Four Ways I've Found Encouragement

Near the ten-year anniversary of my ordination, I was floundering. I felt isolated, weary, on the edge of that overused but apropos termburn-out. There were signs: heart palpitations, fatigue, a cranky and critical spirit.

During the day, my energy level sagged, and the simplest tasks, such as returning phone calls and cranking out another adult education brochure, became chores. I awoke at three o'clock in the morning with a mile-long list of gnawing worries. I read the want ads and studied college brochures, trying to discover if there were anything else I could do to make a living.

With the help of a therapist, I came to see I was so busy taking care of everybody else, I wasn't taking good care of myself. I began to make changes: to take more time off and develop interests outside the church. Then a new call came. I, a native Californian, packed up my life and journeyed some thousand miles away from my family and growing sense of community. I began the challenging process ...

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