved and not knowing where we would then land. I'm not going to lie...that really hurt. But in the end I realised that the wound caused by losing my job there wasn't going to be healed when attending services meant watching others do what I had loved to do. No animosity towards the people doing it. But it just felt like the scab was being constantly ripped off, which is not conducive to healing. One thing I struggled with is that I am a loyal person. Once I'm in, I'm all in. In my 40 years to this point, the only reason I had ever left a church was that I was moving cities. But I learned that staying somewhere that negatively affects your personal wellbeing because you are loyal isn't a great medal to pin to your chest. Like, look at me, I'm going down in flames, but see the medal of my loyalty!! You see, loyalty to yourself is actually really important and failing to care for yourself doesn't help anyone. In the meantime I joined my wife in the business she had started and we are enjoying growing that together, and we are using it to support charities working in the area of inclusion. This has been a really positive part of life. But through it all, I have continued to walk with the limp that is depression and anxiety. Fine at times, not at others. Medication helping. Triggers setting me off again when I least expect it. Not to mention that I don't think I have really ever learnt to grieve. It's not something our western culture prepares us for very well. But I'll leave that for another day. In the end, the constant has been our choice to keep focussed on finding the good. In each and every situation, no matter how challenging, I am constantly asking, "where is the good here?" It doesn't mean things don't hurt. It doesn't mean depression suddenly disappears. It just means that in all situations I can look for a way to find something good - something to hold on to. Something to grow me, change me, shape me, inspire me, encourage me, strengthen me. So that's my encouragement to you. In whatever situations you find yourself practise finding the good.
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