She saw issues I couldn’t see. Others saw issues I couldn’t see. I had issues…things that were driving me to hurt others unintentionally.
The truth is we all struggle with unresolved issues. The sooner you deal with them, the better everyone around you is.
Your unresolved past will sink your future, unless you deal with it.
4. GRIEVE YOUR LOSSES
A mentor once told me that ministry is a series of ungrieved losses. He was right.
Think about how much loss is involved in leadership. Someone leaves your church. A staff member quits. A decision doesn’t go your way. You lose a friend.
Many leaders pretend it doesn’t hurt when the reality is it does.
Worse than that, we don’t know what to do with our losses. So we just go back to work.
For years when I read the scriptural stories of how people grieved, I thought to myself, “What’s wrong with these people? Why did they take 40 days to grieve the death of Moses? Couldn’t they just get back to work?”
Little did I realize that taking the time to grieve your losses is one of the healthiest things you can do.
I spent an inordinate amount of time in August 2006 crying. It’s like all the losses I ignored for decades couldn’t stay inside anymore. And once they left…I found closure, even healing.
Now, I pay much more attention to feelings of loss. I pray about them. I process them. Occasionally I do shed tears over the deeper ones. And then I move on.
So much healthier.
5. IF GOD WANTS TO GO DEEP, IT’S BECAUSE HE WANTS TO TAKE YOU FAR
The #1 question I had in the middle of my burnout is will this ever end?
It took me three months to start functioning semi-normally again. Within a year, I was at 80 percent. But it took a full five years to be at 100 percent of normal, which wasn’t the old normal, but a new normal (the old normal would have landed me back in the ditch again).
I realized God was doing some soul surgery in me that went very deep. I believe he wanted to get to the root of some heart issues that would have held me back from doing what he wants to accomplish with my life.
Over the last few years, I’ve been able to encourage other leaders going through burnout, spending some time to pray and talk with them, sometimes at length.
The question they always ask is this: When will this be over? All of us A-types want burnout over quickly. My standard answer these days is “don’t rush it and don’t delay it. Let it take as long as it takes.”