The Old Man Is Dead
This has been a very painful, eye opening week. Not because I’ve seen anything I’ve never experienced. Instead, I’ve simply experienced things I hope had gone away. It’s been nearly eight months since I had a week this bad. Long enough that I thought all my greatest issues must have gone away. Boy, did I get a major reality check.
You see, it doesn’t matter how many times a doctor tells you things will always be this way. Your head and heart struggle to accept certain realities. Who does want to hear that they have permanent, life altering health issues? That while there may be times my nerve damage appears under control it’s going to always be threatening my quality of life. I can finally say after three years and eight months it’s starting to sink in. I’m beginning to digest fully the painful truth my doctors have been telling me all along. I’m still kicking and screaming over it. But, Lord I’ve gotten the memo.
I had no clue how much my medications, spinal stimulator, and God’s grace were just masking the problem. I started feeling a little better and I just assumed I could go right back to life and ministry as I once knew it. This only led to me falling flat on my face. I’m still grieving the man I used to be. I’ve still got to communicate honestly to many the man I am now.
This pastor still cares as much as ever about people. But, this pastor can’t run around like he once could. This pastor still loves to counsel and encourage others. But, this pastor can’t do it the same way he used to do it. This pastor would still drop everything to run to anyone’s side who needed me. But, this pastor has to use great discretion and operate with clear boundaries from this point forward.
In order to be useful in any way I’ve got to give up my old ways. Those who truly love me no matter what will want what’s best for me. Those who only care about what I can do for them will probably have little use for me now. So, I’m doing my best to embrace my new normal. To take care of myself so I have a fighting chance to help others.
It’s a sad goodbye that didn’t happen overnight. It took a lot of sleepless nights and tears. It took me dealing with constant pain day and night. It took me realizing that if i don’t let the old man go the new man will only continue to struggle more. It took me knowing that it’s just best that I’m honest with myself and others. I can only pray that those around me are understanding and willing to embrace this new man.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,” Ecclesiastes 3:1-6