Wow – the responses and reactions to our news and journey has been unique. Sherry & I really had no idea what to expect with folks’ response. Often when you go through difficult decisions you think deeply about folks’ response, particularly when in ministry and your “job” is to care for people. While this was important in the how went went through this process, we both have agreed that we don’t have any regrets thus far.
Thank you. I can’t help but thank you for all of you who’ve sent emails, given hugs, prayed for us and walked with us during this fork in our road. While there’ve been weird stares and folks who’ve really not been sure how to respond (and it’s been obvious), that was one thing I did anticipate and I thank you for your honesty.
The confessions and authenticity I’ve sensed from many has been the most surprising things. I’ve heard so many stories from folks so far that I wasn’t prepared for – many not about mental health in fact. People just want to share what’s really going on & they’re afraid others don’t get it and will treat them differently if folks knew what they are really like. They’ve led me to believe that this whole experience of sharing wasn’t so much about my “mental health,” or our journey, but about what James 5:16 inspires us all to do: “Confess your sins to one another so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” I’m convinced that not only confessing sins, but confessing what’s really going on in your mind, life and world is vital in health. It’s risky, dangerous, can hurt and divide relationships, can ruin opportunities and more than you ever expect. But it’s powerful and effective. Knowing that righteous folks, seeking God’s heart and will, are praying for you is healing, hopeful and motivating. To know that you can walk in confidence knowing that you can “approach the throne of grace with [that] confidence so that we can receive grace and find mercy in our time of need,” is overwhelmingly powerful. What if we all lived like this? What if we all lived with the power of the Holy Spirit knowing we can walk with honest, confident humility?
May you be confident in your reality as we seek together to be more like our Lord Jesus!