“Revolution might sound a little dramatic, but in this world, choosing authenticity and worthiness is an absolute act of resistance. Choosing to live and love with our whole hearts is an act of defiance. You’re going to confuse, piss off, and terrify lots of people— including yourself. One minute you’ll pray that the transformation stops, and the next minute you’ll pray that it never ends. You’ll also wonder how you can feel so brave and so afraid at the same time. At least that’s how I feel most of the time… brave, afraid, and very, very alive. Rising strong is the final piece of this transformation.”
– Brene Brown
I’m thinking of the young man (it could easily be a woman) in his 20’s (maybe even 30s) who is trying to get his life together after making a lot of personal mistakes. He feels like a failure, alone, and abandoned. He may even be angry at the world for the bag he was given.
What you’ve been through is not fair. The upbringing was rough…it wasn’t your fault. And yet this is what you have to come to grips with. You’ll need a lot of support, care, and love. There will be days when you can’t make sense of the deep pain you feel in your heart.
Your greatest choice today is to live as one who is willing to rise strong, WITH all the anxiety and stress.The gift of strength is for you to reclaim who you long to be.It’s unsettling, uncomfortable, and necessary. You must remember that you are the beloved!That is your real identity and at the core of who you are.
You’ll need community, care, and courage. You’ll need a power bigger than you.
And as a friend once said, don’t waste the pain. I’m not sure what exactly that means. But I’m starting to understand that with each set of waves (of pain), there is an opportunity to keep rising, growing, and being transformed.
I’ve recently been struggling through questions of calling, effectiveness, and “next steps” (even though I feel fully affirmed by the employees I serve–and its leaders–as well as other pastoral leaders in my life). I’m in the boat, paddling, but it seems like the waters ain’t “cute” anymore. They’re getting faster and more complicated.
Based on the readings, it seems very natural and part of the life cycle of a pastor. I found the articles to be spot on with regards to my own questions, tensions, and desires. If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s not to run from pain but to see what it might have to teach me.
For me, the articles are pointing to a reality that I’ve been wrestling with:
what are my strengths and weaknesses
what is my effectiveness and how do I measure it (being cautious of do quality ministry over quantity)
how do I sustain myself long term
who are the people in my boat that can help me navigate these waters (I have a few…you know who you are!)
as a marketplace minister, what unique challenges do I have
The following articles are proving to be helpful and I hope they are beneficial to other pastors who are going through the process as well. This is only a preliminary reach of understanding the life cycle as a means to deepen the pastoral call and work. May God grant us wisdom and strength as we seek to live faithfully and fruitfully in Him.
We become our habits, for better or worse. Here’s a way to engage in habit formation, a virtue ethics of sorts. [Christian Spirituality has much to offer to the formation of habits as well. You can read any of Richard Foster or Dallas Willard’s works for more info.]
A great daily routine is the holy grail of productivity. But the building blocks for that routine, habits, are tough to start, and even harder to change. Whether you want to meditate more, drink more water, or floss more than twice a month, these psychology-backed strategies can help you develop a new habit and keep it from fading.