Today I had the opportunity to meet with our new incoming senior pastor and his wife. We had a good conversation about *our* church. We shared parts of our stories and he shared part of his vision for what the church could be. The cynic in me raged silently inside ("yeah, good luck with that.") I dared not share my skepticism (which really has nothing to do with him and everything to do with my own experiences here). I think sadly, though I suppose fortunately at the same time, my conversations with them showed how defeated and uninspired I feel here. 10 months ago I was on fire. I had a million ideas and a thousand things I wanted to get accomplished. Now, my ambition seems squelched. I hate to admit it, but I feel I have to be honest about where I am right now.
I think this was all hiding latent. A couple of months ago, I was feeling extremely overwhelmed and I put all that on hold because no one seemed to hear it the way I needed them too, so I stopped mentioning it. Even my spiritual director didn't get it. So, I focused on what needed to get done (Lent studies, Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday). Then I got excited about what was happening with the laity in my church. They were inspired, they were creative, they were thinking and dreaming, imagining and hoping, and that all felt good after so many months of dredging through the mire of hopelessness. I am excited about what they are doing. But what I was forced to see today was that I am not excited about what I am doing. I always feel spread too thin and pulled on from all sides and that no one really gets the *best* of me. Don't get me wrong, I am doing all that I feel is possible (without killing myself or sending myself into the hospital), but it's because there is always something else to do or get done, or, or, or....and my waves of inspiration feel fewer and farther between.
One way or the other, the fact is: SOMETHING HAS TO CHANGE. I cannot persist in a job where I am struggling to find my niche, constantly trying to justify and explain why I cannot be all things to all people, how I really am working despite the fact that you never see me (in large part because you don't go to youth group, young adults, Hispanic worship, committee meetings, all church gatherings, and the like).
In addition to reigniting my creative and leader fire, I think I need some nourishment for my soul. I water my soul, making sure I don't get parched or too tired, but really that extra good special soul food....let's just say it's been awhile. and that leaves me feeling like I am becoming one of those pastors for whom I hurt so desperately who were so caught up in caring for others that they neglected their own spiritual health, which in turn made it impossible for them to nurture others. And I really do not want to become one of them. Ya know?